Cross Stitch Arecibo Message


In the 1960s scientists started to think that microwaves could be sent through radio telescopes to send messages to outer space to let other possible civilizations know about our existence and, of course, receive their answers in case they decided to reply. During the 70s, the research became more professional thanks to bigger founding and the support of NASA. Scientists focused their efforts in a group of Sun-like stars that had bigger probabilities of having Earth-like planets.

The Arecibo message was one of the first attempts to communicate with possible extraterrestrial intelligences, along with the Pioneer 10 and 11 plaques in 1971 and the Voyager golden records in 1977. It was sent from the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico in 1974 and it was addressed to the globular star cluster of M13, 25.000 light years away.


Arecibo Message first printed

“The message consists of 1679 bits, arranged into 73 lines of 23 characters per line (these are both prime numbers, and may help the aliens decode the message). The “ones” and “zeroes” were transmitted by frequency shifting at the rate of 10 bits per second. The total broadcast was less than three minutes. A graphic showing the message is reproduced here. It consists, among other things, of the Arecibo telescope, our solar system, DNA, a stick figure of a human, and some of the biochemicals of earthly life. Although it’s unlikely that this short inquiry will ever prompt a reply, the experiment was useful in getting us to think a bit about the difficulties of communicating across space, time, and a presumably wide culture gap.”

From SETI webpage

If you are curious about the binary interpretation and meaning of the diagram, check this article from the university of Utah.

The graphic interpretation makes it very easy to translate into cross stitch because the pattern is already made! Yei!

Other easily cross stitched images are the ones from old 8 bit videogames.

Here it is my cat Nui cross stitching a towel with a sequence from Super Mario Bros.




Well, I think this proves that cross stitch is not for old ladies only; it can be made by old cats too.


3 thoughts on “Cross Stitch Arecibo Message

  1. Pingback: French Knot Constellation Map | Bubanana

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