All "space message" discussions remind me of this
As to more practical concerns about the OP, I have three questions;
1.) Would whatever data storage medium on New Horizons survive a million-year interstellar journey?
B.) How would aliens recognize that a message is present?
III.) How would they figure-out how to decode the message?
All three of these questions were considered when the Voyager Records
1.) The records are metal disks. The data is physically encoded in the spiral grooves on each side of the disks. Furthermore, the records have a
metal cover to protect them from micrometeoric erosion over the eons.
B.) 12-inch gold-covered copper disks with symbols on the cover. Eye-catching, even if your eyes are on stalks.
III.) A phonograph stylus was sent with the records. The sounds were recorded as simple analogue vibrations (your basic gramophone). Amplifying the
vibration from the stylus produces the sound (the tone may be off, depending on the atmosphere of the listener). The cover has instructions on how to
decode and display the images, and a picture of the first image (a circle within a rectangle) to let them know when they got it right.
Fool-proof? Hardly - what is? However, it will give the recipients a good chance of getting to know us. The key is that it was planned and created
before the spacecraft launched.
Any message that goes out to New Horizons would be stored in one of its 8GB flash memory buffers. Read-up on
how it works
. Without anything to tell the aliens what this little chunk of silicon & aluminum
is, could they figure it out without destroying it during analysis?
. If they do, how would they figure-out the storage format to allow them to
retrieve legible data?
I'm afraid that New Horizons is a envelope we forgot to put a letter in before we mailed it.
I grew-up in the days before self-adhesive stamps. You had to lick the back of them to wet the glue that would allow them to stick to the envelope.
Thus you would send a little bit of yourself, in the form of DNA along with every letter.
The New Horizons probe's primary mission is to explore Pluto. To commemorate his discovery of Pluto in 1930, about an ounce of Clyde Tombaugh's
ashes was placed aboard the spacecraft. I don't know how much DNA survives the cremation process, but the fact is that this little vial is carrying
our human chemical composition to the stars.
Maybe this will be our message to the aliens: "We're tasty!"