Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Weird Wednesday - Message From Mars

The Mars Curiosity Rover is due to land on the red planet in just a few days. Very cool, you might think, but not exactly something for Weird Wednesday. But among many other expected scientific discoveries, Curiosity just might get to the bottom of one long forgotten mystery: The Mysterious Mars Messages discovered by Guglielmo Marconi over 90 years ago. And that, of course, is perfect for Weird Wednesday.

A Nobel Prize winner, Marconi was a pioneer in the early development of radio. In the early 1920s, Marconi believed he received signals from another world.
Guglielmo Marconi
Using a special experimental apparatus on his Yacht, the Electra in the Mediterranean, Marconi received radio waves of a much greater wavelength than any produced on Earth at the time. This wasn't without controversy, and many experts believed the so-called signals were caused by natural storms on Mars, or perhaps some other, mundane earthy source.

But what fascinated Marconi about the signals was the fact that they seemed to repeat the Morse code for the letter "V." It seemed highly unlikely to him that a natural source would use Morse code. In fact, Marconi himself had used Morse code for the letter "V" many years previously in one of his first wireless tests. Could the strange signals be sending his own code back to him?

Curiosity Rover
Unfortunately, the mystery was never resolved and was soon forgotten. Who knows, maybe Marconi did just receive some perfectly natural, but as yet unidentified transmission. Or... Perhaps the unknown senders of the signal just gave up. Maybe soon after the Sky Crane gently lowers Curiosity to the surface of Mars, a long dormant signal will spark to life. If a strange Morse coded letter "V" interrupts Curiosity's experiments, we'll know there was more to the story, after all.

We'll find out in a couple of weeks!

What do you think?


  1. Awesome weird wednesday, Jon. My money is on the yeti. ;)

  2. Haha, you never know where a yeti might turn up!