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"I kind of take it for granted that our great-grandchildren will regard us as a sort of precursor species. That they won't think of us as human and if we could see them, we probably wouldn't think of them as human either."
- William Gibson

Artificially Pulsating Star  
  A star that has been modified to pulsate with a message to the entire universe.  

Brains flashed out his lighted message across the moving tape. The electronic genius had done its job, not only cracking the code of the pulsating star, but ferreting out the language behind it, and then translating those words into our language.

Darby's face held pride. And perhaps the hum of the machine, too, was triumphant at its nameless feat.

And at last the answer was there, before their eyes, the message from M-81.

"Warning to all galaxies. Danger awaits to strike you, as it has struck us. But before we were wiped out, we sent this message.

"We caused one star to fluctuate like a variable, by means of subatomic force-fields that serve as curtains around the star. We installed the controlling unit on a planet of that star, set to continue flashing its signals long after we were gone.

"A synchronized tape message automatically controls the unit, making the star flash bright and dim according to a universal code built from pure mathematical fundamentals. Intelligent beings with astronomical science would note the variable star that obeyed no known laws, and soon realize that it conveyed a warning. "

From The Cosmic Blinker, by Eando Binder.
Published by Science Fiction Plus in 1953
Additional resources -

Compare with the slightly earlier hyperspace beacon from The Repairman (1959) by Harry Harrison and the space beacon from Troubled Star (1952) by George O. Smith.

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  More Ideas and Technology from The Cosmic Blinker
  More Ideas and Technology by Eando Binder
  Tech news articles related to The Cosmic Blinker
  Tech news articles related to works by Eando Binder

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