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A fingertip painting to be sent to space to guide aliens to human civilisation


Scientists have decided to include a one-of-a-kind fingerprint painting in the Euclid spacecraft, which is scheduled to launch in 2023. The painting will serve as a representation of human civilisation in the mission, which aims to explore the evolution of the universe using 3D mapping.

The Milky Way Galaxy will be depicted in the painting, which was created by visual artist Lisa Pettibone, 250 scientists, and Euclid instrument scientist Tom Kitching. When asked about the painting’s inspiration, Kitching replied, “After Euclid’s lifetime, it will just be floating in space.” What if future beings came across Euclid? “How would they know anything about people’s humanity?”

Lisa Pettibone, the artist, stated that the painting will add a “bit of humanity” to the Euclid project and that the entire picture was created by the scientists by dipping their fingers in paint.

“Although Euclid has always been beautiful in concept and materials, it didn’t really say anything about the people involved and humanity as a whole. We asked ourselves whether we could do something artistic that would speak to people,” Lisa said on the European Space Agency website.

“We wanted something authentic, not perfect, and not shaped too much. The result is a piece of art with a wonderful energy to it that captures all the energy of the people involved,” Lisa added.

The image will be attached to Euclid after being laser-engraved onto a plaque. According to ESA, it will also include a short poem in typewriter font by poet Simon Barraclough.

“It adds a human element to a dark, vast space where, as far as we can tell, there is no other intelligent life,” Lisa explained.

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