Scientists are on high alert as the 40-year wait for a reply from aliens to a message beamed into space ends today.
In 1983, two drunk astronomers used a giant telescope to transmit drawings of humanity to a star 16 light years away.
Now Japanese scientists believe today is the day those star-dwelling aliens could finally respond.
The team has readied a vast radio telescope to pick up a message from any intelligent life around the star Altair.
Project leader Dr Shinya Narusawa said: “Altair may have a planet that can sustain life.”
The original cosmic “email” included drawings of a lizard, ape, humans and the word “toast”.
Dr Narusawa explained: “A large number of exoplanets have now been detected. Alien life is likely out there.”
But other experts warn we may seem too primitive or dangerous to merit a reply.
Biopsychologist Dr Gordon Gallup said ETs could fear “violent” humans and wish to avoid us.
He added: “Maybe this explains the lack of proof of aliens — we pose too great a risk.”
Yet most scientists agree advanced civilizations do exist in our endless universe.
SETI astronomer Dr Frank Drake said: “There are billions of stars in the Milky Way similar to our Sun.”
He estimates there could be 10,000 advanced alien races in our galaxy alone.
Dr Drake said: “If just one percent contacted others, there would be 100 civilizations sending radio waves.”
So could today finally be the historic moment when we detect a signal proving we are not alone?
All eyes are on the Japanese scientists’ radio telescope as the wait for an alien response finally ends.
Dr Narusawa said: “This could fundamentally transform our understanding of the universe.”