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Here’s the first GIF to go to space

And it's a head-scratcher.


Fernando Alfonso III

Internet Culture

Posted on Jun 17, 2013   Updated on Jun 1, 2021, 1:20 pm CDT

Here at the Daily Dot, we swap GIF images with each other every morning. Now we’re looping you in. In the Morning GIF, we feature a popular—or just plain cool—GIF we found on Reddit, Canvas, or elsewhere on the Internet.

The animated GIF has earned its place among the stars.

On Tuesday, a GIF from conceptual artist Kim Asendorf will be beamed into space as part of the Lone Signal METI (Messaging Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) experiment. The animation will be directed at Gliese 526, a star constellation approximately 17.6 light-years away from Earth. (One light-year is the equivalent of about 6 trillion miles.)

“Gliese 526 is identified as a potentially habitable solar system in The Catalog of Nearby Habitable Systems,” Asendorf wrote on his blog. “This system’s position in the sky, as well as its relatively close proximity to the Earth, makes it an ideal choice as Lone Signal’s first target.”

Asendorf has chosen the following GIF to shoot into space. He calls it “Humans Watching Digital Art.”


Humans have been launching objects and themselves into space since the 1960s. Some of the strangest objects they’ve sent up are a Buzz Lightyear action figure, golf clubs, and Luke Skywalker’s original lightsaber. None of these objects has been interesting enough to capture the attention of extraterrestrial life. And from the look of Asendorf’s GIF, it won’t either.

Photo by sweetie187/Flickr

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*First Published: Jun 17, 2013, 9:37 am CDT