NAM challenge winner announcement!!!

Nov 16, 2020: On the 46th anniversary of the Arecibo message, we are happy to finally announce the winner of the New Arecibo Message Global Challenge. Through all the hardships that 2020 has brought, its also helped us at Arecibo see how much you care. So before this important announcement, we wanted to take a moment to say: thank you very much. The final tally was incredibly close. Much so that we had to contact some judges again for the tie breaker! Ultimately, in the race for first place: the Boriken Voyagers came out on top for their incredible work detailing every aspect of the proposal. Team DEϕANT came in second with Beacon taking the third place. We want to congratulate the runner ups on a few points:

  • * Team DEϕANT was a strong contender from the start. The australian team wrote a beautiful proposal. The format and structure was that of a profesional scientific paper. There is no doubt the amount of care that went into this project was superb.

  • * Team Beacon shined in a light of their own, as their crew was composed of students from all kinds of cultural backgrounds. Thank you team Beacon for providing us with such a varied line up, demonstrating how all people can come together for science.

Remember to stay safe, follow protocol and always trust science.
Teams will be contacted for more information.

- NAM Team

The Challenge is Back On!!!

Many teams of students are are asking about the status of the "New Arecibo Message - global challenge". We are back and ready to continue with the "New Arecibo Message -global challenge". Here is an updated list of important dates:
  • March 10, 2020: Part#2 of the challenge deadline
  • March 14, 2020: Announcement of the last challenge (New Arecibo Message Proposals)
  • May the 4th, 2020: Deadline for part#3 - submitting the proposals for the New Arecibo Message.
  • Nov 16,2020: Celebration of the 46th anniversary of the Arecibo Message. The official announcement of the winning team!

Part #2

New Arecibo Message - Part II Clue: Mystery in the Control Room

April 22, 2019: The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico marked Earth Day by releasing its second puzzle challenge as part of the New Arecibo Message – Global Challenge. Dozens of teams from around the world have already qualified to move onto the next phase of the challenge.

New Arecibo Message - Global Challenge :: Cities
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In order to solve the part#2 of the NAM challenge, you have to read the “Mystery in the control room” story very carefully, making use of the supporting material referenced there and keeping in mind. Watch video for more information.

Part #1

Break the 377-bits binary message and discover the 18-characters password
000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000010 101000111001010100011100101010001110010101000010001010 100111110101010101110110101010111011010101010101101000 101110110100010111011010001011101101000101010110100010 101011000000010100100000001010010000000101001000000010 100100000001010010000000101001000000010100100000011011 00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000


"The part #1 of the #NewAreciboMessage is a binary coded message that was designed following the original Arecibo Message idea. To crack it, you have to find the ideal number of columns x rows to see the correct image. To find the 18 digits password, think of special kind of numbers... Numbers that represents beautiful patterns found in terrestrial life. Remember: Math is the language of Nature!”

Load Password Form


The main goal of this activity is to educate the youth on Radio Astronomy techniques and Exoplanetary cutting-edge science, presenting the uniqueness of the Arecibo Observatory capability and raising the awareness of the possible risks involved on messaging unknown earthlings (through social media) or extraterrestrial civilizations (through radio waves).


Diverse, inter-generation, multi-disciplinary and international teams of 10 students + 1 mentor (professor/scientist/teacher/grad student) will have to design the NEW Arecibo message. To unlock the call, register the teams and access the references and specifications for the project, the students will have first to learn about scientific method, AO activities, space sciences and peaceful uses of space issues for, then, be able to break coded messages, solve brain-puzzles and design their new Arecibo Message version.

PART #1 => Break the coded message and find the 18-character password that will unlock the registration form (to make official the group’s participation) and give access to reference material (about Arecibo Observatory, Radio Astronomy, Exoplanetary sciences and Peaceful Uses of Space) necessary to find the passwords hidden in the part#2 of the challenge.

PART #2 => The registered teams will have to unravel the sci-fi puzzle: Mystery in the Arecibo control room.

PART #3 => The first 45 teams that complete the PART#2, will design the NEW Arecibo Message. In a single pdf file (max 20 pages) the team should present their message, addressing the peaceful uses of space concerns and also the risks of exposure. Must consider: where to point (suitable targets and the Arecibo declination range), power to use in the transmission (energy efficiency and mitigating the environmental impact), frequency, coding, etc. Criteria: The new message should address the peaceful uses of space concerns and the risks of exposure. As more diverse and inclusive the group is, more points it gets (0-10). Completion without clues: part#1 (+50 points); part#2 (+100 points).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Students, from kindergarten to undergraduate courses, are welcome to join the New Arecibo Message (NAM) global challenge! From elementary-, middle-, high-schools, universities and similar Education organizations.

Each group should get the support of 1 mentor. The mentor must be a teacher, a professor, a graduate student (master/PhD candidate) or a scientist.

The teams must have 10 students, maximum. The team diversity will be one of the selection criteria to choose the winning NAM. So, we strongly suggest you to be part of an inter-generation, multi- disciplinary and international team, as diverse as possible. (tip: use the power of social medias to find possible team-mates and the modern tools to collaborate with them.

On Dec 16th, the part#1 of the NAM will be released: a coded message. Only after breaking the coded message and finding the secret password, the registration form will be unlocked for your team and you’ll be able to make your registration officially.  The teams will have until the 2019 March Equinox to make their registration. We will release a clue on Jan 16th, 2019 to help you out (the teams that break the message before this date will get extra points).

Your team will access the part#2 of the NAM challenge and some convenient references to help you. In this part, your team must solve the “Mystery in the Arecibo control-room” (by finding 3 hidden information in this sci-fi short story) until May 16th, 2019. Again, a clue will be released after some time (at the 2019 Earth Day) and extra points will be given to teams that find the answers before it.

Every team should have a mentor. After first registration, you can keep adding members (10 Maximum) to your team until the registration period is closed (March Equinox 2019). Please note that you cannot remove members that were already registered. One of the goals of this challenge is promoting teamwork and help developing collaborative skills. Thus, we will not accept single person final registrations. For more information regarding dates please review the schedule section at the right.

As soon as your team solves the part#2 of the challenge, you will be finally ready to submit your NAM proposal! The deadline for the submission is the 2019 June Solstice OR when the 45 th submitted proposal is received!

The proposals should be submitted as a single PDF file and describe the content of your NAM, addressing the peaceful uses of space concerns and also the risks of exposure. The proposals must consider: target of the NAM, power to use in the transmission, frequency, coding, etc. The full specification for the NAM proposals will be available for the teams after solving part#2 of the challenge.

A committee formed by space scientists (from the AO and other institutes), science communicators and educators will analyze the 45 final proposals to find the most smart and innovative ideas for an updated Arecibo Message, 45 years after the original one was sent out to space. The names of the selection committee will be announced will be announced soon.

We will announce the winning team on the 2019 September Equinox. during the #AOWeek19 event (the).  The members of the selected team (10 students + 1 mentor), along with 1 responsible adult per each minor student, will win a weekend trip to Puerto Rico: 16-17 Nov, 2019! They will be part of the special celebration of the 45 th anniversary of the original Arecibo Message planned as the closing ceremony of the #AOWeek19 event (Nov 11th – Nov 16th, 2019. The trip includes flight tickets, housing, meals, a VIP backstage visit to the iconic Arecibo Observatory and many special surprises...


  • Feb 28, 2020: Teaser Announcement: New Arecibo Message (NAM) Challenge continues

  • Mar 14, 2020: The winners of the 2nd part will be announced. The 3rd part will be released as well.

  • Mar 22, 2020: The panel of judges will be revealed.

  • May 4, 2020: Deadline for 3rd Part - Submitting the proposals for the New Arecibo Message