A sophisticated space-based antenna developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) is designed to measure gravitational waves, but it could possibly also decipher encrypted messages from an advanced alien civilization, a new paper suggests.

A team of physicists suggested that the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) would be able to detect messages from an advanced alien civilization if it is placed around a black hole where the hypothetical extraterrestrials could look to.

LISA is the next-generation space instrument that is designed by ESA to detect and measure gravitational waves from space. If successfully launched, it will be the first-ever space-based gravitational wave detector. It will consist of space probes arranged in a triangular formation with distance of about 2.5 million kilometers from each other.

Professor Marek Abramowicz, the lead researcher from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, believes that LISA is the answer to uncovering alien life in the Milky Way galaxy.

“Gravitational waves phenomena are omnipresent in the universe and with sufficient technological prowess relatively straightforward to detect,” the researchers said, adding they believe LISA plays a role in detecting extraterrestrial communication.

With the number of habitable planets in our galaxy and the estimation of the existence of advanced alien life using the Drake Equation, Abramowicz said that that there is a chance of finding one if we know where to look. 

Researchers speculated that communicating using gravitational waves is the best way since emitted gravitational waves could travel through space endlessly. Scientists explained that technologically advanced civilizations may use the black hole’s innermost stable orbit to send messages to the rest of the galaxy.

According to Cosmos, Abramowicz and his colleagues suggested that in the Milky Way, the central black hole called Sagittarius A* would be the ideal spot for a technologically advanced alien civilization to broadcast communications for the rest of the galaxy.

Scientists named the hypothetical alien message along gravitational waves as “The Messenger.” “In order to be recognized as such, a gravitational wave Messenger beacon must emit a clearly unnatural signal, such as a persistent emission of gravitational waves at a constant frequency,” Abramowicz added.

The researchers also suggested that communication may not be the primary function of the Messenger.

“We argue that if a sophisticated extraterrestrial civilization would decide to construct a device to study the massive black hole in the galactic center, or to extract energy from it, or even for intentions unfathomable to the human mind, this device can also serve as a Messenger,” the researcher explained.

Since the announcement of the direct observation of gravitation waves three years ago, scientists began to push further the study of these tiny ripples in the fabric of space-time. This gravitational wave was created due to the merging of binary black holes or two neutron stars.

ESA's LISA will set off to space to study gravitational waves by the year 2034. 

Black Hole Supermassive black holes discovered. Pictured: This undated artist's interpretation of the star-sized black hole GRO J1655-40, currently traveling in our solar system at 250,000 miles per hour, was released on November 18, 2002. Photo: FAECIASP/NASA/ Conicet of Argentina/Getty Images