By Phil Han
Aliens could misinterpret earth's classic songs as declarations of war if they are recklessly broadcast into space, some scientists say.
Last week NASA broadcast a Beatles song, Across the Universe, towards the North Star, in the hope it would be noticed by extra-terrestrial beings.
But scientists have urged NASA to be more cautious, saying aliens could misinterpret the song, and even take it as a battle cry.
"Before sending out even symbolic messages, we need an open discussion about the potential risks," New Scientist magazine reported Dr Douglas Vakoch of the SETI Institute as saying.
Professor Barrie Jones of Open University said: "the chances are slight, but the consequences would be huge — the end of life on Earth".
"If they have the technology to cross interstellar space to reach us, they will be so much in advance of us humans that there is nothing we could do to resist them," he said.
The nearest star to Earth, Alpha Proxima, is four light years away.