As Hawking’s ashes are being interred between the graves of Charles Darwin and Sir Isaac Newton at a memorial service Friday at Westminster Abbey, an antenna in Spain will beam his voice out into space, towards a black gap.
Hawking, who spent a lot of his life researching black holes, died in March at age 76 after battling motor neurone illness.
Greek composer Vangelis — sure, the “Chariots of Fire” man — set the physicist’s voice to an authentic piece of music for the event. It’s meant to ship a message of peace and hope, Hawking’s household stated in an announcement.
Mark McCaughrean, senior adviser for science and exploration on the European Space Agency, instructed CNN the musical piece is about six and a half minutes, with a voiceover by Hawking within the center. He stated it is fairly somber and is about contemplating the Earth as a spot individuals come from and have to take care of.
Scientists will use the Cebreros antenna to ship it towards 1A 0620-00, the closest identified black gap — some three,500 light years from Earth. It’s one of the well-known black holes within the universe, McCaughrean stated.
It’ll take about 35 minutes to ship the music into space. After the ceremony, the music will be performed at a reception for individuals in attendance. Every particular person on the ceremony will obtain a CD with the piece of music, and at a later date it’s going to be launched to the general public.
“It’s a nice story overall, and we’re very honored to have been asked to do this,” McCaughrean stated. “Hawking is a highly influential scientist and public figure. This is a lovely, beautiful, symbolic gesture.”
Hawking’s household loves the thought
Hawking’s household is grateful for the memorial service — and that his voice will journey to space.
“We are so grateful to Westminster Abbey for offering us the privilege of a Service of Thanksgiving for the extraordinary life of our father and for giving him such a distinguished final resting place,” Hawking’s kids stated in an announcement.
“This is a beautiful and symbolic gesture that creates a link between our father’s presence on this planet, his wish to go into space and his explorations of the universe in his mind,” Stephen Hawking’s daughter, Lucy Hawking, stated.
A public lottery determined which 1,000 members of the general public will be part of the Hawking household and their visitors — together with actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who performed Hawking in a BBC movie — on the service. Around 25,000 individuals utilized for tickets.
The recording will change into locked simply exterior the black gap — however black holes do not final without end, McCaughrean stated. They evaporate over billions and billions of years by emitting Hawking radiation — named for the late physicist, after all.
“It’s his own radiation, which will actually cause it to disappear in the end,” McCaughrean stated.