The computer-generated voice of physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking, who died on March 14, was beamed into space as a final tribute on Friday, AFP reported. It was beamed towards the nearest black hole after a memorial service at Westminster Abbey in the United Kingdom. Around 1,000 people attended the service.
The words, set to music by composer Vangelis, was sent into space from the European Space Agency satellite dish in Cebreros municipality in Spain. The agency said the six-minute message, drawn from a speech Hawking gave about preserving the planet, is on its way towards the black hole 1A 0620-00, which was discovered in 1975 and is 3,500 light years away from Earth.
Hawking died in March after a 55-year-long battle with a motor neuron disease. Regarded as one of the most brilliant physicists ever, he had worked on the origin of the universe and black holes. On Friday, his ashes were interred between astronomer Sir Isaac Newton and biologist Charles Darwin.
“The broadcast will be beamed towards the nearest black hole, 1A 0620-00, which lives in a binary system with a fairly ordinary orange dwarf star,” Hawking’s daughter Lucy told BBC on Thursday. “It is a message of peace and hope, about unity and the need for us to live together in harmony on this planet.”
She said the music has been chosen as 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”.