Stephen Hawking dedicated the majority of his life to the pursuit of knowledge, focusing on physics and math in a quest to explain how the universe works. Now, the late scientist’s voice will be broadcast into space, and maybe someone (or something) will someday hear it.
Hawking’s own words have been set to music, an “original score” by famed composer Vangelis. The musical tribute will be shot into space towards a nearby black hole, 1A 0620-00, which is incredibly fitting for a man who spent so many years trying to unravel some of the most puzzling aspects of the universe and our reality.
Lucy Hawking, daughter of the famous physicist, released a statement to various media sources. She said she sees the tribute 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,” NPR reports. “It is a message of peace and hope, about unity and the need for us to live together in harmony on this planet.”
The message will be broadcast into the darkness of space following Hawking’s memorial services on Friday. As previously reported, the scientist’s remains are being interred at Westminster Abbey, and will between the final resting places of Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin.
In the final years of his life, Hawking pushed for greater attention to be paid to the plight of planet Earth. He insisted that mankind was headed down a path that would ultimately lead to its downfall, even going so far as to suggest that we have fewer than 100 years to come up with an exit strategy.
We’ve not yet found life outside of Earth, much less a habitable planet that could act as a replacement for our planet on such short notice. For the time being, Earth is all we have, and Hawking did his best to get us all to realize that. Now his words will travel through the depths of space, beaming headlong towards a black hole, and who knows if someone might hear it along the way?