Stephen Hawking was by all accounts a great man. He was funny, self-deprecating, and, oh yeah… nearly forgot… probably one of the best minds of the last 200 years.
Following his memorial service on Friday, June 15, a “message of peace and hope” will be beamed via satellite into the nearest black hole, named 1A 0620-00, about 3,457 light years away. It’s not just his iconic voice; the words will be set to an original piece by musician Vangelis, who you may remember from the frankly awesome Chariots of Firesong.
The gesture is symbolic, as it’s likely that the black hole will simply “eat” the music. Black holes have such an immense gravitational pull that it’s likely that even the signal itself will be crushed. But Hawking spent much of his incredible life studying these fascinating objects so surely he would’ve enjoyed the gesture.
Another great tidbit: the public had to register to attend the memorial, and there may be time travelers in the audience. From Mashable:
To complete the registration, one must include their birthday, and London travel blogger IanVisits noticed that you can be born over two decades into the future, through December 31, 2038, and still apply.
Stephen Hawking made sure to invite time travelers to a 2009 party and was (sarcasm imminent) sorely disappointed to learn that none showed up, saying, “I gave a party for time-travelers, but I didn’t send out the invitations until after the party. I sat there a long time, but no one came.”
Hawking’s ashes will be placed next to the resting places of Sir Issac Newton and Charles Darwin, two other incredible scientific British minds.
We were lucky enough to interview him a few years ago. Take a look: