Last March Stephen Hawking died at 76 years of age. His death left a huge void in the world of Science, where the physicist had made important advances related to black holes, describing the existence of the then known as Hawking radiation. His ashes have been buried today in Westminster Abbey, along with great figures such as Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton. But Hawking's voice has not been buried, but has been sent in the direction of the nearest black hole, located 3,500 light years from Earth.
The European Space Agency (ESA, in English) has sent a piece of six and a half minutes, in which fragments of the voice of Stephen Hawking are interspersed with music composed by Vangelis, the well-known creator of soundtracks of Films like Chariots of Fire and Blade Runner. The composition has been launched towards the black hole 1a 0620 – 00, located in a binary system with an orange dwarf star in the constellation of Monozeros.
This is the memorial stone which will be placed on top of #StephenHawking's grave. Incised in the stone is Hawking's most famous equation describing the entropy of a black hole. Pic.twitter.com/ClBhsXucVm
— Westminster Abbey (@wabbey) June 15, 2018
"It is a beautiful and symbolic gesture that creates a link between the presence of our father on this planet, his desire to go into space and his explorations of the universe in his mind," said his daughter, Lucy Hawking, who has described the message as a sign "of peace and expect Za ". The sending of the voice of Stephen Hawking to the black hole was made from the antenna of Cebreros, of 35 meters of diameter, located in the station of deep space that the ESA has to 77 kilometers to the west of Madrid. This node is part of the network of monitoring stations of the European Space Agency, from where communications are maintained with missions like Gaia.
"It is fascinating and, at the same time, moving to imagine that the voice of Stephen Hawking along with the music of Vangelis will reach the black hole in about 3,500 years, where it is frozen in the horizon of events", explained in a statement Professor Günther Hasinger, director of science at the European Space Agency. Meanwhile, here on Earth, his remains will rest in a tomb where it appears engraved "Here lie the mortal remains of Stephen Hawking", along with one of his famous equations and a drawing of a black hole. One similar to that which will arrive in a long time his own voice.