Stephen Hawking's voice blasted into space toward black hole

The voice of the late scientist was beamed into space on Friday, sending a message of peace and hope, heading toward a black hole approximately 3,500 light-years from Earth.

Hawking's voice was set to a piece of music by Greek electronic composer Vangelis and was broadcast by the European Space Agency, the AP reported.

The broadcast was beamed toward the nearest black hole, 1A 0620-00, which lives in a binary system with a fairly ordinary orange dwarf star, his daughter Lucy Hawking said in a statement.


“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 in comments obtained by the AP.

Hawking, who died in March at the age of 76, was buried on June 15 in Westminster Abbey, the world famous 1,000-year-old location used for generations of royal coronations, weddings and funerals.

Renowned for his works in theoretical physics, Hawking was interred between other prominent British scientists, including Sir Isaac Newton, who formulated the law of universal gravitation and laid the foundations of modern mathematics, and Charles Darwin, whose theory of evolution was one of the most far-reaching scientific breakthroughs of all time.

Recent burials of prominent scientists inside Westminster Abbey include Ernest Rutherford, a pioneer of nuclear physics, in 1937, and Joseph John Thomson, who discovered electrons, in 1940.

Hawking, who dedicated his life to the sciences, was remembered in a star-studded memorial service at the abbey, attended by the likes of Piers Morgan and actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who played Hawking in a 2004 BBC film. The British-born gave a reading at Hawking's service.


Other attendees at Hawking's service included David Walliams, Nile Rodgers and Carol Vorders.

Approximately 25,000 people applied to attend the Service of Thanksgiving, according to the Hawking family, but only 1,000 people from 100 countries were given tickets, the BBC reported.

Also attending the service were students who use electronic communication devices to allow them to speak, similar to Hawking, including 20 year-old Rose Brown, who said that Hawking inspired people, despite his setbacks.

"I'm going to be an actress; everybody who puts their mind to something gets to be it," Brown said according to the BBC. "Stephen Hawking proved that more than anyone."

After graduating from Oxford, Hawking studied at Cambridge, where he was diagnosed with ALS. Also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, ALS is a fatal, motor neuron disease that causes progressive muscle weakness and atrophy.

Although Hawking may have been incapacitated physically, he managed to write a number of books, including the best seller "A Brief History of Time," teach physics and mathematics, deliver speeches and even float in zero gravity, all while working in the fields of cosmology and quantum gravity.

Hawking's passing earlier this year touched nearly the entire world, including executives across Silicon Valley and other scientists, including Neil deGrasse Tyson and British astronomer and broadcaster Professor Brian Cox, who is also attending the service at Westminster Abbey.


My goal is simple," the ever loquacious Hawking once said. "It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all."

Hawking never achieved his goal of a complete understanding of the universe or why it exists, but his voice will now live on throughout space for all time, a memento few, if any, will ever achieve.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia