Sending a Song Across the Universe by xiaopangnv


									  Sending a Song
Across the Universe

    Erica Nelson
    UCGEN 1750
    Final Project
        From Liverpool to Polaris
• On February 4, 1968
  The Beatles recorded
  the song “Across the
  Universe” at Abbey
  Road Studios in London.
  Forty years later, NASA’s
  Deep Space Network,
  an international
  network of antennas,
  beamed the song to
  Polaris, the North Star.
• The song was beamed into
  space in order to celebrate
  the following:
• The 40th anniversary of the
• NASA’s 50th anniversary
• The 50th anniversary of the
  launch of Explorer I, the first
  American satellite
• The 45th anniversary of the
  founding of the Deep Space
                  The Transmittal

• An encrypted file of the
  song was transmitted to
  Polaris at 7:00 PM EST on
  2/4/2008. The transmittal
  site was the Madrid Deep
  Space Communications
  Complex in Spain. People all
  over the world were
  encouraged to play the song
  at the same time as the
• The photograph to the right
  is of the 70 meter DSS-63
  radio antenna that was used
  to transmit the song.
                    The Journey
• Traveling at a rate of
  186,000 miles per
  second, it will take the
  song 431 light years to
  make the 2.5 quadrillion
  mile trip to Polaris. The
  song will reach the
  North Star in the year
  2439. (I’ll spare you the
  “long and winding road”
  and “ticket to ride” puns
  I was originally going to
                 The Problem
• The Beatles are my favorite band, so I was thrilled
  when I first heard about them being the first band
  to be beamed directly into space. The song’s lyrics
  contain a lot of astronomical concepts. John Lennon
  sings about “broken light,” “restless wind,” things
  that “tumble blindly,” and are “limitless” and
  “undying.” I feel like I’m drifting through the Crab
  Nebula whenever I listen to the song. But as much
  as I like it and support NASA’s missions and
  research, it’s hard for me to see this as anything
  other than an original way to celebrate various
There’s no life on Polaris. But even if there was,
the conditions would have to be just right for
the song to be heard. (This, of course, is
assuming the inhabitants can hear the same way
humans do.) The inhabitants would also have to
have the right equipment (an antenna and some
kind of receiver and a device to play the song) in
order to hear the song.
Even though I don’t think this transmission was
anything other than entertaining, I like the idea of
this song traveling “on and on across the universe”
to the star and beyond it. Even though the chances
are slim now, I like the possibility of something with
the right antenna and receiver coming into contact
with the transmission and hearing the song, even if
just for a moment. Maybe something like that will
be possible 400 years from now.
     Photographs on slides 2 and 4 are from


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