Stephen Hawking's words to be beamed in space today


Stephen Hawking's ashes will be interred between major British scientific figures Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin at Westminster Abbey.

Professor Stephen Hawking sits onstage during the "Breakthrough Starshot" announcement at One World Observatory on April 12, 2016 in New York City.

The sound was beamed towards 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 will take about 35 minutes to send the music into space.

Among the guests who attended Friday were volunteers from the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, and a number of disability activists, who paid tribute to Hawking's fortitude, perseverance and unerring dedication to science as the disease slowly claimed all use of his limbs and muscles, eventually leading him to rely on a synthesizer to communicate.

The recording will become locked just outside the black hole - but black holes don't last forever, McCaughrean said.

His voice will be broadcast into space after the service honoring his life.

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About a thousand members of the public, including family and friends, will attend the Friday memorial service.

Readings were given by top figures from the science world, including astronaut Tim Peake, astronomer royal Martin Reece and Hawking's collaborator and Nobel prize victor Kip Thorn.

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who played Hawking's role in 2004 biopic, will give a reading at the event.

Hawking's ashes will be laid to rest at Westminster Abbey. 25,000 had applied for the tickets.

The poetic gesture is fitting when considered in the context of Hawking's work.

He was born in Oxford, England, in 1942 on the 300th anniversary of the death of astronomer and physicist Galileo Galilei. He was also immortalized in pop culture, with appearances in "The Simpsons" and "The Big Bang Theory". Though he was not expected to live past his twenties, he spent the next 50 years studying the mystery of black holes and communicating the ideas emerging in physics and astronomy to the public in his bestselling books A Brief History of Time, The Grand Design, On the Shoulders of Giants, and others. Also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, ALS is a fatal, motor neuron disease that causes progressive muscle weakness and atrophy.