Voice in Space

The voice of renowned physicist and Leicester honorary graduate Stephen Hawking, who died earlier this year, was beamed into space today, following a memorial service held at Westminster Abbey in London. The European Space Agency (ESA) said the words will be transmitted toward the nearest known black hole to Earth, 1A 0620-00, from an antenna in Spain.

The particular black hole chosen - the nearest and most securely identified - was discovered with University of Leicester involvement  in our Ariel 5 Sky Survey in August 1975, according to Professor Ken Pounds, Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University.

Professor Pounds recounts the search for black holes involving Leicester here. He recalls how A0620-00 was first detected on the 3rd of August 1975 – as astronomers were gathering at Stamford Hall in Oadby for an international conference.

Professor Hawking died in March, aged 76, after a long battle with motor neurone disease. His ashes were buried alongside other great scientists like Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton.