Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

Benedict Cumberbatch leads tributes to Stephen Hawking at Westminster Abbey service

Stephen Hawking's words to be beamed in space today Stephen Hawking's voice to beamed into space at final send-off
Frank Williams | 17 June, 2018, 21:02

The voice of legendary physicist Stephen Hawking will be broadcast into space after his memorial service on Friday, according to British media outlets.

The physicist's voice is set to a piece by Greek electronic music composer Vangelis, who created the soundtrack for the 1981 film Chariots of Fire. It will be broadcast via satellite in the direction of 1A 0620-00, a black hole that is in a binary system with an orange dwarf star.

"Black holes ain't as black as they are painted", Dr. Hawking once said in a lecture, characteristically describing complicated physics in ordinary language.

Guests at the service included 1,000 members of the public selected by ballot.

Readings and prayers read by English actor Benedict Cumberbatch and British Astronaut Major Tim Peake will be included in the service.

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The Address was given by Professor the Lord Rees of Ludlow OM, Astronomer Royal.

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Stephen Hawking's daughter, Lucy Hawking, calls it "a attractive and symbolic gesture that creates a link between our father's presence on this planet, his wish to go into space and his explorations of the universe in his mind". "I sat there a long time, but no one came", Big Thinker wrote of the non-event.

The 900-year-old abbey is the resting place of a pantheon of British historical figures, including kings and queens, political leaders and writers including Geoffrey Chaucer and Charles Dickens.

The ashes of the renowned physicist were interred in Scientists' Corner, the area of the Abbey dedicated to those who have made a significant contribution to the subject.

Lucy Hawking, daughter of the late scientist.

FILE - In this August 29, 2012 file photo, British physicist, Professor Stephen Hawking during the Opening Ceremony for the 2012 Paralympics in London.

While having your voice beamed into the cosmos is a pretty high honor, Stephen Castle at The New York Times reports that being buried in Westminster Abbey is about the highest Earthly honor out there. Eddie Redmayne, who studied at at Trinity and played Hawking in his biopic The Theory of Everything, was also there for a reading.

Lucy Hawking speaks during the memorial service for her father, Professor Stephen Hawking, at Westminster Abbey in London, Friday June 15, 2018.

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