Across the Universe (message)

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Across the Universe is an interstellar radio message (IRM) consisting of the song "Across the Universe" by The Beatles that was transmitted on 4 February 2008, at 00:00 UTC by NASA in the direction of the star Polaris.[1] This transmission was made using a 70-meter dish in the Deep Space Network's (DSN) Madrid Deep Space Communication Complex, located in Robledo, near Madrid, Spain.

This action was done in order to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the song's recording, the 45th anniversary of the DSN, and the 50th anniversary of NASA. The idea was hatched by Beatles historian Martin Lewis, who encouraged all Beatles fans to play the track as it was beamed to the distant star. The event marked the second time a song had ever been intentionally transmitted into deep space (the first being Russia's Teen Age Message in 2001[2]), and was approved by Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, and Apple Records.[3]

This IRM project has some significant defects in that the message was aimed at Polaris, which is 431 light years distant from us and whose planetary system, even if it exists, may not be suited for life, because it is a supergiant star, spectral type F7Ib. In addition, the transmission rate was very high, about 128 kbit/s, for such moderate transmitter power (about 18 kW).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ NASA Beams Beatles' 'Across the Universe' into Space
  2. ^ Zaitsev, A. L. (3 April 2008). "The first musical interstellar radio message". Journal of Communications Technology and Electronics. 53 (9): 1107–1113. doi:10.1134/S106422690809012X.
  3. ^ "NASA beaming Beatles tune to the stars"