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Across the universe

I was driving in my car when I heard "Across the Universe" wafting out of my news station and learned that due to the serendipitous conjunction of a number of anniversaries - the 50th anniversary of the formation of NASA, the launching of the first US satellite, Explorer I, into space, the 50th anniversary of "key events in the formation of the Beatles" (these were unspecified) - NASA would be beaming "Across the Universe" by the Beatles at the North Star on 4 February, the date 40 years ago when the song was released.

"This is the first time that NASA will beam music into deep space. Though it has become commonplace to transmit music to manned spacecraft over the past 40 years as wake-up songs for astronauts - this will be the first time that a pure blast of music has been targeted to go further than an orbiting spacecraft."

The transmission is targeted at Polaris, the North Star, which is 2.5 quadrillion miles away. The song will take 431 years to reach Polaris, arriving in the year AD 2439.

Nice, if a little slow.