On February 4, NASA did something rather strange. The space agency transmitted a Beatles song to the North Star, Polaris. Why did they feel compelled to do such a thing? Did NASA feel the need to make a statement about its love for the Fab Four? Were the Deep Space Network (DSN) operators such ardent Anglophiles they thought the cosmos needed more of a British twist to go with its microwave background radiation?
Actually, it was none of the above.
It was the 40th anniversary of when John, Paul, Ringo and George recorded "Across The Universe" and it was also NASA's 50th birthday. Obviously NASA had to transmit "Across The Universe" ...across the Universe. It seems only fair.
Space is Pretty Big
This sounds like a perfectly good reason to blast a classic tune across the void, but why am I bringing this up now? Feb. 4 was seven months ago, it's old news. But when you're talking about space, time, interplanetary, interstellar and intergalactic distances, 200 days is no time at all. Even 200 years is a flash of a meteor's ionization trail; 200,000 years is a fleeting moment when we are talking about stellar evolution, universal expansion and ...