Beamed Into Space: Whale Songs
From the deep ocean into the depths of space, the first live whale songs are to be broadcast into the cosmos on April 22 - Earth Day.
Providing the service is the Deep Space Communications Network, a private organization located near the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Making use of a large dish antenna, the group will blast the whale songs out to some 3.5 light years into deep space covering an estimated distance of 18 trillion miles.
The distance the whale songs signal could go into the universe beyond the 18 trillion miles -- and still be detectable by other non-terrestrial systems -- “is an ongoing matter of speculation,” said Jim Lewis of Deep Space Communications Network.
The Sirius Institute, located in Puna, Hawaii, contracted the Deep Space Communications Network to perform the duty.
Members of the whale chorus whose songs will be sent live into space are from pods of Humpback whales off the coast of Maui. Whalesong.net (http://www.whalesong.net) will provide the live feed of whale music making use of an underwater microphone in the Pacific Ocean near Maui, Hawai'i.
Michael Hyson, research director for the Sirius Institute, said that dolphins and whales are the oldest sentient race on the planet, and it’s about time they shared their songs with the universe.
Humpback whale songs are included in the gold records that are attached to the still-outbound Voyager spacecraft. But this is the first time that live whale songs will be transmitted into space.
-- Leonard David