Whale song sent out into deep space
As part of the celebrations for Earth Day on April 22, live whale song from the oceans around Hawaii is being beame...
As part of the celebrations for Earth Day on April 22, live whale song from the oceans around Hawaii is being beamed trillions of miles into deep space. This is the first time live whale song has been broadcast into space, although discs with whale song were sent on board the Voyager Spacecraft..
The Sirius Institute in Hawaii arranged for the live transmission by contracting the Deep Space Communications Network in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Dr. Michael Hyson, research director for the Sirius Institute, said “We feel it is important to invite the Cetacea (dolphins and whales), the oldest sentient race on the planet, to our Earth Day celebration and share their songs with the universe.”
The whale song is recorded by a volunteer group, “The Whalesong Project, (www.whalesong.net), which has placed an underwater microphone (hydrophone) on a floating platform near an area of active marine life. From there, using a 250mW experimental VHF transmitter, the sounds are beamed to a receiver onshore on the Island of Maui and then fed to an internet audio connection.
To blast the songs into space, Deep Space Communications Network is using a 5-metre parabolic dish antenna. It estimates the sound will reverberate 3.5 light years into deep space, covering a distance of 18 trillion miles.
Whales and dolphins use sound to navigate and communicate across vast oceans. The Whalesong Project’s web site notes that their sonic world is now being threatened by human activities such as military technologies, scientific research that uses high intensity sound, and undersea explosions related to the search for oil and minerals. Ocean life is also under siege from global warming, carbon dioxide dumping, and chemical and radioactive pollution.