February 4th will mark the first time NASA beams a song directly into deep space. Quite appropriately, the song in question is The Beatles' "Across the Universe". The transmission, which will be sent at 7 p.m. EST, is being aimed at the North Star, Polaris, which is located 431 light years away from Earth. The song will travel across the universe at a speed of 186,000 miles per second. The transmission over NASA's Deep Space Network will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the day The Beatles recorded the song, as well as the 50th anniversary of NASA's founding and the group's beginnings. February 4 has been declared "Across The Universe Day" by Beatles fans to commemorate the anniversaries. As part of the celebration, the public around the world has been invited to participate in the event by simultaneously playing the song at the same time it is transmitted by NASA.
Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney expressed excitement that the tune, which was principally written by fellow Beatle John Lennon, was being beamed into the cosmos: "Amazing! Well done, NASA! Send my love to the aliens. All the best, Paul."
Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, characterized the song's transmission as a significant event: "I see that this is the beginning of the new age in which we will communicate with billions of planets across the universe."