Bluedot festival to bounce messages off the Moon

Marking the 50th anniversary of the moonlanding, this year's Bluedot festival will see pre-recorded audio messages sent to the Moon and back.

The Bluedot Festival takes place every year at Jodrell Bank in Cheshire. Credit: Anthony Harvey

This year’s Bluedot science and music festival will bounce audio messages recorded by some of the musical acts – and festival goers – off the surface of the Moon and back to Earth.

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The technique – called a ‘moonbounce’, will see the Dwingeloo Telescope in the Netherlands transmit recorded messages into space and rebound them off the surface of the Moon.

Bluedot will then receive the rebounded messages using the Mark II Telescope at Jodrell Bank and play them back to the audience.

Audio messages will be sent by some of the music acts in this year’s festival lineup, including Kraftwerk, New Order and Hot Chip.

The messages will travel nearly half a million miles in just three seconds.

The Mark II telescope at Jodrell Bank. Credit: Mike Peel; Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, University of Manchester.
The Mark II telescope at Jodrell Bank. Credit: Mike Peel; Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, University of Manchester.

If you’re attending this year’s festival, you can hear the artists’ moonbounce messages at the Big Bang stage at 00:30 on Saturday night.

Messages from festival-goers will be played at 02:00 as part of Lunar Loops’ Live Moonbounce with Illuminos.

The messages will interact with and influence visuals being projected onto Jodrell Bank’s Lovell Telescope.

To be in with a chance of having your message sent to the Moon, you can record it by calling free on 03333 449340.

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The Bluedot Festival takes place every summer at the Jodrell Bank University in Cheshire. For more info, visit the website.