December 11, 2008 Any aliens bored with anal probing and cattle mutilation will be able to kick back and enjoy The Day The Earth Stood Still tomorrow when 20th Century Fox makes history by beaming the first motion picture into space. The company is touting the transmission of the remake of the 1951 classic movie as the first ‘galactic release’ of a movie and hopes to get some favorable reviews from Alpha Centauri in eight years – accounting for the round trip communication.

20th Century Fox has teamed with the Deep Space Communications Network, a private organization located east of Orlando that was formed specifically to communicate with outer space by a group of broadcast engineers and communications experts who regularly transmit from the space center. The beam transmitting The Day The Earth Stood Still is by redundant high-powered klystron amplifiers connected by a traveling waveguide to a five meter parabolic dish antenna.

A publicity stunt it may be, but 20th Century Fox might just be the first company to break into the untapped Alpha Centauri market – provided they have the proper codecs.

The Day The Earth Stood Still opens in Terran cinemas tomorrow, but for those who are planning to be off world tomorrow the transmission can also be intercepted and viewed at various points in our own solar system (Distance from Earth – at the speed of light – and transmission time, as follows):

  • Moon: 0.000000038, 1.1991888 seconds
  • Sun: 0.000016, 8.41536 minutes
  • Mercury: 0.0000095, 4.99662 minutes
  • Venus: 0.00000476, 2.5035696 minutes
  • Mars: 0.0000076, 3.997296 minutes
  • Jupiter: 0.0000666, 35.028936 minutes
  • Saturn: 0.000135, 1.18341 hours
  • Uranus: 0.000285, 2.49831 hours
  • Neptune: 0.00046, 4.03236 hours
  • Pluto: 0.0006183, 5.4200178 hours
  • Plan your day accordingly.

    Darren Quick