MOUNTAIN VIEW (CBS SF) — When the Beatles first appeared on American television, February 9, 1964, images of the Fab 4 traveled at the speed of light into the hearts and minds of some 73 million viewers.
As fans mark the 50th anniversary of Paul, George, Ringo and John’s stellar debut, that first performance on the Ed Sullivan Show is still soaring in outer space.
According to researchers for Inside Science, ‘All My Lovin’ is nearly 300 trillion miles from Earth, and still traveling.
Contributor Amanda Page worked with scientists from the SETI Institute in Mountain View, and the American Astronomical Society. They charted the British Invasion Into Space and found that right now, the show is more than 50 light-years away on a star in the Pegasus constellation.
Inside Science’s infographic follows the trajectory of that fateful broadcast over the last 50 years in space, and aligns its path through the stars, with events in the lives of the rock stars on Earth.
For instance, when Abbey Road was released in 1968, the broadcast was 4.4 light-years away at Alpha Centauri.
The group broke up in 1970. By 1973, the show had reached the brightest star in the night sky, Sirius, some 8.5 light-years away.
The show alighted upon a red dwarf star in the constellation of Aquarius 15.3 light-years away in 1979. A year later, fans mourned the assassination of John Lennon.
The 80’s saw the Beatle’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, just as the broadcast was shooting past Xi Bootis and 107 Piscium, almost 25 light-years away.
George died from cancer in 2001 but his American debut continued to soar at light-speed, landing on stars with names like Zeta Herculis, Alpha Fornacis and Alderamin.
Ringo Starr told Rolling Stone Magazine the band had no idea 70 million people were watching that first show. “It was being in America that was so exciting,” he said.
Perhaps on some distant star, light-years away, millions more are discovering Starr, and all the other Beatles for the very first time, as Earth celebrates the 50th anniversary of their stellar performance on the Ed Sullivan Show.
Now that is exciting.
Jan Mabry, CBS SF