EVE Online Players Honour Stephen Hawking With Interstellar Light Show

Stephen Hawking speaks at the One World Observatory in New York City to announce Breakthrough Starshot, a new space exploration initiative on 12 April 2016. Photo: Bryan Bedder (Getty Images)

Physicist Stephen Hawking passed away on Wednesday at the age of 76, leaving behind a legacy of illuminating observations about the cosmos. Well-wishers in EVE Online are honouring his life by dropping dozens of interstellar beacons to commemorate one of history's greatest minds.

Following Hawking's death, players in the MMO EVE Online are flying into deep space to drop light-emitting cynosural beacons to create a massive spacelight vigil.

Cynosural beacons are normally used to set warp points in space to which players and their giant fleets can jump. They create massive bursts of light from great distances and can only be dropped in the game's lawless null sectors.

A user on Reddit suggested the gesture and plenty of players were glad to oblige.

"Since this is a SciFi space game and most of us are probably at least a little nerdy and understand the value of his contributions to humanity, I suggest we do some kind of tribute in EVE," Reddit poster kairiola wrote. "Take out a noob frigate on an alt... and spend a little ozone for one of the brightest minds humanity has ever had."

Numerous hubs throughout EVE Online are now bursting with bright energy clouds, even in areas where players are at war. The pictures above show a dazzling display worth more than any million-dollar battle.


    On Wednesday night, a group of Australian Elite: Dangerous players met at the Australian in-game factions home system of Kunti, and then flew in convoy to the closest black hole to Sol (HIP 65835 in the game) to do a tribute flight in missing man formation.

    A couple of commanders dropped wine into black holes in the game in memoriam too.

    Other groups of ED players around the world have held tributes too.

    There have been calls to create a "Hawking Memorial" station, but as there are already 20 stations in the game called "Hawking Station", "Hawking Orbital" and similar, if Frontier do choose to memorialise the prof, it may not be with another station...

      I think it would be pretty fitting if Frontier named a black hole after him at the least. HIP 65835 wouldn't be a bad choice for renaming, either.

        Yep. The other suggestion has been a research Megaship orbiting Sag A* or something. :)

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