A social history project, “Gathering the Gathering” has been compiling messages, videos and pictures, uploaded by members of the public around the world, to create a digital time capsule of the Irish from January 1 to December 31 2013. The digital time capsule won’t be opened again until 2023 when all the messages reach their destined extrasolar planet – Epsilon Eridani.

The “Gathering the Gathering” is seeking out those Irish Americans who would like to share their memories of Ireland, whether they experienced them firsthand or through their parents and family. The social history project is asking contributors to upload their memories to their digital time capsule.

One of example of a recent upload was from a Californian woman who uploaded a beautiful photo of her Mom. It was her passport picture from the 1950s which she used to emigrate to Canada from Ireland.
Photos, videos and messages can be uploaded on www.gatheringthegathering.com and they will be sent to space for The Gathering 2013!

But they won’t be just transmitted to anywhere. They will be transmitted by radio waves to Epsilon Eridani, a star with an extrasolar planet (i.e., a planet which is outside our Solar System) by a powerful radio telescope at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory, Cork. It’s far from snail mail but these postcards will take ten years to reach their destination.

All you have to do to be involved is to upload as many items as you like for free on www.gatheringthegathering.com at any time from the first to the last minute of 2013. The website instructs visitors as follows:

“Use your smartphone, PC or tablet to leave a message to your ‘future self’; tell us what you think Ireland will be like in 2023; video your family and friends, show us your favourite place in Ireland. Make an individual message or capture the best moments of your Gathering event.

“Then on the 01.01.14 your message along with thousands of others will begin its 10 journey travelling at the speed of light. As it voyages through the empty depths of space you can track it on its journey by visiting the website at any time until 2023 – when the digital time capsule is opened to reveal its contents to the world and all who participated will get a unique look back into their past and the lives of the people around them in 2013.”

Visit www.gatheringthegathering.com to be part of the largest effort to record the pulse of a nation ever.