Messages from people from around the world are to be beamed into space at the speed of light.

The interstellar message in a bottle is part of a project by scientists hoping to create a celestial time capsule.

Dispatches from the public will be converted into radio waves and broadcast towards the North Star – Polaris – this autumn, reaching their destination in 434 years.

Stars in the sky
Starry, starry night (Ben Birchall/PA)

The messages will be comprised of responses to a single question asking how present environmental interactions will shape the future.

The work is a collaboration between the University of Edinburgh, the Royal Observatory of Edinburgh, and the UK Astronomical Technology Centre (UKATC) along with other partners.

Project co-ordinator Paul Quast said Polaris was chosen as the destination because of its cultural significance as a reference point for navigators and star gazers.

Researchers said they will be able to use the responses to gauge if there are significant geographical differences in how people think about the environment and the future of the planet.

Message in a bottle
Not the actual bottle, obviously (Frank Franklin II/AP)

Edinburgh College of Art postgraduate student Paul said: “We are at a pivotal point in this planet’s history.

“Our present ecological decisions will have a massive impact on the future for all Earth’s inhabitants.

“This project will create a culturally-inspired message in a bottle capturing global perspectives that will travel into space for eons.”

The public are invited to visit the official website, www.asimpleresponse.org, and leave their contributions to be broadcast into the cosmos.