An audiobook was transmitted into space for the first time ever in the hope that it might reach aliens living 40 light years away.

Travelling at the speed of light the audio broadcast will one day reach a star known as 55 Cancri in the constellation of Cancer.

However, if intelligent life forms are listening they will not be able to hear the story until 2057, reports Daily Mail.

Hundreds of people witnessed the interstellar broadcast of audio-drama Alien: River of Pain from the Royal Observatory Greenwich which is the first audio broadcast made for both humans and aliens.

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The digital signal beamed the drama into the atmosphere as a radio signal.

As well as reaching 55 Cancri, it will also reach the star's five exoplanets which many hope might support alien life.

If aliens did receive the signal and wanted to send something back we would not receive the message until nearly 2100.

"With a very powerful and highly directed transmission there is a possibility that our signals could one day be intercepted by intelligent alien lifeforms", said Royal Observatory Greenwich Astronomer Tom Kerss.

"These life forms may well be listening out for radio signals from space. Simply put, aliens could tune in to aliens in the future", he said.

Attendees watched the show in the Peter Harrison Planetarium with moons, planets and stars from the constellation Cancer above.

The broadcast went out on 26 April which is Alien Day.

Created by Audible, the new drama is an adaptation of a novel by Christopher Golden.

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The story is about the destruction of Hadley's Hope, a research and mining colony established on LV-426 (now renamed Acheron) in 2157.

The 55 Cancri exoplanet system is about the same distance from our planet as the fictional Acheron in Alien: River of Pain and its parent star Zeta Reticuli.

The exotic exoplanet, 55 Cancri, is over eight times the mass of Earth and has previously been dubbed the 'diamond planet' because models based on its mass and radius have led some astronomers to speculate that its interior is carbon-rich.

It is one of five planets orbiting a sun-like star in the Cancer constellation, and resides so close to its parent star that a year lasts just 18 hours.

They found evidence for hydrogen and helium in its atmosphere, but no water.

Since it is the nearest super Earth whose atmosphere can be studied, 55 Cancri e is among the best candidates for detailed observations of surface and atmospheric conditions on rocky exoplanets.