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Starmus Festival headed for Canary Islands

Starmus Festival headed for Canary Islands

The second edition of the Starmus Festival is set to be one of the most significant scientific events of 2014.

After revealing its final programme, both the event and the Canary Islands are confirmed as the location for one of the world’s largest and most important gatherings of astrophysicists.

With the initiative started by Garik Israelian, an astrophysicist from the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands, and in collaboration with the Canary Islands government and Tenerife’s local government, the first festival edition featured Neil Armstrong, who participated in a highly acclaimed round-table discussion.

Today, the final programme for the event confirms that for five days in September, the Canary Islands will be the focus of the international scientific community’s attention.

Scientists of the highest international prestige, specialising in physics, anthropology, biology and astrophysics will be in attendance.

While a stellar line-up featuring theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, astronauts Walt Cunningham and Charlie Duke, from the Apollo 7 and Apollo 16 missions respectively, and the famous musician and astrophysicist Brian May, ensures that this edition’s cast is peerless.

Under the heading ‘Beginnings. The Making of a Modern Cosmos’, a series of scientific presentations will be supported by music from stars including Brian May and Rick Wakeman.

Musician Brian May will perform at the event

As a result, the combination of science, art and music makes this a one-of-a-kind event in which amateur astronomists, music fans and science buffs, can connect with each other and the stars.

Director of Starmus, Garik Israelian, commented: “This second edition surpasses all of the original ambitions of the first.

“Science and music fans will find this edition incredibly engaging as we tackle the big astrophysical topics of the moment, in a way which is accessible to the public.

“This has been one of the most important goals for The Starmus Festival 2014; to encourage astronomy fans to join us and make the most of a unique opportunity to meet world-renowned experts.

“Bringing these names together in the Canary Islands, one of the world’s best settings for astronomy, makes this festival even more special.”

Among the activities prepared for speakers and attendees include the Star Party on September 24th, a unique night focused on viewing the Canary Islands’ extraordinary skies from the Tenerife Observatory.

Music will take centre stage on the evening of September 26th with a Sonic Universe concert by Rick Wakeman, featuring special guest Brian May, who as well as being an astrophysicist is also one of the most influential guitarists in the history of music.

Another of the most exciting activities will be a round-table discussion to take place inside the GTC Roque de los Muchachos Observatory Dome, featuring the largest telescope in the world on the island of La Palma.