Starmus returns to Tenerife in September

Photo: Starmus
Photo: Starmus

The post with reports of the conference as it proceeds is HERE.

Update 12 September: Starmus is running a tagline competition for three lucky entrants to win free tickets to see Rick Wakeman & Brian May in the Sonic Universe Concert  on 26 September at the Magma Centre as part of the Starmus conference. All you have to do is come up with a “tagline” (a memorable phrase or sentence) that will capture people’s imagination, and can be used on the festival’s website to promote the concert. It’s so easy to enter! Just click HERE, write your tagline in the box on the right, and click the Submit Entry button! Good luck! For those who want to be sure of the tickets, they’re on sale from the Magma Centre online HERE.

Update 31 July: Starmus organizers have announced another novelty for the conference – the “Ask Hawking” competition. The public, whether attending or not, will be able to put their questions to Prof. Hawking: those attending will be accredited for the competition by their registration, whereas non-attendees can do so through the conference’s Facebook page HERE. Four questions will be chosen – three from festival attendees and one from the non-attending public. The jury will publish the winners on 1 September, and all will have the opportunity to ask their questions in person, and indeed go on stage to meet the great man. There is more information about the competition on the conference website HERE.

Update 10 July: Starmus has now issued the final programme for what is now clearly going to be an amazing event. Please click HERE to read it on the main website, or HERE to open it in pdf form. Those who would like to register can do so from that link as well – just see the very top of the page. The Cabildo is delighted, too, at the way that the conference fits in so well with its “EU Sky Route” astrotourism project (link). This will be fabulous!

Professor Stephen Hawking. Photo: Starmus.
Professor Stephen Hawking. Photo: Starmus.

Update 27 May: Following yesterday’s announcement by the Tenerife Cabildo that Stephen Hawking will be attending Starmus, organizers have confirmed that Prof. Hawking will be giving the headline speech during the 4-day “Beginnings: The Making of the Modern Cosmos” conference. Stephen Hawking is regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Albert Einstein. His work on the origins and structure of the universe, from the Big Bang to black holes, has revolutionized the field, whilst his best multimillion selling books A Brief History of Time (1988), The Universe in a Nutshell (2001) and The Grand Design (2010), have helped to popularise science and make it accessible to everyone. Project manager Ashley Oulton said that Stephen Hawking is well known for his ability to simplify quite technical subjects and make them interesting and appealing to everyone. Starmus is for everyone, he said, not “lots of stuffy speeches that might go over people’s heads. It will be fun, interactive and affordable. The chance to mingle and chat with astronauts, cosmonauts, scientists and rock stars over a glass of wine or cup of coffee.” Moreover, in addition to the special discounted price of €200 for Canary Islands Residents, there is also a half price offer of €100 for a second delegate if booked and paid for at the same time and by 31st June.


Update 26 May: The Tenerife Cabildo has announced today that Prof. Stephen Hawking will attend Starmus in September. The announcement was made this lunchtime by Tenerife president Carlos Alonso in a press conference at which the Canarian president Paulino Rivero was also present.

Update 2 April: More details are now available about Starmus after a presentation today attended by Tenerife president Carlos Alonso, Canarian president Paulino Rivero, and Starmus organizer Garik Israelian of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC). Attending will be five Russian cosmonauts Alexei Leonov, Vladimir Dzhanibekov, Sergei Krikalev, Viktor Savinykh and Yuri Baturin, and three American moonwalkers Charles Moss Duke, Edgar Dean Mitchell and Harrison Hagan Schmitt.

Other notable attendees will be Harold W. Kroto, Nobel Prize winner for Chemistry in 1996; Robert W. Wilson, Nobel Prize winner for Physics in 1978; ethologist, zoologist and writer Richard Dawkins; astrophysicist of the Space Telescope Science Institute Robert Williams; and director of SETI (Search for extraterrestrial intelligence) Jill Tarter. In addition, Brian May will be giving a lecture requiring 3D glasses, as well, there are hints, as offering a performance of a more musical nature … those who remember him as Queen guitarist will have much to anticipate! And speaking of music, Rick Wakeman will head a concert in the Santa Cruz auditorium in which music and the sounds of heavenly bodies themselves will be mixed.

The main conference will be on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 22-24 September, between 3.30pm and 8pm. There will also be  a live-transmitted roundtable discussion from the GTC Telescope in La Palma from 6pm to 8pm on Thursday 25 September and the Space Legends and Sonic Universe Concert on Friday, 26 September from 6pm till late. There will also be optional tours to the observatories in Tenerife and La Palma on Thursday 25th and Saturday 27th, and on Tuesday 23rd, a Stargazing party in the Teide caldera next to the Parador Hotel from 11pm to 1am! Organizers stress that the Starmus Festival is open to everyone – beginners, amateurs and professionals. The main site for Starmus 2014 is HERE. The registration page is HERE. The delegate fee of €300 (€200 for residents) will cover the whole conference including the following:

  • Welcome Cocktail Reception (19:00 – 21.30, Sunday 21st September)
  • Conference – Discover the Cosmos and Change the World (15.30 to 20.00, 22 to 24th September)
  • Transmission of round table discussion from the GTC Telescope in La Palma (18:00 to 20:00, 25th September)
  • Coffee Breaks
  • Exhibition of Astrophotography and Space Art (22 to 26 September)
  • Space Legends Tribute(18:00 to 20:00, Friday, 26th September)
  • Music Concert – Sonic Universe (21.00 – 23.30, Friday, 26th September)

The video above shows highlights from Starmus 2011. Given the programme described above, this one will be just as inspirational!

Photo courtesy of Turismo de Tenerife
Photo courtesy of Turismo de Tenerife

Original post 30 January: Last time (link), there were legendary astronauts present – the late Neil Armstrong himself attended among many others – and Starmus is back, this time with several Nobel prize winners. This is glitterati and stars in more than one sense! This second Starmus festival, whose theme is the origin of the modern world, is promoted and directed by Garik Israelian, investigative astrophysicist at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), and backed by the Canarian Government and Tenerife Cabildo, and in collaboration with the Abama Hotel. Starmus 2014 will be held between 22 and 26 September, and delegates will enjoy talks, discussions, workshops, and even a night sky visit to Teide. The subjects will range beyond pure astronomy, however, and will cover science generally, and the arts, and all while those taking part enjoy the fabulous surroundings we have to offer here – not least the night sky! Although some foreign attendees stay in luxury hotels, the festival doesn’t need to be expensive: the day attendance price for the whole conference is €300, for example, with a reduction to €200 for residents. The seriously interested may well consider that to be more than affordable, with astronomers saying that Starmus 2011 was the most stunning and inspirational meeting they’d ever been to. The main site for Starmus 2014 is HERE. The registration page is HERE.

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