The Starmus VI Festival — which is set to bring together scientists, artists, astronauts, musicians, and the public from Sept. 5 through Sept. 10, 2022, in Yerevan, Armenia — today released the complete Starmus VI Festival program.
A multi-day mash-up of science, art, and music, Starmus includes talks given by experts spanning many scientific disciplines, as well as numerous musical performances. This year, festival goers also will be able to explore the Starmus Science Camp, as well as participate in a large public star party hosted by Explore Scientific.
Though talks will cover a broad range of topics, such as astronomy, chemistry, biology, neuroscience, and more, Starmus VI is specifically dedicated to the past 50 years of exploration of the Red Planet, from Mars 3 and Mariner 9 to Starship.
Starmus VI speakers and performers
During the event, world-class speakers will discuss myriad breakthrough discoveries and cutting-edge research related to their areas of expertise. Additionally, some presentations will more broadly explore the pressing questions and challenges facing humanity today — of which, many will require interdisciplinary solutions.
Attendees can expect talks by more than a half-dozen Nobel laureates, such as astrophysicists George Smoot, Kip Thorne, and Michel Mayor, physicist Donna Strickland, biochemists Emmanuelle Charpentier and Tim Hunt, chemist and biophysicist Kurt Wüthrich, and neuroscientist Edvard Moser.
“We’re really in a tremendous era of discovery here,” said David J. Eicher, Editor of Astronomy magazine, during a Starmus VI press conference today (June 16). “And all across the sciences, there are speakers who we can interact with at Starmus in a very unique way, who are elite and really leaders in their different fields. So, there’s really no other conference like Starmus that allows the participants to see and experience these amazing, cutting-edge things and get to interact with the scientists who are doing this.”
Starmus is not only a massive multidisciplinary scientific conference, it’s also a music festival. previous festivals saw performances by the likes of legendary Queen guitarist Brian May, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Grace Potter, and Hans Zimmer — just to name a few. And this year, attendees can expect encounters with artists such as progressive rock supergroup Sons of Apollo, keyboardist and composer Rick Wakeman, singer and composer Andrey Makarevich, pianist Tigran Hamasyan, the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra, and more.
“The brain is not the main topic of the festival but it does have a strong emphasis on music — as it’s always had — giving it a special flavor that is unique to Starmus,” said Moser, Director of the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience in Trondheim, during the press conference. “And I may perhaps say a few words about how music is enabled by the brain.”
Starmus VI public star party
On the night of Thursday, Sept. 8, Starmus will host a large public stargazing party, where festival goers will be treated to views of the cosmos through several quality telescopes. The telescopes, courtesy of Explore Scientific, span a range in both size and design, but the largest will be at least 16 inches in aperture.
With these telescopes, Eicher says, observers will be able to take in a variety of cosmic sights that range in distance from the Moon all the way out to distant galaxies.
Starmus Science Camp
The Starmus Science Camp, which will open at Opera Freedom Square on Sept. 4 and remain open throughout the festival, will explore topics ranging from astrophysics to zoology to artificial intelligence to biology to robotics to botanics.
According to the festival’s website: “The concept behind Starmus Science Camp is to inspire the general public to get into science, to feel the beauty and the energy of it and eventually to encourage and to educate a generation of young scientists.”
Starmus VI astrophotography school
Before the main event, from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2, Astronomy magazine will co-host an astrophotography school. Participants of this unique experience will stay at the Apricot Aghveran Resort and use their own equipment (basic or advanced) to unlock the cosmic sights offered by one of the darkest skies on Earth.
According to Eicher, “[with] very simple cameras, even down to the chips that are in phone cameras now, it’s easier than ever to capture your own images of the sky. So, we’ll be talking about how to do that, and the various types of sky phenomena that you can record, at an astroimaging school at Starmus.”
Topics to be covered during the Starmus VI astrophotography school include imaging planets, scouting locations to frame astroimages, using star trackers, basic and advanced image processing techniques, and more. Speakers include Eicher, Astronomy Contributing Editor Michael E. Bakich, astroimagers Oshin Zakarian and Christopher Go, and President of Explore Scientific, Scott Roberts.
“It’s really exciting,” Eicher said, “because when you collect your own images of something, you get a very personal, very special feeling of where you are in the universe and what it all means.”
Stay tuned for more on Starmus VI
Although the program released today includes the majority of events, guest speakers, and musical performers that visitors of the Starmus VI Festival can start looking forward to, there might be one or two more surprises yet to come.
During the press conference, while speaking of the recently released Starmus VI program, Eicher teased that a few more items might soon be added to the agenda, dropping a hint that they could be related to the musical lineup. So stayed tuned for more!
You can purchase tickets for Starmus VI at https://www.starmus.com/tickets. For more information on the Starmus Festival, Armenia, or travel/hotel accommodations for Starmus VI, visit https://www.starmus.com