The 2014 Starmus Festival, held in the Canary Islands on September 22–27, was truly a spectacular event. It brought together numerous astronomers, cosmologists, astronaut-explorers, musicians, and artists for a week of talks, music, socializing, a film premiere, and much more. With a theme of “Beginnings: The Making of the Modern Cosmos,” it hosted more than 800 people to hear from a list of world-renowned speakers, including festival founder Garik Isrealian and his good friend and Queen lead guitarist Brian May; celebrated cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, the first human to walk in space; Nobel Prize winners Harry Kroto, John Mather, and Robert Wilson; theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking; and many others. I also had the opportunity to speak, and Astronomy magazine served as Starmus’ exclusive media partner.
I took hundreds of images while at this amazing event, but only a few could fit in my May issue roundup of the festival. So below find some more highlights, and also enjoy a video of Brian May performing Queen’s “39,” which incorporates a story of time dilation from relativity theory, at the Sonic Universe Concert.