From the March 2015 issue

Web Extra: The sights and sounds of Starmus

This one-of-a-kind festival features a stunning mix of astronomy and music.
By | Published: March 30, 2015 | Last updated on May 18, 2023
Sonic Universe
Rick Wakeman plays with his band at the Sonic Universe Concert.
David J. Eicher
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.