October 15, 2011
The Astronomer’s Ball
Mingle with some of Europe’s top stargazers and find out about astronomy’s past, present and future with a range of talks, planetarium shows, exhibitions and activities around the Royal Observatory’s historic buildings.
We join Secret Productions – the masterminds behind the Secret Garden Party – with our distinctive blend of science and play for a range of interactive events.
Tickets are sold out! If you’re one of the lucky 250 guests, we’ll see you there on Saturday from 6pm. There will be a boat leaving from Greenwich Pier at 23.30 to the Embankment for all ticket holders.
Catch us on the night for our special mix of science with art, music and play… full program below.
Space Tourism Bureau
Where would you like to go? The windswept red plains of Mars, to dig for signs of life? One of Jupiter’s 64 moons, to take Polaroid snaps of the swirling red storms of its atmosphere? Or, for shorter trip on a tight budget, the scorching surface of Venus to sunbathe under acid rain filled skies? Our savvy agents will book you and our expert guides will lead you. Don’t forget to send a postcard home.
It Is Rocket Science!
Acclaimed comedian Helen Keen brings the history of rockets to life with a fusion of stand-up comedy and tinfoil in a critically acclaimed one-woman show – a celebration of stargazing, space-racing, and the boundless possibilities of an infinite Universe. Complete with shadow puppets, werewolves, Nazis, and the great moon hoax of the 1830s.
DIY Alien Contact
With a live link from the Astronomer’s Ball to Cape Canaveral, Florida, you can send 140-character messages direct to a powerful radio transmitter operated by the good folks at the Deep Space Communications Network, who will broadcast your message to the stars, out past our galaxy, and beyond. Who knows who might be listening?
Sounds of the Universe
What does the sky sound like? Cosmologist Andrew Pontzen of Cambridge and solar researcher Lucie Greene of UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory will take us on an audio tour of the universe – space isn’t as silent as you might think. Hear the bassy reverberations of the surface of our Sun, the eerie shrieks of Jupiter, and feverish radio pulses from the cores of dead stars.
Experimental epicures Rachel Edwards-Stuart and Jessica Chambers will take us on a whistlestop tour of the history of intergalactic food – eating in space is even harder than it sounds. Dine on interstellar ice cream, dehydrated steak and zero gravity cake.
With nylon string, LED lights and telescopic catapults, artist Oscar Lhermitte suspends webs of lights to create the constellations that urban pollution obscures. Powered by solar cells, the lights appear when the stars would come out in a clear evening, perfectly superimposed over the patterns we ought to see. Neither smog nor clouds can hide this nightsky.
Astrobiologist Lewis Dartnell looks for life on other planets with powerful telescopes and a healthy sense of optimism. Life can survive – and thrive – in the deepest, darkest, hottest, and coldest recesses of our planet. If bacteria can live off arsenic in this world, what else could the universe hold? Could microbes even travel the galaxies via meteors, seed life throughout the stars, and even have spawned life on Earth as we know it?
For his book Mirage Men, author Mark Pilkington traveled to America in search of the truth behind UFOs. As he spoke to secret agents, disinformation specialists and UFO hunters, he began to suspect that instead of covering-up stories of spacecraft and aliens for the past 60 years, US intelligence agencies had actually been promoting them all along, as part of a Cold War programme of psychological warfare and counter-intelligence.