Unconventional astronomer Garki Israelian is known to TEDsters for his talk at TEDGlobal 2009 on studying the spectrum emitted by stars. Now Israelian is inviting anyone with an interest in astronomy and the space sciences to travel to the Canary Islands, in Spain, home of the world’s largest telescope, to participate on June 20-25, 2011 in a five-days festival of science, art and music structured around the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first man in space, legendary cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, who in April 1961 became the first human in outer space and to orbit the Earth.
The event, dubbed StarmusFestival, will take place in Tenerife, with special events at the telescope itself (photo below). Israelian has gathered an incredible cast of world famous scientists and artists – from astronaut Buzz Aldrin to TEDPrize winner Jill Tarter of SETI, to Brian May, guitarist of the legendary rock band Queen, who’s an astrophysicist, and a number of other top scientists. “We want this to be a popular festival of astronomy and discovery, taking place at the Spring equinox”, says Israelian. There will be (see the preliminary program) space-art and photography exhibitions, observatory visits and experiences, documentaries, talks and debates and conferences, concerts (including a special appearance by Tangerine Dream) and “star parties”. Info and registration here.