The Hebridean Dark Skies Festival opens with a hilarious (and educational!) evening of comedy and astronomy with Catherine Heymans, recently appointed Scotland’s new Astronomer Royal, and comedian and astrophysicist Joe Zuntz.
You’re completely insignificant; just one out of seven billion people on planet Earth, orbiting just one star out of 100 billion stars in our Milky Way galaxy, just one galaxy out of 100 billion galaxies in our observable Universe. And our Universe is likely just one Universe in an almost infinite number of Universes where everything can and will happen. No longer should you waste time worrying about life’s indecisions, because in one Universe, somewhere out there, you’ll have made the right choice! Catherine Heymans and Joe Zuntz will be your guides.
Catherine Heymans is a Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Edinburgh, and Director of the German Centre for Cosmological Lensing at the Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany. You can read about her research into the Dark Universe in her free popular science e-book published by the Institute of Physics. In 2021 she was appointed as Astronomer Royal for Scotland (the first woman to hold this position).
Joe Zuntz is a Reader in Astrophysics at the University Of Edinburgh. He studies how we can analyse the structure of the Universe and the nature of gravity using distant galaxies seen with some of the largest sky surveys in the world. He has performed stand-up comedy about cosmology at the Edinburgh Fringe, Bright Club, and beyond.
The Hebridean Dark Skies Festival is supported by Caledonian MacBrayne, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Culture and Business Fund Scotland. We would also like to thank our event partners, Calanais Visitor Centre, Stornoway Astronomical Society, Gallan Head Community Trust, and Lews Castle College UHI , as well as Cala Hotels, Outer Hebrides Tourism, and VisitScotland.