Skip to main content

Science Museum

Stellar events announced for The Sun: Living With Our Star at the Science Museum

To celebrate the Science Museum’s blockbuster exhibition The Sun: Living With Our Star, running from 6 October 2018 to 6 May 2019, the museum will be hosting a series of unique events.

From a dance performance inspired by sunlight’s journey to Earth, the world premiere of a specially commissioned audio-visual performance by Mercury Prize-nominated band Portico Quartet, the English premiere of moving documentary Anote’s Ark, and an expert panel discussion on the future of nuclear energy, the events programme will explore humanity’s ever-changing relationship with our nearest star.

Tickets are available from the 7 August, at all Science Museum ticket desks or via the Science Museum website. 

Alexander Whitley Dance Company: 8 Minutes
IMAX Theatre, Science Museum
Friday 5 October, 19.30-21.00
Tickets £15/ All Ages

It takes just eight minutes for sunlight to travel 150 million kilometres to Earth. In a unique collaboration with scientists from STFC RAL Space, choreographer Alexander Whitley takes inspiration from solar scientific research and its stunning imagery for a special dance performance. With an installation of high-definition imagery from visual artist Tal Rosner and a specially created score by electroacoustic music innovator Daniel Wohl, 8 Minutes captures our curiosity and wonder for the burning ball of plasma that illuminates our planet.

This incredible dance performance will be accompanied by a Q&A with Alexander Whitley and solar scientists from RAL Space to discuss 8 Minutes and the science behind it.


The Sun: Living With Our Star Family Festivals
Science Museum
Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 November 2018, 11.00-17.00
Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 March 2019, 11.00-17.00 
Free / Open to all

Join us as the museum delves into the science and history behind our nearest star as we celebrate blockbuster exhibition The Sun: Living With Our Star. There will be pop-up workshops exploring the science behind the Sun and hands-on interactive activities designed to delight and inspire the whole family.


Anote’s Ark + Panel Discussion: Could Geoengineering Solve the Climate Crisis?
IMAX Theatre, Science Museum
Friday 16 November, 19.30-21.45
Tickets £10/ Certificate rating: PG

Following its world premiere earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, the Science Museum and Royal Society present the English premiere of Anote’s Ark, the very first feature film to be shot in the Republic of Kiribati, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean that will gradually disappear as a result of rising sea levels – granting its citizens the unfortunate title of first climate refugees in history. 

Could geoengineering be the answer to the impending climate crisis? To find out we are joined by an expert panel made up of Professor Joanna Haigh, Royal Society Fellow; Dr Jack Stilgoe, senior lecturer in social studies of science at UCL; Dr Naomi Vaughan of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research; and Oliver Morton, science writer, author and briefings editor for The Economist. 


15 Million Degrees: Lucie Green in Conversation with Maggie Aderin-Pocock
IMAX Theatre, Science Museum
Wednesday 28 November, 19.30-20.30
Tickets £5 / Ages 18+

Royal Society Research Fellow, solar physicist and author of the acclaimed '15 Million Degrees: A Journey to the Centre of the Sun', Professor Lucie Green joins us for a fascinating discussion about how the Sun works, the latest research in solar physics, and how a solar storm could threaten our world.

Joining Lucie on stage to talk all things solar is space scientist, author and presenter of 'The Sky at Night', Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE. Maggie’s latest book, 'The Sky at Night: Book of the Moon', will be published in September by BBC Books. 

The event is presented in partnership with the Royal Society, and features live subtitles provided by StageText. The event will be followed by a book signing in the IMAX Theatre featuring both speakers.


Lates: The Sun
Science Museum
Wednesday 28 November, 18.45–22.00 
Free entry / Ages 18+

Bask in an evening filled with illuminating workshops, talks, hands-on activities, curator-led tours and performances exploring the beauty of all things solar. Plus, all the regular Lates highlights are waiting for you to enjoy, including live music and the best silent disco in town.

[Science Museum Lates are adults-only, after-hours themed nights that take place in the museum on the last Wednesday of every month.]


Portico Quartet in Concert + After-Hours Exhibition Viewing
IMAX Theatre, Science Museum 
Friday 1 March 2019, 18.45-20.35 and 21.00- 22.35.
Tickets £21 / All Ages 

Fresh from headlining the Roundhouse in October 2018, Mercury Prize-nominated Portico Quartet will take to the stage in the IMAX Theatre for the world premiere of a brand-new audio-visual concert specially commissioned by the Science Museum to celebrate major exhibition, The Sun: Living with Our Star. 

At the concert Portico Quartet will perform brand-new music set to projected visuals produced by the Science Museum and inspired by The Sun: Living with Our Star. Featuring stunning photography from the NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory, archive and brand-new film footage, photography and animation, this new and moving performance reflects the story of Earth’s nearest star and humankind’s relationship with it. 

This event includes DJ support and complimentary admission to The Sun: Living with Our Star.


Let There Be Light + Panel Discussion: Is Nuclear Fusion the Way Forward?
IMAX Theatre, Science Museum
Friday 26 April 2019, 19.30 - 21.45,
Tickets £10 / Ages 15 + 

A panel of energy experts including Dame Mary Archer join us to discuss the future of nuclear fusion and solar power following a screening of the absorbing documentary 'Let There Be Light'

Clean, safe and unlimited power has been an obsession for scientists and inventors for centuries, and an underlying preoccupation for our society as a whole. Since the 1940s, when we first understood how the Sun creates energy, nuclear fusion has been energy’s Holy Grail. But could we now be on the brink of at last producing an ‘artificial Sun’ here on Earth?

'Let There Be Light' chronicles the work of the passionate scientists who are struggling to make the breakthrough that could alter the course of human history. 


Astronights: The Sun
Science Museum
October 2018 - April 2019
Tickets £60/ Ages 7 – 11

Join us on our journey to the stars at this special season of Astronights. Come on a dazzling expedition to explore the Sun, our closest star.  Immerse yourself in the Solar System with hands-on workshops exploring light, an interactive science show and a digital gallery trail that will put your science skills to the test.  There will also be time to experience museum highlights like Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery after-hours. After an action-packed evening you and your group will spend the night dozing in our iconic galleries amongst much-loved objects.

Astronights are sleepovers for children, this overnight science extravaganza at the Science Museum is packed with workshops, science shows and activities. Rounded off with breakfast and a breath-taking IMAX 3D film, it’s a night they will never forget.


ENDS

For further information please contact Freya Barry on 020 7942 4327 or freya.barry@sciencemuseum.ac.uk.

Notes to editors

Events Programme summary:

  • 5 October: Alexander Whitley Dance Company: 8 Minutes + Q&A
  • 3 and 4 November: Family Festival 
  • 16 November: Anote’s Ark (English Premiere) + Panel Discussion: Could Geoengineering Solve the Climate Crisis? 
  • 28 November: 15 Million Degrees: Lucie Green in Conversation with Maggie Aderin-Pocock
  • 28 November: Lates 
  • 1 and 3 March: Family Festival
  • 1 March: Portico Quartet in Concert + After Hours Exhibition Viewing
  • 26 April: Let There Be Light Film Screening + Panel Discussion: Is Nuclear Fusion the Way Forward?
  • October 18 to April 19: Season of Astronights

About The Sun: Living With Our Star
6 October 2018 - 6 May 2019
Tickets start from £15
Major sponsor: Airbus
With additional support from: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
The awesome power, beauty and dark side of the Sun will be revealed in a major new exhibition opening at the Science Museum on 6 October 2018. Spectacular interactive experiences, unique artefacts and stunning imagery will shed fresh light on our evolving relationship with our closest star. From beautiful early Nordic Bronze Age artefacts that reveal ancient beliefs of how the Sun was transported across the sky, to details of upcoming NASA and ESA solar missions, this exhibition will chart humankind’s dependence upon and everchanging understanding of our star. Animations, archive recordings and film will bring to life a unique collection of scientific instruments, technological innovations and historic artefacts. Highlights from the Science Museum collection will include the original orrery, made for the Earl of Orrery in 1712 to demonstrate the motions of the Earth and Moon around the Sun, and an astronomical spectroscope made for Norman Lockyer, founder of the Science Museum, who used it to identify the element helium in 1868. The exhibition in October will coincide with the 150th anniversary of Lockyer’s discovery, the first of an "extra-terrestrial" element, as helium had not yet been found on Earth.

About the Science Museum
As the home of human ingenuity, the Science Museum’s world-class collection forms an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical achievements from across the globe. Welcoming over 3 million visitors a year, the museum aims to make sense of the science that shapes our lives, inspiring visitors with iconic objects, award-winning exhibitions and incredible stories of scientific achievement. In the late 19th century, the Science Museum was home to the South Kensington Solar Physics Observatory, established under the leadership of Norman Lockyer to unlock the secrets of the Sun. Famous as the co-discoverer of helium in the Sun in 1868 and as the founding editor of the English science journal Nature, Lockyer was also a key player in the establishment of the Science Museum, assembling a wide range of scientific instruments that became a cornerstone of the Science Museum Group’s world-leading collections. For more information about the Science Museum visit  sciencemuseum.org.uk

About Airbus
Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2017 it generated revenues of € 59 billion restated for IFRS 15 and employed a workforce of around 129,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners from 100 to more than 600 seats. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world’s leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide. www.airbus.com

About Discover South Kensington
Discover South Kensington brings together the Science Museum and other leading cultural and educational organisations to promote innovation and learning. South Kensington is the home of science, arts and inspiration. Discovery is at the core of what happens here and there is so much to explore every day. discoversouthken.com