bluedothas revealed its first wave of science for this year’s festival, joining a weekend of music and cosmic culture at Cheshire’s Jodrell Bank Observatory that includes already-announced headline appearances from Grace Jones, Roisin Murphy, Pavement, Leftfield and Max Richter.

Unveiling its space programme, bluedot 2023 will feature headline talks from BBC Sky At Night’s Chris Lintott and Maggie Aderin-Pocock; representatives from the UK Space Agency, NASA collaborators Hassell Studio, the Square Kilometre Array Observatory, and Jodrell Bank; the Open University’s Monica Grady, and many more.

Specialist talk topics will include deep dives into the Northern Lights, solar flares, pulsars and the Big Bang.

For over 75 years, Jodrell Bank has been at the heart of ground-breaking discoveries and world-leading research. Professor of Astrophysics and Associate Director of Jodrell Bank, Tim O’Brienwill present the latest discoveries from the team’s ground-breaking work at this year’s festival, accompanied by Jodrell Bank’s team of researchers and students.

Alongside Tim, bluedot favourites Maggie Aderin-Pocock and Chris Lintott of BBC’s The Sky At Night will return to the festival, with Lintott performing alongside Hackney Colliery Band’s Steve Pretty as part of Lintott and Pretty’s Universe (Of Music), a special audio-visual evening show exploring the intersections between space and music.

Professor of Planetary and Space Sciences and space expert at the Open University, Monica Gradywill present her Faraday Prize winning lecture Astronomy By Microscope, explaining to audiences how the microscope is an ideal tool to trace stellar and planetary processes.

Jodrell Bank also welcomes Our Fragile Space to bluedot, a photography exhibition and accompanying panel discussion about the reality of space debris, led by renowned science communicator and space photographer Max Alexander.

Jim Wild, Professor of Space Physics at Lancaster University, will explore our planet’s intimate relationship with the Sun and reveal the science behind the wonder in a captivating discussion titled The Northern Lights: A Rough Guide.

Other speakers announced today include solar physics expert Philippa Browning, Federico Di Vruno and Aris Karastergiou from the Square Kilometre Array Observatory, and international architectural studio Hassell Studio — who have worked with NASA on designing human habitation on Mars and in 2021 received funding from the European Space Agency to develop similar concepts for lunar habitation.

Teresa Anderson, Director at Jodrell Bank Centre for Engagement and science curator for bluedot has said: “We’re thrilled to announce such a wide ranging bill of space speakers for this first wave of science at bluedot 2023, curated by the team here at Jodrell Bank. We’re really looking forward to welcoming so many ground-breaking speakers, scientists, research teams, exhibitors and science communicators to bluedot.”

bluedot’s space line-up complements an already announced eclectic music offering for 2023. Following a Thursday night Opening Concert from Max Richter with the BBC Concert Orchestra performing VOICES and Recomposed, the defacto queen of discopop Róisín Murphy takes top spot on Friday evening’s Lovell Stage after Django Django and Black Country, New Road, whilelo-fi pioneers Pavement headline Saturday at bluedot with an exclusive only UK performance of 2023 alongside Dry Cleaning, Malian desert blues pioneers Tinariwen and culture from Moonage Daydream creator Brett Morgen and Nish Kumar.

The iconic Grace Jones will close the festival on Sunday beneath the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s Lovell Telescope with her only northern show of the summer, preceded by Mercury Prize winners Young Fathers.

bluedot was recently named Line-Up Of The Year at the UK Festival Awards, and Festival of the Year at the Live Awards, and has hosted headline performances from the likes of Bjork, Kraftwerk 3-D, New Order, The Chemical Brothers, Mogwai, Pixies, The Flaming Lips, Underworld andJean-Michel Jarre, plus high-profile talks from Tim Peake, Brian Cox, Helen Sharman, Alice Roberts and Richard Dawkins and an array of groundbreaking arts and family experiences.


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