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The secret lives of galaxies



The Royal Society, London, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG


Join Amelie Saintonge and Andrew Pontzen as they explore how scientific collaboration may help unravel the mysteries of galaxy formation.    

Possible light distribution in the universe. Credit: Andrew Pontzen and Fabio Governato CC BY 3.0

Galaxies – the Universe's fundamental building blocks – come in a vast array of shapes, colours and sizes. Their majestic sweep of stars and gas belies the modern view that they're mostly made out of invisible dark matter.  Yet even if they're the tip of the iceberg, studying galaxies seems our best hope for understanding the composition and history of the Universe. So where did all the galaxies come from, how do they reflect the underlying invisible structures, and why are they so dazzlingly varied? 

Ben Still joins two astronomers who are exploring these questions through new technologies. Amélie Saintonge uses the world's newest radio telescopes to track the birth of stars in distant galaxies, while Andrew Pontzen harnesses supercomputers to build electronic mini-Universes.  They'll explore how these high-tech developments are bringing the mysteries of the cosmos in from the cold. As the future of astronomy goes digital, we invite you to join the conversation – where will the next big discovery come from?

Attending the event

  • Free to attend
  • No registration required
  • Seats allocated on a first-come, first-served basis
  • The Royal Society building gets very busy during weekends, so please arrive in plenty of time
  • This event is part of the Royal Society's Summer Science Exhibition 2016

For all enquiries, please contact

The secret lives of galaxies The Royal Society, London 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK