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Cosmic Musings Presentation - Dark Matter by Dr. Stéphane Courteau
February 25th, 2019
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Recent astronomical discoveries have revealed a mysterious Universe where most of the mass and energy exist in some invisible, dominant, form. All the matter that we see may only amount to a small fraction of the whole Universe. And while we think we know how to detect most of the cosmic mass, both visible and dark, we still don’t know what it is! What bizarre Universe do we live in? If the Universe has a Dark Side, what aren't we seeing?


In his presentation, Professor Stéphane Courteau casts light about Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the latest ideas about the Cosmos. Through historical notes, anecdotes, and movies, he retraces the history of one of the most fascinating discoveries about our universe -- the existence of invisible matter. Queen's University's astrophysicists lead the quest for the discovery of the elusive Dark Matter particles: the so-called “WIMPs.” Stéphane Courteau will also address current and future efforts at Queen's, as captured by their 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics, and worldwide, to solve within the next decade one of the most exciting puzzles in physics today.


Stéphane Courteau is an astrophysicist at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Prior to establishing his research group at Queen's, he held positions at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver (BC), the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics in Victoria (BC), the National Observatory Astronomy Observatories in Tucson (AZ), and Cornell University in Ithaca (NY). Since earning his PhD from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1992 on the mapping of Dark Matter in the Universe, Stéphane Courteau has delivered more than 300 scientific and public lectures around the world. He studied and continues to work with many pioneers of dark matter, and he specializes in the distribution of dark matter in galaxies like our Milky Way and in the composition and evolution of cosmic structures. This GO […] Public Lecture by an expert in the field will be a fresh and lively overview of the latest ideas about our Universe.


Stéphane Courteau

Courteau on site in Hawaii overlooking the Gemini-North telescope at an altitude of 4,200 m. Hawaii is an important hub of activity for astronomers, where some of the biggest telescopes in the world are located. Credit: Stéphane Courteau.


The majestic Andromeda Galaxy, M31, viewed from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. Credits: ANDROIDS/Prof. Stéphane Courteau/Dr. Jonathan Sick.
Header Image: Courteau contemplating the sky at the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope. Credit: ©



Check-in and the Café at the End of the Universe open at 6:00 p.m. The Observatory will be closed to the general public, and the only area/exhibits inside the building open to ticketed guests is in the immediate vicinity of the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon theater. The presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon theater. The Stellar Emporium will be closed.




Reservations are required to access event parking and enter Griffith Observatory. In the case of sold-out shows, ticket sales will close. Non-wait list tickets not picked up by 7:40 p.m. will be made available to wait-listed guests. The event wait list may be joined by emailing, including the number of seats requested and a full name for the reservation. Wait list tickets are sold at the door, cash (exact change) only. No refunds are available. All registration closes February 25, 4:00 p.m.

If your membership has lapsed or you would like to become a FOTO member, renew or join easily on-line at For event or membership questions, please send an email to Marc at or call 213.473.0879.

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