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Cosmic Musings - 2019-06-03: Cosmos - Art and Science of the Universe
June 3rd, 2019
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Join Friends Of The Observatory for this next Cosmic Musings Series presentation featuring astronomer Dr. Jay Pasachoff and his latest book, Cosmos: The Art and Science of the Universe, co-authored with art historian Roberta Olson. The presentation incorporates a variety of examples of artworks across time relevant to astronomical topics, showcasing the superstars of the heavens and universe in sumptuous illustrations featuring paintings, sculpture, drawings, watercolors, and prints, as well as plates from books, celestial diagrams, and astronomical photography.


"Olson and Pasachoff scour the cosmos of the graphic arts for images of the heavens and show not only what the universe is, but what it means. With one surprising variation on a theme after another, every page is a revelation of the visual impact of the sky.”

 -Dr. E.C. Krupp, Director, Griffith Observatory, on Cosmos: The Art and Science of the Universe



DR. JAY M. PASACHOFF is Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy and Director of the Hopkins Observatory at Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, and co-author of The Sun (Reaktion, 2017). He is on sabbatical at the Carnegie Observatories, Pasadena. Dr. Pasachoff was a member of the advisory committee for the latest modernization of the Griffith Observatory exhibit space. The fifth edition of his survey textbook, The Cosmos: Astronomy in the New Millennium (coauthor: Alex Filippenko) has also just been published ( He is a veteran of 70 solar eclipses, soon to observe his 71st, from Chile. Roberta J. M. Olson is Curator of Drawings at the New York Historical Society and Professor Emerita of Art History at Wheaton College in Massachusetts. She is the author of Fire and Ice: A History of Comets in Art (1985). Based on twin grants from the Getty Grant Program, together they are the authors of Fire in the Sky: Comets and Meteors, the Decisive Centuries, in British Art and Science (1998).




by Roberta J. M. Olson and Jay M. Pasachoff
Reaktion Books (UK) and University of Chicago Press (US)
Cruikshank Passing Events


Passing Events; or The Tail of the Comet of 1853
hand-colored etching by Geroge Cruikshank
for Cruikshank's Magazine


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. There is no wait-list. No refunds are available. All registration closes JUNE 3, 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 or call 213.473.0879.

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