The presence of Stephen Hawking will certainly jack up the interest in this event.
As the presence of Dr. Hawking suggests, this year’s festival has a decidedly cosmic flavor. The Webb telescope model will preside over a star-gazing party hosted by, among others, John Grunsfeld, the former NASA astronaut and Hubble Space Telescope repairman, on Friday night. Telescopes will be available, or you can bring your own. Meanwhile throughout the week visitors to the Broad Street Ballroom in Lower Manhattan can hear what black holes might sound like as they are being formed. Astronomers hope to record them with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory, a vast expanse of lasers and mirrors set up in Washington State and Louisiana to measure the twitching and pulsing of space-time in response to cosmic catastrophes.
Don't miss it if you're in The Big Apple.