6 November 2019: General Relativity at 100: Einstein’s Theory That Changed the World

Entrance to Royal Astronomical Society, Burlington House6 November 2019 will be the centenary of the joint meeting of the Royal Society and the Royal Astronomical Society when the results of astronomical observations that confirmed Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity were announced for the very first time. To celebrate this anniversary, an evening public event will be held at the Royal Astronomical Society on November 6 2019.



Past events

Commemorative events took place all over the world to mark the centenary of the 1919 eclipse on 29 May. Click on the map, or browse the list of events below.

May 2019

Eddington at Sundy logoEddington at Sundy: 100 years later is an initiative led by a team on the island of Principe, one of the eclipse expedition sites, which aims to celebrate the anniversary on the island with a programme of scientific and science outreach events, held in collaboration with partners around the world, including a live video-link with the Observatory Science Centre in the UK (see below), and exhibitions in Portugal (see below). 





Observatory science centre

The Observatory Science Centre in Herstmonceux, Sussex, UK, will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the total solar eclipse that helped to support Einstein's General Theory of Relativity with a week of family friendly activities and talks from 25 May to 2 June, including a live video-link with Principe, one of the eclipse expedition sites (see above). For more information, see the Observatory Science Centre website.




A7 036 1919 05 29 Sun Total Eclipse Corona Brazil Sobral RO Greenwich Expedition RAS no 291The city of Sobral in Brazil, one of the two eclipse sites, will be celebrating the centenary with a range of events, including an international conference from 28 to 30 May 2019. 






 Logo of the E3 (Einstein Eddington Eclipse) exhibition.The exhibition E3 – Einstein, Eddington and the Eclipse will hosted in Portugal by the University of Lisbon Museum of Natural History and Science (MUHNAC) and runs from 16 May to 8 September 2019. The exhibition is about the encounter between Einstein and Eddington, the preparations for the expeditions in a time of war, the voyages, the observations and the impact of these expeditions on the national and international community of  astronomers, and also on the general public. It pays particular attention to the role of institutions, astronomers and experts in Lisbon, Portugal.



Royal Observatory logo

On Tuesday 28 May 2019, Royal Observatory Greenwich in London, UK, will be holding a special talk by Dr. Louise Devoy (Curator of the Royal Observatory) and Tom Kerss (astronomer) about the 1919 solar eclipse expedition and the role played by the Observatory in one of the most significant experiments in the history of science. For more details and to book tickets, see the Royal Observatory Greenwich website. 


The Royal Astronomical Society in London, UK, will be marking the occasion on Wednesday 29 May (the anniversary) and Friday 31 May (London History Day). Sign up for a free ticket to visit the Society's library and learn more about this historic event through interactive drama with Albert Einstein and Arthur Eddington. There will be a chance to see photographs of the 1919 eclipse, and illustrations of other eclipses throughout history. If weather conditions allow, there will also be solar viewing through a telescope set up in Burlington House courtyard!


Logo of the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge


On Wednesday 29 May the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge, UK, will be offering two free public talks:

* Eddington, Einstein and the 1919 Eclipse Expeditions, by Carolin Crawford, public astronomer at the Institute of Astronomy

* 100 years of gravitational lensing, by Sherry Suyu, Assistant Professor at the Technical University of Munich



A7 038 1919 05 29 Sun Total Eclipse Principe Eddington and Cottingham

On Wednesday 29 May  Professor Peter Coles will give a free public lecture at Maynooth University, Ireland: 'Revolution in the Skies: the Experiment that made Einstein famous'.




Logo for the 100th anniversary celebrations of the International Astronomical Union2019 is also the centenary of the founding of the International Astronomical Union. As part of their anniversary celebration, they are supporting a range of projects around the world to mark 100 years since the eclipse of 1919, including a conference on Arthur Eddington in Paris. See their project website for more details. 


Einstein Schools logo

The Einstein Schools Programme is a project of the International Astronomical Union’s 100th anniversary activities. The programme will help schools and students across the world explore the fascinating force of gravity, which acts throughout the universe. Join schools from around the world that are working to become certified Einstein Schools at the website.





June 2019

On Friday 7 June at Cheltenham Science Festival, Andrew Pontzen, Carolin Crawford and Sarah Bridle will discuss the legacy of Arthur Eddington's expedition to the island of Príncipe to observe the solar eclipse.

July 2019

1919 eclipse photograph from Memoirs of the Royal Astronomical Society 1923 cropped

In Lancaster on Tuesday 2 July, Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell will deliver a public lecture on the 1919 eclipse as part of the public programme of the Royal Astronomical Society's National Astronomy Meeting, hosted by Lancaster University.