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UK National Astronomy Meeting and UK Solar Physics Meeting

Last Updated on Sunday, 02 May 2010 13:12
Published on Friday, 25 February 2005 00:00


On Monday 9th August, about 250 astronomers, many accompanied by family and friends, will assemble in Guernsey for the 4-day National Astronomy and UK Solar Physics Meetings beginning the next morning. The dates were chosen specially to include the total solar eclipse on Wednesday 11th August. On that day, participants will travel to the neighbouring island of Alderney, where the eclipse will be total. On Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, there will be a full programme of professional scientific talks covering the whole of astronomy.

On Monday and Tuesday at 8.00 p.m., Heather Couper will present a public lecture "Darkness at Noon: secrets of the Sun and its Eclipses".

Limited opportunities for travel and accommodation still exist for journalists who wish to attend and have not yet booked. Contact CLBS International, St Peter Port, Guernsey, phone 01481 724659, for further information and assistance.


Full details of the meeting timetables, the programmes of talks (with links to abstracts as available), and an alphabetical list of participants' names may be found on the meeting web site, and links from it:
A short summary is at the end of this announcement.

Press notices on some of the individual talks will be available a few days before the meetings begin. No general embargo will apply.

For more information on contacting individual participants, e-mail Jacqueline Mitton , This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Information about the circumstances of the eclipse in the Channel Islands, and many useful links may be found at:

Press room facilities will be available in the theatre dressing rooms at the Beau Sejour Centre, St Peter Port, from 2.30 p.m. on Sunday 8th August to 12 noon on Friday 13th August (daily hours according to need). The press room will not be staffed on the day of the eclipse, Wednesday 11 August, when the meetings move to Alderney for the day.

Press Officers for the meetings are: Jacqueline Mitton (RAS), Peter Bond (RAS), Charlotte Allen (PPARC) and John Richards (for Guernsey Tourist Board).

Except on Wednesday 11th, please try press room numbers before calling mobiles.

Press room phone numbers:
01481 710889
01481 712834 and
01481 712936
Press room fax number:
01481 713044.

Mobile phone nos.:
Jacqueline Mitton: 0370-386133
Peter Bond: 0411-213486
Charlotte Allen: 01467-491896
John Richards:0402-729454

NAM MEETING: Programme outline and highlights

Tuesday 10 August

9.00 - 10.00 a.m. Invited talk: 'Solar activity and climatic change', Prof. Nigel Weiss, University of Cambridge

10.30 a.m. - 17.30 p.m. Cosmology. Includes 'The Hubble constant and constraints on the cosmological constant' (Ian Browne, Jodrell Bank); 'The evolution of galaxy clustering' (Carlos Frenk, Durham); 'The star formation history of the universe' (Michael Rowan-Robinson, Imperial College); 'The eclipse of cold dark matter?' (Tom Shanks, Durham).

10.30 a.m. - 17.30 p.m. Stars.

Wednesday 11 August

Eclipse visit to Alderney. No sessions in Guernsey.

Thursday 12 August

9.00 - 10.00 a.m. Invited talk: 'First results from Gemini', Dr Matt Mountain, Gemini Observatory, Hawaii.

11.30 a.m. Prof. Leon Mestel (University of Sussex) will give the inaugural Tayler Lecture (in memory of the late Professor Roger Tayler): 'A very ambitious aim: to understand the structure of the entire Universe'

1.30 - 5.30 p.m. Galaxies. Includes 'The obscured growth of massive black holes' (Andy Fabian, Cambridge)

3.30 - 5.30 p.m. News from observatories. Expected to include presentation of groundbreaking new images from the UK Infrared Telescope (UKIRT)

Friday 13 August

9.00 - 10.00 a.m. Invited talk: 'Galaxy formation and cosmology: challenges for the new millennium', Prof. Richard Ellis, University of Cambridge

10.30 a.m. - 12.30 p.m. Reports on various projects, including INTEGRAL, VISTA, ANTARES, DARWIN, underground dark matter searches.

10.30 a.m. - 12.30 p.m. Planetary astronomy.

The UK Solar Physics Meeting takes place on Tuesday and Thursday.

Contributions noted include

Tuesday a.m. 'The future of solar activity' (Andrew Conway, Glasgow).
Tuesday p.m. 'The trials and tribulations of SOHO' (Helen Mason, Cambridge); 'Latest helioseismic images of the solar interior' (Mike Thompson, QMW)
Thursday a.m. 'Why is the corona hot?' (Philippa Browning, UMIST); 'Small explosions in the solar atmosphere' (Robert Erdelyi, Sheffield)

Issued by:
Dr Jacqueline Mitton, RAS Press Officer
Phone: Cambridge ((0)1223) 564914
FAX: Cambridge ((0)1223) 572892
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.