Leicester Astronomers are leading lights at national event

Posted by ap507 at Jul 02, 2015 10:04 AM |
UK national astronomy meeting (NAM 2015) to take place between 5-9 July

Around 500 astronomers and space scientists, including many from the University of Leicester, will gather in Llandudno, Wales, from 5 to 9 July, for the Royal Astronomical Society National Astronomy Meeting (NAM 2015, http://nam2015.org).

The conference is the largest regular professional astronomy event in the UK and will see leading researchers from around the world presenting the latest work in a variety of fields.

NAM 2015 will be held in conjunction with the annual meetings of the UK Solar Physics (UKSP) and Magnetosphere Ionosphere Solar-Terrestrial physics (MIST) groups. The conference is principally sponsored by the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

Sessions at NAM 2015 will cover a diverse range of topics, including new models for the origin, evolution and fate of the universe; results from recent planetary missions like Rosetta and MESSENGER, and what New Horizons might tell us about Pluto during the first-ever flyby on 14 July; the habitability of planets around other stars; giant surveys carried out by Gaia and similar projects; and public engagement.

Alongside the formal meeting a suite of events will run for schools and the general public. Highlights include a science show with UK Slam Champion Deanna Rodger and astrobiologist, broadcaster and author Lewis Dartnell, from the University of Leicester, and a lecture by the Astronomer Royal, Lord Rees of Ludlow.

A day for teachers will be an integral part of the conference, funded by the National Schools Observatory and the Ogden Trust, and leading outreach experts will be working with schools in the area. Monday will see a ‘hack day,’ sponsored by GitHub, where delegates will develop virtual and physical tools to help researchers with their work.

President of the Royal Astronomical Society, Professor Martin Barstow, from the University of Leicester, said: “The National Astronomy Meeting is a great occasion for the community to hear about the latest research results from across the UK. It is pleasing to see Leicester taking a prominent role. I think the event is particularly important for the younger members of our community to network widely, get advice on career development and, perhaps, meet prospective future employers."

Meeting arrangements and a full and up to date schedule of the scientific program can be found on the official website and via Twitter: @RASNAM2015

Media representatives are cordially invited to attend the Meeting and can register at no cost. Press room facilities will be available for the duration of the conference -- from 09:00 BST on Monday, 6 July, to 14:30 BST on Thursday, 9 July. A series of releases, issued under embargo, will cover key scientific results presented at the meeting.

Full details of the conference are at http://www.nam2015.org

Information for journalists is at http://www.nam2015.org/index.php/press-releases

For free registration please contact the NAM 2015 Local Organizing Committee via loc@nam2015.org


Notes to editors:

Dr. Robert Massey
Royal Astronomical Society

Ms. Anita Heward
Royal Astronomical Society

Dr. Sam Lindsay
Royal Astronomical Society

NAM 2015:

Venue Cymru:



The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS, http://www.ras.org.uk), founded in 1820, encourages and promotes the study of astronomy, solar-system science, geophysics and closely related branches of science. The RAS organizes scientific meetings, publishes international research and review journals, recognizes outstanding achievements by the award of medals and prizes, maintains an extensive library, supports education through grants and outreach activities and represents UK astronomy nationally and internationally. Its more than 3,800 members (Fellows), a third based overseas, include scientific researchers in universities, observatories and laboratories as well as historians of astronomy and others. Follow the RAS on Twitter via @royalastrosoc

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC, http://www.stfc.ac.uk) is keeping the UK at the forefront of international science and tackling some of the most significant challenges facing society such as meeting our future energy needs, monitoring and understanding climate change, and global security. The Council has a broad science portfolio and works with the academic and industrial communities to share its expertise in materials science, space and ground-based astronomy technologies, laser science, microelectronics, wafer scale manufacturing, particle and nuclear physics, alternative energy production, radio communications and radar. It enables UK researchers to access leading international science facilities for example in the area of astronomy, the European Southern Observatory. Follow STFC on Twitter via @stfc_matters

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