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2ND MEDIA ANNOUNCEMENT: 31 March-4 April 2008, Queen’s University Belfast

More than 600 astronomers and space scientists will gather for the Royal Astronomical Society National Astronomy Meeting 2008 (NAM 2008), held in conjunction with the UK Solar Physics (UKSP) and Magnetosphere Ionosphere and Solar-Terrestrial (MIST) meetings. NAM 2008 will be hosted by Queen’s University Belfast and run from Monday 31 March to Friday 4 April 2008.

The conference will include 8 plenary sessions and 40 parallel sessions featuring recent research on a wide range of astronomical topics. NAM 2008 will be the largest-ever gathering of UK astronomers and space scientists and the largest astronomy meeting ever held in Ireland.

At the meeting scientists will discuss their latest results in areas ranging from the study of the dark matter and dark energy thought to dominate the Universe to black holes, future space missions, solar flares and their interaction with the Earth and the prospects for life on planets around other stars.

On Thursday will be the prestigious RAS awards ceremony, where leading scientists will be honoured for outstanding work in their fields and RAS Gold medal winner Professor Joe Silk will lecture on galaxy formation. The RAS sessions will be followed by a community forum, where issues such as future science funding will be up for debate.

NAM 2008 will also have three lectures for the general public on the risk of a Near-Earth Object colliding with the Earth, the 18 years of work with the Hubble Space Telescope and the way science is portrayed in science fiction on film and TV.

Full details of the programme, and abstracts of the presentations and posters, are available on the meeting website at:


Media representatives are invited to attend free of charge. However, it would be helpful if media would register in advance by contacting either Robert Massey or Anita Heward (details above). Media may also register in the normal way during the meeting by presenting their credentials at the registration desk in the entrance foyer of the Physics and Astronomy Building.


The press room, staffed by Robert Massey and Anita Heward, will be located in Room 106 of the Peter Frogatt Centre. It will be open from 1p.m to 5.45 p.m. on Monday, 8.45 am to 5.45 pm Tuesday - Thursday and 8.45 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. on Friday.


During the week before the meeting we expect to distribute by e-mail 15 – 20 embargoed press notices on topical and newsworthy presentations. They will also be available on password-protected pages of the meeting Web site.

Media requiring access to embargoed releases should contact Robert Massey or Anita Heward for the user name and password (see contact details above).

THE CONTENT OF EACH PRESS NOTICE IS EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.01 A.M. ON THE DAY OF RELEASE. There will be releases embargoed for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

A full and up to date schedule of NAM scientific sessions and events can be found on the official website at

The conference is principally sponsored by the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and Queen’s University Belfast.


NAM 2008 meeting Web site:
NAM 2008 media information and online registration:

Robert Massey | alfa
Further information:

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