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Cool Stars over St Andrews

Wednesday 16 July 2008

Computer reconstruction of the surface of the young star AB Dor.
(Credit: A. Cameron, M. Jardine and K. Wood, University of St Andrews)
One of the world's largest astronomy meetings will come to the UK for the first time next week when delegates from 26 countries gather at the University of St Andrews.

"Cool Stars, Stellar Systems, and the Sun", held from Monday 21 July until Friday 25 July, will be attended by around 350 international astronomers.  The conference is the 15th in a long-standing series that has run since 1980, and will be the first held in the UK.

Conference chair Dr Moira Jardine from the School of Physics & Astronomy said, "The award of the right to host a meeting of such a high profile is very competitive.  We feel proud that the excellent quality of research in the UK, Scotland, and St Andrews is being honoured by this choice."

Various sessions at the meeting will address the key physical themes that will drive the next twenty years of advances in solar and stellar science.

The University of St Andrews has strong interacting research groups in both astronomy and solar physics, serving as a role model on forging stronger links between these research communities, stimulating cross-disciplinary exchange.

The cutting-edge science presented in earlier meetings of the Cool Stars series has included ground-breaking announcements such as the first discovery of a planet orbiting a star other than the Sun as well as the first detection of the long-sought objects known as brown dwarfs, intermediate between planets and stars. These findings continue to inspire astronomical theory, observation, and technology.

For citizens and visitors to St Andrews this week, a highlight of the meeting will be a free public lecture entitled "Habitable worlds: How common are they?" in the School of Physics and Astronomy at 8pm on Wednesday 23rd July.

The lecture will be delivered by leading author and planetary scientist Professor Jonathan Lunine from the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory of the University of Tucson, Arizona.Cool Stars 15 will highlight Scotland and the University of St Andrews as leading centres of international science to the worldwide research community.

Vice-Principal of Research, Professor Alan Miller said, "The University, being at the forefront of research in solar and astrophysics, is delighted to welcome participants to this conference from around the world, recognising the need for current and future leaders to meet and discuss latest developments in a stimulating environment that is St Andrews.  I look forward to the creation of new research opportunities, linkages and collaborations with St Andrews arising from this meeting of top researchers."

The meeting is financially supported by the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance, the Royal Astronomical Society, the European Space Agence, and the NASA Astrobiology Institute.

ENDS 

NOTE TO EDITORS:

For further information visit the conference webpage at  http://star-www.st-andrews.ac.uk/coolstars15/
Dr Moira Jardine is available for interview on  +44 1334 463146  

Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews
Contact: Fiona Armstrong, Press Officer on 01334 462530 / 462529, Mobile: 07730 415 015 or Email: fa12@st-andrews.ac.uk    
Ref:  Cool Stars 160708
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