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Prof Jardine Inaugural Lecture, and RSE Fellowship

On 20 March it was announced that Professor Moira Jardine is one of 47 new Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. The RSE press release states that "The RSE’s mission is the advancement of learning and useful knowledge and since its establishment in 1783 it has made a major contribution to Scottish Society through its Fellows. It is unique in Britain and distinctive internationally in the breadth of its Fellowship, which ranges across the sciences, medicine, engineering, the social sciences, arts, humanities, business and public service. Amongst it’s wide range of activities it provides: independent advice to Government and Parliament; research and enterprise Fellowships; education programmes for young people; and conferences and events aimed at both public engagement and specialists."

On the same day Professor Jardine gave her Inaugural Lecture to an audience of staff and students from the University and members of the wider community. Her presentation was titled "Star spots and flares: living with a delinquent star". In this 60 minute lecture she discussed the work that she and others have been doing in understanding the way in which the magnetic fields of our sun and similar stars work, and how these influence the way in which the stars behave. This has particular relevance to the possibility of the formation of life on planets around those stars.

NASA image showing how many of the charged particles emitted by the sun during a coronal mass ejection are deflected away from the earth due to its magnetic field. The light blue lines are the earth's magnetic field lines, which are modified by the magnetic fields associated with the coronal mass ejection.

This picture shows the magnetic field directions on the surface of a young star as modelled by Prof Jardine and her team.

As well as her research in theoretical astrophysics at St Andrews, Prof Jardine teaches in the School, including leading level one astrophysics, level four Fluids, and level five Magnetofluids and Space Plasmas. In all of these she is able to bring her research expertise in for the benefit of our students.

First published BDS 21.03.13