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Astronomers to offer illuminating insights at national event

Around 500 astronomers and space scientists who will be gathering in Llandudno, Wales, from 5 to 9 July, for the Royal Astronomical Society National Astronomy Meeting (NAM 2015).

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.

Highlights include a science show with astrobiologist, broadcaster and author Dr Lewis Dartnell (pictured) from the Department of Physics and Astronomy, UK Slam Champion Deanna Rodger and a lecture by the Astronomer Royal, Lord Rees of Ludlow.

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.

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.

Professor Martin Barstow, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Head of the College of Science & Engineering, Professor of Astrophysics and Space Science, President, Royal Astronomical Society 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."

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