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Armagh Observatory 2006 Robinson Lecture

The 2006 Robinson Lecture will be held on Friday, 24th November at 7.30 p.m. in the Church of Ireland Synod House, Abbey Street, Armagh. The Robinson Lecture is held biennially in memory of the founder of the Armagh Observatory, Archbishop Richard Robinson. The guest Lecturer this year is Professor Eric R. Priest FRS, of the University of St Andrews, who will speak on "Our Enigmatic Sun".

For centuries, mankind in societies such as the ancient Egyptians, worshipped the Sun, and today modern observations from space have shown that the Sun is much more puzzling than we realised. Indeed, most of the fundamental properties of the Sun, that have important implications for the rest of astronomy, are not yet fully understood.

The lecture will introduce you to the main properties of the Sun and will describe many of the modern puzzles, using the latest images and movies. It will also describe a trip the speaker took to Egypt to watch a solar eclipse, and will also describe observations of huge ejections of mass from the Sun and their effects on the Earth.

Professor Priest graduated with a BSc degree in Mathematics from the University of Nottingham in 1965, followed by a MSc degree from the University of Leeds, where he also studied for his PhD degree under Professor T.G. Cowling, graduating in 1969.

Professor Priest is a recognized international expert on solar physics, especially in the study of the relationships between the ionised atmosphere of the Sun and its magnetic field. His research centres on how these interactions are manifested in the Sun's behaviour, for example, how is the Sun's outer atmosphere (corona) heated to multimillion-degree temperatures and what is its nature, and how are solar flares and coronal mass ejections generated?

Eric Priest is a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a Member of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences, a past Chairperson of the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council's Astronomy Committee, and past co-Chair of its Science Committee, and a current Vice-President of the Royal Astronomical Society. He has written over 350 research papers and is the author of two monographs and editor of fifteen other books.

For free tickets for this event, contact Mrs Aileen McKee at the Armagh Observatory, Tel.: 028-3752-2928; Fax: 028-3752-7174; or e-mail: ambnarm.ac.uk.

Professor Eric Priest will be available for interview on Friday 26th November.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: John McFarland at the Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG. Tel.: 028-3752-2928; FAX: 028-3752-7174; jmfarm.ac.uk; Website: http://star.arm.ac.uk/

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Last Revised: 2006 November 10th
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