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Lindsay Centennial Conference


Dr Eric Mervyn Lindsay,
Director of the Armagh Observatory (1937 — 1974)
and founder of the Armagh Planetarium (1968).

To mark the centenary of the birth of Dr Eric Mervyn Lindsay, a former Director of the Armagh Observatory, a one-day conference and public lecture, and week-long public exhibition is being organised for the week commencing Friday, January 26th. The venue for the conference will be the Rotunda Theatre, St Patrick's Trian, Armagh and the exhibition will also be held in the Trian.

The conference will be partly devoted to the life and work of Dr Lindsay, who was responsible for securing the position of the Armagh Observatory as an internationally known astronomical research centre. In 1947, Lindsay persuaded the Belfast and Dublin governments to jointly fund, together with Harvard University, a large research telescope at the Harvard Boyden Station near Bloemfontein, South Africa, to provide a constant stream of research material for Armagh astronomers. With this Armagh-Dunsink-Harvard Telescope, the southern skies were studied intensively during Lindsay's directorship, especially two of the Milky Way's nearest neighbour galaxies, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds.

The conference will also highlight developments in research on current astrophysical topics, including the nature of brown dwarfs, that is, objects which did not quite become stars; solar physics, particularly the Sun's atmosphere and the origin of the fast outflows of electrically charged particles that comprise the solar wind; recent findings in regard to our knowledge of the solar system; and pulsars and supernovae. The conference will conclude with a public lecture at 7:30 p.m. by the noted historian and TV presenter Allan Chapman, University of Oxford, entitled: "Robert Ball: Ireland's Astronomical Muse".

Dr Lindsay was also the founder of the Armagh Planetarium which opened in 1968 under its first Director, Patrick Moore. Lindsay was responsible for the appointment of the Estonian astronomer Dr Ernst Öpik to the staff of the Armagh Observatory shortly after the end of the Second World War. Amongst other work, Öpik was one of the first astronomers to investigate the asteroid impact hazard in a paper he published in 1951.

The week-long exhibition will feature some Lindsay memorabilia and photographs charting his life and scientific career.

Admission to the conference and public lecture is free, with tickets available on application to: Mrs Aileen McKee, Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh BT61 9DG; email: ambnat signarm.ac.uk; or Tel.: 028-3752-2928. Details of the conference programme may be obtained at the conference web site.

Conference Web Site

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: John McFarland at the Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG. Tel.: 028-3752-2928; FAX: 028-3752-7174; jmfat signarm.ac.uk

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Last Revised: 2007 January 12th
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