University to Host National Astronomy Conference

16th April 2009

Astronomers, physicists and space scientists from across Scotland will come together to discuss the latest happenings in Scottish astronomy at a conference hosted by the University of Dundee later this month.

The 2009 Robert Cormack Bequest Meeting on Scottish Astronomy will feature a fascinating programme of talks and other events.  The Dundee meeting coincides with a wider worldwide celebration, the International Year of Astronomy 2009, which sees events and projects take place across the globe.

The event is organised by members of the University’s Space Technology Centre and Department of Maths. Dr Steve Parkes of the Space Technology Centre said everyone at the University were delighted to be supporting the 2009 Cormack Meeting.

He said, “I am very much looking forward to hearing about the latest astronomical research being carried out across Scotland.

“This year’s theme is ‘Exploring the Universe’ and the Space Technology Centre is helping the world’s space organisations do just that. Over the next few years technology from Dundee will be sent on spacecraft to both Mercury and Mars, and will be used in many space missions orbiting the Earth.”

Professor Andrew Collier Cameron of the University of St. Andrews, an expert on planets that orbit stars other than the Sun, will deliver the opening lecture.  Attendees will hear a broad selection of the research currently taking place within astronomy in Scotland. 

Other invited speakers include 2008 RSE Cormack Prizewinners, William Simpson and Jenny Richardson. A prize will be awarded for the best poster submitted by a young scientist, and a visit to the Mills Observatory is included in the conference programme.

The University also collaborates closely with Dundee City Council to support the astronomer at Mills Observatory, who works to improve public
understanding of science as well as conducting leading-edge research in the Space Technology Centre.

The Cormack Meeting is an annual event which follows a 1942 bequest left by Mr Robert Cormack in the Trusteeship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE).

Administered by the RSE Cormack Committee and convened by the Astronomer Royal for Scotland, the funds are used to astronomical research, knowledge and teaching throughout Scotland.  The 2009 meeting is also supported by the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA).

The Robert Cormack Bequest Meeting will be held in the Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee, on Monday 27th April. For more information on this event please visit:

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