Astronomers from around the world gathered at Keele this week to learn more about two of our neighbouring galaxies at an event which is only held once every 10 years.
Organised by the Keele Astrophysics group, the International Astronomical Union symposium, which was attended by more than 150 astronomers from 30 countries to present and discuss the latest findings on a variety of astronomical topics, all based on observations in the Magellanic Clouds, was opened by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Janet Finch and the Director of the Research Institute for the Environment, Physical Sciences and Applied Mathematics, Professor Peter Styles.
Dr Jacco van Loon, of Keele's Astrophysics group, said: ""The Magellanic Clouds are arguably the most fascinating objects in the sky. Once a decade, the International Astronomical Union devotes a large symposium to these galaxies, which continue to hide fundamental secrets about the physics of stars, gas and galaxies in general. It is a great honour to host the symposium at Keele. We are delighted that so many colleagues will participate, famous astronomers and starting graduate students alike."
The closing plenary session was delivered by Professor Jay Gallagher, from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn, from the University of Sydney. Keele astronomer Dr. Joana Oliveira presented an invited review on the process of star formation.
During the week members of the public were invited to attend a talk about archaeo-astronomy by Professor Clive Ruggles, a concert that included music by the famous English astronomer William Herschel and an open-air performance of Shakespeare's Othello in the grounds of Keele Hall, as well as a teachers' event.
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Last modified: 12-Sep-2006