Norwegian Student Discovers Stellar Flares at Armagh Observatory


Fergus Devitt Director Higher Education DEL, Gavin Ramsay,
Shona McCarthy Director British Council Northern Ireland, Hege-Beate Fredriksen

Thirty-six students from twenty-four countries will be studying in Northern Ireland this summer as part of the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE) programme. The students were welcomed to Northern Ireland on 23rd July at a reception in Belfast hosted by the Minister for Employment and Learning, Sir Reg Empey, who said that the programme was an opportunity to share our learning experiences and a chance to enjoy different cultures. He wished the participants every success during their placements in the Province.

Hege-Beate Fredriksen, an undergraduate student from Tromso in Norway, is working with Dr Gavin Ramsay's group of Armagh Observatory. Hege is searching for flare stars in data obtained by Gavin from telescopes located in La Palma in the Canaries. The flares she detects are similar (but relatively larger) to those flares commonly seen on our Sun. By identifying many flares from different stars the group aim to get a better understanding of flares in general. Hege said "It has been a really great experience to be able to do research in Armagh and meet so many interesting people".

Mark Bailey, the Director of Armagh Observatory, said that: "The Observatory hosts many international students and it's great that we have been able to support this programme by the British Council and, therefore, support Northern Ireland students studying abroad".

IAESTE is an employer-led programme administered by the British Council for science, engineering and applied arts undergraduates. Currently thirty-five students from Northern Ireland are on placements in twenty-four countries. More information can be obtained from the website: Armagh Observatory receives base-line funding from the Northern Ireland Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Gavin Ramsay at the Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG. Tel.: 028-3752-2928; FAX: 028-3752-7174; garat

Last Revised: 2010 March 1st