Armagh Observatory 2010 Robinson Lecture


The 2010 Robinson Lecture will be held on Thursday, 18th November commencing at 8.00 p.m. in the Fisher Suite of the Armagh City Hotel, 2 Friary Road, Armagh. The Robinson Lecture is held biennially in memory of the founder of the Armagh Observatory, Archbishop Richard Robinson (1708-1794). This year's lecture is the tenth in the series. The guest Lecturer and Robinson Medallist will be Chris Impey, University Distinguished Professor and Deputy Head of Astronomy Department at the University of Arizona, USA. Professor Impey will speak on the topic "Astrobiology: Implications of Life Beyond Earth".

Professor Impey commented:

"Either we are alone in the universe or not. Either way, the implications are staggering. This talk considers the prospects for and implications of life beyond Earth. Biological adaptation to extreme conditions makes it very likely that variations in biology will be present on moons and planets around many of the billions of Sun-like stars in the universe. Already, nearly 500 planets have been found orbiting around other stars and they are believed to be forerunners of Earth-like planets that astronomers expect to be finding in the next few years. Consideration will be given to potentially unusual forms of life."

Chris Impey graduated BSc (Physics) from Imperial College, University of London in 1977, and PhD (Astronomy) from the University of Edinburgh in 1981. His main research areas include observational cosmology, quasars, and the structure of distant galaxies. He has authored over 150 research papers and two books, "The Living Cosmos" (2007) and "How It Ends: From You to the Universe" (2010). He currently holds a four-year grant from the Templeton Foundation to explore the interface between science and religion.

Admission to the lecture, which will conclude with light refreshments at 9.00 p.m., is by ticket only. For your free ticket for this event, please contact Mrs Aileen McKee at the Armagh Observatory, Tel.: 028-3752-2928; Fax: 028-3752-7174; or e-mail: ambnat

Professor Impey will also deliver the Robinson Schools Lecture "How It Ends" in the Royal School Armagh, College Hill, Armagh, at 2.00 p.m. on Wednesday, 17th November 2010. Teachers and pupils who would like to attend should contact Mr Warren Fowles, The Royal School, College Hill, Armagh. Tel.: 028-3752-2807; email: sfowles830at

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

Last Revised: 2010 November 1st