Academy Honours Observatory Director

Mark Bailey
Professor Mark Bailey
Image copyright Lucinda Douglas-Menzies
The Director of the Armagh Observatory, Professor Mark Bailey MBE, has been elected to membership of the Royal Irish Academy for his contributions to astronomical research, particularly in Galactic and solar-system astrophysics.

Professor Bailey was born at Taplow, Buckinghamshire, and graduated BA from the University of Cambridge. He received an MSc degree from the University of Sussex and completed his doctorate at the University of Edinburgh. After postdoctoral positions at Cambridge, Sussex, Manchester and Liverpool he came to Armagh as Director of the Observatory in 1995.

Mark Bailey's early research work focused on the dynamics of galaxies and clusters of galaxies with special reference to high-powered active galactic nuclei. In more recent years he has been researching solar system astronomy carrying out original investigations into the origin of the Oort Cloud, a spheroidal region of comets believed to surround the Solar System stretching half-way to the nearest stars, some 10 to 15 trillion miles distant. He has also made important contributions to our knowledge of the origin of short-period comets, which come to the inner solar system from the Oort Cloud, and the much closer Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt.

Professor Bailey has authored numerous scientific papers and has also co-authored or co-edited a number of scholarly books, including "The Origin of Comets", Pergamon Press (1990) and "Border Heritage: Tracing the Heritage of the City of Armagh and Monaghan County", The Stationery Office (2008).

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 May 28th