Napier's NEMESIS

Armagh Observatory, 26th October 1998

The CIA have detected evidence of an extraordinary clandestine operation to deflect a giant asteroid --- codenamed NEMESIS --- onto a collision course with the USA. The result would be unimaginable devastation. An elite team of the West's most brilliant astronomers have been given the task of first locating NEMESIS and then coming up with a way to stop it. The asteroid's ultimate secret lies in the pages of a 400-year-old Latin manuscript --- a manuscript which has mysteriously gone missing.

Thursday 12 November sees publication of Armagh astronomer Dr Bill Napier's first novel, with the above theme. The book, called NEMESIS, is set to become a best-seller. It is an international thriller with an authentic scientific background drawing on the author's astronomical research at the Armagh Observatory.

NEMESIS combines an incredible array of facts, both scientific and historical, with brilliant fiction to create a highly original and devastating page-turner, capturing the intrigue of Umberto Eco's `The Name of the Rose', with the excitement of a high-tech disaster thriller. Arthur C. Clarke describes it as `The most exciting book I have ever read'. The launch of the book will be marked by a reception, at 7.00 p.m. in the Armagh Observatory, where there will be an opportunity to meet Bill Napier and obtain signed copies of his new book.

Armagh Observatory is one of the principal providers of astronomical research in Northern Ireland, with interests focusing on stellar astrophysics, solar system astronomy, and solar system - terrestrial relationships. Bill Napier's book is a fictional exploration of a potential scenario arising in the context of the asteroid impact hazard, studied at the Observatory.

The author is available for interview at the Armagh Observatory.

For further details, contact the Armagh Observatory Public Relations Officer Mr John McFarland, or Dr Bill Napier, Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG; Tel: 01861-522928, FAX: 01861-527174; e-mail: or

Last Revised: 15th June 1999
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