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Robinson Schools Talk

Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell
The 2004 Robinson Schools Lecture will be hosted by St. Patrick's Academy, Dungannon on Thursday, 25th November at 2:00 p.m. This lecture, which aims to encourage the study of astronomy in schools, is held in association with the biennial Armagh Observatory Robinson Public Lecture held in memory of Primate Richard Robinson who founded the Armagh Observatory in 1790. The speaker will be Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell, currently Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford. The title of her presentation is: "You are Made of Star Stuff."

Born in Northern Ireland, Professor Bell Burnell graduated in 1965 with a B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Glasgow followed by a Ph.D. in Radio Astronomy from the University of Cambridge in 1969. While working as a research student on quasars, Jocelyn discovered a new type of celestial object, namely pulsars, with the 4.5-acre radio telescope that she helped to construct. In the course of the few months following this initial discovery, Jocelyn went on to find three more of these pulsating radio sources, which were later identified as neutron stars rotating at up to a few hundred times per second.

The Robinson Schools Lecture will describe the types of atoms that make up the molecules in the cells of our bodies and explain where these atoms come from and how they got here. Jocelyn Bell Burnell said: "Life on Earth appears to depend on the death of stars in supernova explosions. There is star dust in your veins, and in an ultimate and intimate way we are children of the stars!"

Schools pupils have been invited and encouraged to enter a competition to build a model representing any aspect of astronomy or space science. The entries will be judged shortly before the lecture and a small number of prizes, provided by the Armagh Observatory, will be awarded. After the talk, there will be a ceremony to mark the official opening of the St. Patrick's Academy Observatory.

Tickets for the lecture are free on application to Stephen Grew, St. Patrick's Academy, 37 Killymeal Road, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, BT71 6DS. Tel.: 028-8772-7400; e-mail: spgrew2000yahoo.co.uk.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Bailey or John McFarland at the Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG. Tel.: 028-3752-2928; FAX: 028-3752-7174; mebarm.ac.uk; jmfarm.ac.uk

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See also: 2004 Robinson Lecture


Last Revised: 2004 November 23rd
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