NAM Blogging Live!

NAM is the UK's National Astronomy Meeting and this year is in Preston. I've now had it pointed out by at least three people that this blog is unfortunately ranked higher on Google for "nam 2007" than the real NAM site. The Jodcast team are here for most of the week and will be recording interviews with some of the astronomers that are here. I'll be trying to keep the blog up-to-date too. As full blog entries take a bit of time to type, I'll also be keeping a micro-blog on twitter for the Jodcast.

The first talk of the conference was a plenary session given by Tim de Zeeuw from Leiden Observatory (I think). He talked about the Sauron Project which did imaging spectroscopy so that you can find out the chemical and velocity information of all parts of the object you are looking at. Some of the galaxies they've looked at were really bizarre with counter-rotating discs and even a galaxy which appears to have the gas rotating in a plane at 90 degrees to the stars. Bizarre!!

I missed the afternoon tea break to talk to Lucie Green about the International Heliophysical Year (IHY). We got to use a real recording studio for once (but using our own new mics and recorders). The echo is virtually non-existent so the sound quality should be great.

I'm now in a session about Extremely Large Telescopes (ELT). There are only around 20 people in this session because there are three other sessions happening in parallel. Guy Monnet is talking about the history of telescope sizes and why (and how) we need bigger telescopes. Amongst the other problems, big telescopes - 30, 50 or 100m - need new technology to help keep the weight down.

Earlier I also bumped into David Boyce - a PhD student from Leicester - who keeps an excellent blog which we updates nearly every day.

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Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Monday 16th Apr 2007 (16:01 BST) | Permalink
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