The Royal Astronomical Society National Astronomy Meeting 2006 will be held from Tuesday, 4 April to Friday, 7 April 2006 at the University of Leicester.

The RAS NAM 2006 is supported by the Royal Astronomical Society, the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) and the University of Leicester, with additional sponsorship from the National Space Centre in Leicester.

The meeting is expected to attract over 300 astronomers and space scientists from the UK and overseas. It will include 14 plenary sessions and 22 parallel sessions featuring recent research on a wide range of astronomical topics.

Topics under discussion will include Solar System exploration, the structure of our Galaxy, gamma ray bursts, dark matter, gravitational waves, extrasolar planets and planet formation.

The NAM 2006 programme also features the RAS Darwin Lecture on the subject of “The Dark Side of the Universe,” presented by Joseph Silk, Savilian Professor of Astronomy at Oxford University. This will be followed by the annual presentation of the RAS medals, and a talk by Wayne Rosing (former vice-president of engineering with Google, now senior fellow in mathematical and physical sciences at the University of California, Davis).

Another highlight of the week will be a public lecture on the topic of “Human Exploration of the Solar System,” presented by Professor Charles Cockell of the Open University.

Media representatives are cordially invited and press room facilities will be available from 9 a.m. on Tuesday, 4 April through to 1 p.m. on Friday, 7 April. Media registration is free.

A full schedule of the sessions and other information about the NAM can be found at

Bona fide media can pre-register online at this web site, or by contacting Peter Bond or Anita Heward. Advance registration is not essential, but we request that members of the media intending to attend the meeting inform the communications officers.

More information will be circulated a few weeks before the meeting, including press notices on presentations that may be of special interest to the media (subject to embargo).

RAS web site:

PPARC web site: