Society Zoom Meeting – Sunspots and Starspots – Dr. Robert Smith

March 6, 2021 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Society Zoom Meeting – Sunspots and Starspots – Dr. Robert Smith

Robert Smith was educated at the University of Glasgow (BSc Mathematics and Physics, PhD Astronomy) and taught there from 1966 to 1968, when he moved to Sussex as a Research Fellow. He has been a member of the teaching faculty of the Astronomy Centre since 1972, and has published an undergraduate textbook (Observational Astrophysics, CUP 1995). From 1996-2001 he was Subject Chairman of Physics and Astronomy and from 2001-2003 he served as Dean of the School of Chemistry, Physics and Environmental Science. From August 2003 to July 2004 he was Head of Department of Physics and Astronomy in the new School of Science and Technology. He retired at the end of September 2006, but continues to be active in research and to supervise a small number of practical projects. He also continued to teach one course (Stellar Structure) until the end of 2011-12.

Until 1985 he was a theoretician, working on rotating stars, large-scale circulation in stellar envelopes and contact binary stars. Since then he has been primarily an observer, working on spectroscopy of cataclysmic binaries (CVs) and Algols. The Sussex group has made a special study of the secondary star in CVs and the effects of irradiation, and a paper on starspots on RU Pegasi was published in 2012.

Robert Smith has been an editor of Observatory Magazine (1977 – 1983) and of The Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1984 – 1996; Managing Editor 1991 – 1995). He was from 1999 to 2006 the founding Chair of the Membership Committee of the Royal Astronomical Society; he has served on various other committees of the Society, including its Council, of which he was Vice-President from 2004 to 2006.

He is married, with three daughters, three grand-daughters and one grand-son. In his spare time, he enjoys hill-walking, singing, reading and listening to classical music. In retirement he has returned to the study of classical Greek.

He gives regular talks to local astronomical societies and other bodies, including U3A, and a selection of recently available talks can be found here. He is honorary president of The Lewes Astronomers and of The Foredown Astronomers.

Due to the current Covid Rules we will, until further notice, host the Monthly Society Meeting via Zoom.

Zoom details for the meeting will not be published on the Web but will be published in Orbit and/or sent via a member email, passwords etc will change each month to keep it more secure. The meeting Waiting Room will be open from about 7:15 to allow members to join before 7:30. Please ensure you have your full name set up in Zoom, so we know who you are. The meeting will be recorded so that Phillip can produce his write-up, and the Zoom Host may Mute you to reduce feedback and allow the speaker to be heard. Questions can be asked via the Chat function, or verbally if Unmuted or by pressing the Spacebar.

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