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A biennial conference that attracts as many as 400 astronomers from around the world will be held in Flagstaff in 2014. According to the privately-run Lowell Observatory, which will host the conference, the Cambridge Workshop on Cool Stars, Stellar Systems, and the Sun, or Cool Stars, is one of the largest and most prestigious gatherings in astronomy. It will be held at a Flagstaff conference center June 8-14, 2014.

Gerard van Belle, an astronomer with Lowell, is overseeing the observatory's participation in the 2014 conference. He says the conference attracts worldwide experts who study the connections between our sun and other stars.

“The sun is a nearby star and by that virtue we're able to study it in exquisite detail,” says van Belle. “The problem is that we only have one example by which to try and tease out astrophysics associated with stars. So its good to kind of bring the two sets together...”

van Belle says Lowell is honored to have such a major conference to come to a town where astronomy is so important. He also notes that Flagstaff is an official Dark Sky City, one of only three in the world; and that makes it perfect for a professional sky-gazing conference.

This year's conference, Cool Stars 17 was held in June in Barcelona, Spain and previous conferences have been in Tucson; Seattle; Boulder, CO; Hamburg, Germany and Florence, Italy.

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A lecture at Cool Stars 17, June 2012, Barcelona, Spain.