SCOTLAND’S Astronomer Royal Catherine Heymans and black hole hunter Martin Hendry are teaming up for a special celebration of James Clerk Maxwell – one of the greatest scientists of all time.

Born in Edinburgh, but raised in Dumfries and Galloway, the 19th-century scientist is credited with many achievements, including electromagnetism and light theory, being the father of electrical engineering, and even creating the first colour image.

Professors Heymans and Hendry met at 14 India Street in Edinburgh, to explore Maxwell’s birthplace ahead of a livestreamed event on Thursday, entitled Scotland’s Einstein.

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The event is part of Big Bang Week, from March 9-12, and is an annual festival of science and astronomy, organised by the Wigtown Festival Company, featuring activities in Dumfries and Wigtown, plus a selection of online digital events.

Heymans said: “Martin and I are really looking forward to this event – we’ll be broadcasting from the museum at James Clerk Maxwell’s birthplace in central Edinburgh, explaining his amazing scientific discoveries, and what they mean for us today.

“And we’ll be bringing things right up to date and showing people some of the latest discoveries in astronomy and astrophysics that have been made possible because of his amazing, influential work.”

Maxwell’s revolutionary understanding of energy paved the way for technology fundamental in mobile phones, bluetooth and broadband. He also laid the foundations for Einstein’s theory of relativity.

Despite this, his life and legacy remain relatively unknown even in Scotland – Heymans only learned much about him when she took her undergraduate degree at the University of Edinburgh.

She said: “Some of the greatest scientists come from Scotland, or have Scottish heritage, and we should celebrate them and make people more aware of them.

“We also have the some of the darkest skies in Western Europe, so Scotland is one of the best places to come and stargaze and appreciate the gorgeous sky.”