Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Heavens open up to UK astronomers

09.07.2002


A significant milestone for British and European science occurred today [8th July 2002] when the Council of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) met in London. At this historic meeting the UK was formally welcomed into ESO by the other nine member states.

The UK, one of the leading nations in astronomical research, now joins what is probably the world`s leading astronomical observatory. British astronomers now have access to some of the world`s most advanced telescopes and a major stake in future developments including the vast 100-metre OWL [Overwhelmingly Large Telescope] project.

UK astronomers will now be able to use the four 8.2-metre and several 1.8-metre telescopes that comprise the Very Large Telescope [VLT] facility located in the northern part of the Atacama desert in Chile, as well as two 4-m class telescopes and several smaller ones at the ESO La Silla observatory further south. The UK will also benefit from increased involvement in the design and construction of the Atacama Large Millimetre Array [ALMA], a network of 64 twelve-metre telescopes also sited in Chile, and play a defining role in ESO`s 100-metre Overwhelmingly Large [OWL] telescope.

Science and Innovation Minister, Lord Sainsbury said, " I am sure I speak for the entire UK astronomy community when I say how much we are looking forward to participating in ESO and taking advantage of its marvellous facilities. I hope very much the UK`s participation will lead to a strengthening of ESO and a widening of its capabilities for astronomical research."

Sir Martin Rees, The Astronomer Royal, said," Joining ESO is good for UK science, and I think good for Europe as well. It offers us access to the VLT`s 8m class telescopes and restores the UK`s full competitiveness in optical astronomy. We`re now guaranteed full involvement in ALMA and in the next generation of giant optical instruments - projects that will be at the forefront of the research in the next decade and beyond. Moreover, our commitment to ESO should enhance its chances of forging ahead of the US in these technically challenging and high profile scientific projects. UK membership of ESO is a significant and welcome outcome of this government`s increasing investment in science."

Prof. Ian Halliday, Chief Executive of the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council [PPARC], the UK`s strategic science investment agency said, " The United Kingdom already participates in Europe`s flagship particle physics research and the space science research programmes through membership of CERN and the European Space Agency. Both of which provide UK scientists with access to world-class facilities that, on a national basis alone, we could not begin to consider. Joining ESO consolidates this strategy for UK astronomers and redresses the balance of UK ground based facilities compared to other European countries, Japan and the US".

The ESO Director General, Dr. Catherine Cesarsky, is "delighted that the UK has joined our organisation. When ESO was created nearly 40 years ago, the UK was planning for its own facilities and decided not to join. However, the impressive scientific and technological advances since then, coupled with ESO`s emergence as a prime player on the European research scene have convinced our UK colleagues of the great advantages of presenting a united European face in astronomy through ESO".

Ian Halliday added," Membership of ESO will ensure that UK astronomy remains at the cutting edge of scientific research and discovery, whilst playing an integral role in developing the next generation of ground based facilities. This strategy also endorses the recommendations of the `International Perceptions of UK Research in Physics and Astronomy`, an independent review which recommended joining ESO".

Julia Maddock | AlphaGalileo
Further information:
http://pparc.ac.uk

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Black hole spin cranks-up radio volume
15.01.2018 | National Institutes of Natural Sciences

nachricht The universe up close
15.01.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

White graphene makes ceramics multifunctional

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

Breaking bad metals with neutrons

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

ISFH-CalTeC is “designated test centre” for the confirmation of solar cell world records

16.01.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>