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 New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers
21.04.2017 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy
21.04.2017 | Stockholm University

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: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>