Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

LJMU receives Royal accolade for developing the world’s largest robotic telescope

05.12.2005


Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) has been awarded one of the UK’s most prestigious educational awards for its astronomical excellence and public engagement in science.


The Liverpool Telescope


Gamma Ray burst



The biennial Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Further and Higher Education recognise and reward the outstanding contribution that universities and colleges in the United Kingdom make to the intellectual, economic, cultural and social life of the nation.

LJMU’s winning entry relates to the development of the world’s largest and most sophisticated ground-based robotic telescopes, which are opening up new areas of research for professional astronomers. The University is praised for the creative application of this technology not only as part of its innovative undergraduate programmes and distance learning courses, but also because it is being harnessed to reveal the wonders of science to school children around the UK through LJMU’s National Schools’ Observatory.


Professor Michael Brown, LJMU’s Vice-Chancellor said: “Our Astrophysics Research Institute has led the world in developing robotic telescopes, which can monitor variable astronomical objects in a way not possible with other telescopes. What’s even more ground-breaking is that they have been able to harness this cutting edge technology to enthuse future generations of scientists, from primary school pupils right through to postgraduate students, through innovative courses and the National Schools’ Observatory.”

He continued: “The Liverpool Telescope is the only optical telescope in the world, where science, education and outreach are really working side by side. It’s extremely pleasing to receive this recognition and the Queen’s Anniversary prize is a fitting tribute to the high calibre and the dedication of all the staff involved.”

Working to the scientific imperative identified by its astronomers, LJMU established a subsidiary company, Telescope Technologies Ltd (TTL), in 1996 to design and build the world’s largest robotic telescope, the LJMU-owned Liverpool Telescope, located in La Palma, Canaries.

The development of the Liverpool Telescope – and four other subsequent robotic telescopes – has enabled the ARI to play an instrumental role in realising the scientific vision of a network of research class telescopes, on world-class sites around the globe. This idea was first espoused by Mike Bode, LJMU’s Professor of Astrophysics, through the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC)-funded RoboNet project.

The Liverpool Telescope has now been delivering front rank science to the UK and international communities fully robotically since late-2004. Unlike other ground-based telescopes, it is flexible enough to respond to objects that appear suddenly in the sky – such as supernovae, gamma ray bursts and comets – while also contributing, for example, to the study of planets outside our solar system.

In his endorsement of the University, the famous astronomer and presenter of The Sky at Night, Sir Patrick Moore CBE said ‘a full understanding of science is essential in the modern world and in this respect the Liverpool Telescope is of immense importance’.

A proportion of the Liverpool Telescope’s observational time is set aside for use by UK schools through LJMU’s National Schools’ Observatory (NSO). Over 500 schools are currently members, enabling thousands of primary and secondary school pupils to reach for the stars by bringing high quality astronomical images right into their classrooms.

Furthermore, as part of its drive to make science both more accessible and fun, LJMU played an instrumental role in the development of Mersey Ferries’ new £10 million visitor attraction in astronomy and space exploration, Spaceport. This partnership further demonstrates the unique approach adopted by the University and its astronomers in that they are directly contributing to the regeneration of Merseyside.

A permanent Spaceport exhibit showcases how schools can join the National Schools’ Observatory and visitors can also see some of the latest Liverpool Telescope images for themselves. LJMU now hopes to increase its NSO member schools to 1200 by 2007.

Mike Bode, Professor of Astrophysics, said: “If you want people to consider a career in science, you have to excite teachers and pupils. They have to be able to see something of the real work that scientists do. The NSO enables us to show science in action. The Queen’s Anniversary award – and the increasing number of schools who have signed up to the NSO – prove that our approach is working.”

Shonagh Wilkie | alfa
Further information:
http://www.livjm.ac.uk

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Seeing the quantum future... literally
16.01.2017 | University of Sydney

nachricht Airborne thermometer to measure Arctic temperatures
11.01.2017 | Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

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: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

Im Focus: Repairing defects in fiber-reinforced plastics more efficiently

Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.

Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Multiregional brain on a chip

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans

16.01.2017 | Information Technology

Researchers develop environmentally friendly soy air filter

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>