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 Exotic spiraling electrons discovered by physicists
19.02.2019 | Rutgers University

nachricht Astronomers publish new sky map detecting hundreds of thousands of previously unknown galaxies
19.02.2019 | Universität Bielefeld

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: Light from a roll – hybrid OLED creates innovative and functional luminous surfaces

Up to now, OLEDs have been used exclusively as a novel lighting technology for use in luminaires and lamps. However, flexible organic technology can offer much more: as an active lighting surface, it can be combined with a wide variety of materials, not just to modify but to revolutionize the functionality and design of countless existing products. To exemplify this, the Fraunhofer FEP together with the company EMDE development of light GmbH will be presenting hybrid flexible OLEDs integrated into textile designs within the EU-funded project PI-SCALE for the first time at LOPEC (March 19-21, 2019 in Munich, Germany) as examples of some of the many possible applications.

The Fraunhofer FEP, a provider of research and development services in the field of organic electronics, has long been involved in the development of...

Im Focus: Regensburg physicists watch electron transfer in a single molecule

For the first time, an international team of scientists based in Regensburg, Germany, has recorded the orbitals of single molecules in different charge states in a novel type of microscopy. The research findings are published under the title “Mapping orbital changes upon electron transfer with tunneling microscopy on insulators” in the prestigious journal “Nature”.

The building blocks of matter surrounding us are atoms and molecules. The properties of that matter, however, are often not set by these building blocks...

Im Focus: University of Konstanz gains new insights into the recent development of the human immune system

Scientists at the University of Konstanz identify fierce competition between the human immune system and bacterial pathogens

Cell biologists from the University of Konstanz shed light on a recent evolutionary process in the human immune system and publish their findings in the...

Im Focus: Transformation through Light

Laser physicists have taken snapshots of carbon molecules C₆₀ showing how they transform in intense infrared light

When carbon molecules C₆₀ are exposed to an intense infrared light, they change their ball-like structure to a more elongated version. This has now been...

Im Focus: Famous “sandpile model” shown to move like a traveling sand dune

Researchers at IST Austria find new property of important physical model. Results published in PNAS

The so-called Abelian sandpile model has been studied by scientists for more than 30 years to better understand a physical phenomenon called self-organized...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Global Legal Hackathon at HAW Hamburg

11.02.2019 | Event News

The world of quantum chemistry meets in Heidelberg

30.01.2019 | Event News

Our digital society in 2040

16.01.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

New therapeutic approach to combat African sleeping sickness

20.02.2019 | Life Sciences

Powering a pacemaker with a patient's heartbeat

20.02.2019 | Medical Engineering

The holy grail of nanowire production

20.02.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>