Old News From 2014 For The Royal Observatory

UK ATCESO gives the go-ahead for E-ELT construction

4th December 2014

The announcement today that the green light has been given for construction of the world’s biggest optical and infrared telescope, the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), provides huge opportunities for both the UK astronomy community and UK Industry.

Full text of the press release

UK ATC'ReD letter day' at the UK ATC

25th November 2014

November 25th marked the shipping of the UK ATC developed Retinal Densiometer prototype (ReD) to Cardiff University’s School of Optometry and Vision Sciences. The device is designed to help diagnose Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of sight loss in adults living in the developed world. Once at Cardiff the prototype will undergo more realistic engineering tests involving human volunteers before further versions are deployed for clinical trials.

Full text of the press release.

ROEConcluding news from SPIE 2014

07 July 2014

SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2014, the most prestigious event for developers of ground- and space-based telescopes, the supporting technologies, and the latest instrumentation.

Concluding news from the event

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UK astronomers bid to join Large Survey Telescope Project

23rd June 2014

Astronomers will discuss the case for UK involvement in the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope project (LSST) on Monday 23 June at the National Astronomy Meeting in Portsmouth.

The LSST will be sited at Cerro Pachón in the Chilean Andes and will have a primary mirror 8.4 metres in diameter, making it one of the largest single telescopes in the world, as well as the world’s largest digital camera, comprising 3.2 billion pixels. It will achieve first light in 2020 and its main sky survey will begin in 2022.

More Details

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Prof. John Peacock is joint recipient of Shaw Prize in Astronomy

28th May 2014

Prof. John Peacock has been jointly awarded the Shaw Prize in Astronomy. He shares the award with professors Daniel Eisenstein (Harvard University) and Shaun Cole (Durham University).

The 2014 Shaw Prize recognises the achievements of two large-scale sky surveys: with the UK-Australian Two-degree Field Galaxy Redshift Survey (2dFGRS) and the USA-led Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). John Peacock is a co-lead of the 2dFGRS, which catalogued 220,000 galaxies between 1995 and 2002, a tenfold leap in the size of such studies.

Full text of the press release

UK ATCUK ATC key partner in new Scottish Satellite Applications Centre

21st March 2014

The UK Astronomy Technology Centre (UK ATC) in Edinburgh has this week been named one of the key partners in a new Scottish Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications that will enable businesses to tap in to the UK’s £8.2 billion space sector.

Full text of the press release.

ROERSE Awards for two members of ROE staff

7th March 2014

Congratulations to Professor Gillian Wright MBE, Director of the STFC UK Astronomy Technology Centre, and Professor Rob Ivision, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Astronomy (IfA), part of the University of Edinburgh, on being elected Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE).

The 53 Royal Society of Edinburgh Fellows announced are seen as outstanding representatives from a wide variety of disciplines - spanning the arts, business, science and technology sectors. Gillian and Rob will join those Fellows, past and present, who continue the RSE’s founding mission: "the advancement of learning and useful knowledge". The breadth of the Fellowship, which includes more than 1500 people from Scotland, the rest of the UK and beyond, ensures that the RSE can provide leadership and excellence across all areas of public life.

STFC News Item

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First surface map of a brown dwarf shows extraterrestrial weather patterns

29th January 2014

Astronomers have presented the first detailed study of the atmospheric features – the extraterrestrial weather patterns – of a brown dwarf (an object intermediate between planets and stars). The results include the first surface map of a brown dwarf and measurements at different wavelengths probing the atmosphere at different depths. They mark the beginning of an era in which astronomers will be able to compare models for cloud formation on brown dwarfs – and, eventually, on giant gas planets in distant star systems – with observations. The results are published in the January 30, 2014 issue of the journal Nature and in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

University of Edinburgh Press Release, ESO Press Release, MPIA Press Release

UK ATCRAS Group Achievement Award for SPIRE

22nd January 2014

The Herschel-SPIRE Consortium has received the RAS Group Achievement Award reflecting the contributions of the large international team, including the UK ATC and Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, which built this spaceborne astronomical instrument.

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UK ATCHeriot-Watt University and UK ATC work on Photonics and E-ELT feature on BBC Scotland

20th January 2014

Laser inscription work being done by Dr Robert Thomson of Heriot-Watt University was featured on BBC Scotland. The laser inscription work is required for development of photonic lanterns a technology that will be used in the instruments for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). The UK ATC helped fund this work and is collaborating with the research. The TV report also featured Dr John Davies giving the background to the E-ELT and explaining the importance of photonic lanterns for the development of E-ELT instruments.

BBC Scotland TV Report

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Royal Astronomical Society award for Professor James Dunlop

10th January 2014

The Institute for Astronomy's Prof. James Dunlop has been awarded the 2014 George Darwin Lectureship by the Royal Astronomical Society. The Lecture is given annually by a distinguished and eloquent speaker on a topic in astronomy, cosmology or astroparticle physics.

Prof. Dunlop is Head of the Institute for Astronomy, having previously held this position for five years from 2002-2007. He has also received a Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award and currently holds an ERC Advanced Investigator Award.

Full text of the press release