What's New at The Royal Observatory

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Max Planck Humboldt Research Award for Professor Catherine Heymans

29th October 2018

Congratulations to Professor Catherine Heymans who is the first winner of the new Max Planck-Humboldt Research Award. The award, which is worth €1.5 million, is financed by funds from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and awarded jointly by the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

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ROEARIEL exoplanet mission selected as ESA’s next medium-class science mission

20 March 2018

ARIEL, a mission to answer fundamental questions about how planetary systems form and evolve, has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) as its next medium-class science mission, due for launch in 2026. During a 4-year mission, ARIEL will observe 1000 planets orbiting distant stars and make the first large-scale survey of the chemistry of exoplanet atmospheres. ESA’s Science Programme Committee announced the selection of ARIEL from three candidate missions on 20th March 2018. STFC through its RAL Space and UK ATC teams is part of the UK team contributing to this project.

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Congratulations to new Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

27th February 2018

Congratulations to Professors Philip Best and Catherine Heymans of the School of Physics and Astronomy, who today were among the 66 distinguished individuals elected to become Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE).

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UK ATCUK ATC's Professor Wayne Holland awarded prestigious astronomy medal

12th January 2018

Professor Wayne Holland, Project Scientist at STFC’s UK Astronomy Technology Centre in Edinburgh, has been awarded the Royal Astronomical Society’s 2018 Jackson-Gwilt Medal. The award recognises outstanding invention, improvement, or development of astronomical instrumentation or techniques.

Professor Holland, who is also a visiting professor at the University of Edinburgh, has been cited for his substantial contributions to the evolution of submillimetre astronomy, and in particular his leadership of SCUBA-2, the world's most powerful submillimetre camera.

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ROEHiggs Centre for Innovation Website Launched

22 December 2017

The website for the Higgs Centre for Innovation has been launched detailing the facilities available, the business incubation support, and the collaboration opportunities.

Higgs Centre for Innovation Website

ROEVisiting Professorship in Innovation

08 November 2017

Colin Cunningham has been awarded a Visiting Professorship in Innovation, Instrumentation and Systems Engineering by the Royal Academy of Engineering. It is based at the Scottish Microelectronics Centre in the School of Engineering at the University of Edinburgh. He started a three year employment at the beginning of October, and will be working on it for about half a day a week, combined with his part-time role as Technology Champion at the UK Astronomy Technology Centre.

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ROEUKATC engineers behind the latest gravitational waves news

16 October 2017

News that for the first time scientists have directly detected both gravitational waves and light from the same event was made possible in part by engineers from the UK Astronomy Technology Centre.

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IFA LogoEdinburgh students star in film about Charles Piazzi Smyth

2nd October 2017

On Saturday 7th October, Edinburgh staff and students can be seen on-screen at the Edinburgh Filmhouse, in a f ilm which recounts the life of the famous astronomer Charles Piazzi Smyth, and re-creates his famous experiments of 1856.

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Astronomers release largest ever infrared sky survey

1st August 2017

An international team of astronomers, led by the Universities of Nottingham and Edinburgh, have released the largest ever map of the sky at infrared wavelengths, with over 1.5 million mega-pixels and containing nearly two billion stars and galaxies. It has already been used to find some of the most distant quasars known, and will be now be queried and analysed by astronomers all over the world.

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IFA LogoAlexander von Humboldt Foundation Award for Professor Annette Ferguson

10th March 2017

Professor Annette Ferguson has won a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in recognition of her research into the histories of nearby galaxies.

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Gravitational Waves to Reveal Darkest Secret of our Universe

1st February 2017

Near the end of the last millennium, our Universe was discovered to be undergoing an accelerated expansion. The physics underlying this acceleration, however, remains one of the Cosmos's darkest secrets. It could be attributed to a new "Dark Energy" force that fills the Cosmos or the presence of the Cosmological Constant predicted by Einstein. But for the two decades since this discovery, there has also been the possibility the acceleration is due to a change in Einstein's Theory of General Relativity. In particular, high hopes were assigned to an extension by a new constituent of the Universe that shares similar properties to the Higgs field.

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Royal Astronomical Society award for Professor Catherine Heymans

16th January 2017

The Institute for Astronomy's Prof. Catherine Heymans has been awarded the 2017 George Darwin Lectureship by the Royal Astronomical Society. The Lecture is given annually, on a topic in astronomy, cosmology or astroparticle physics.

Catherine Heymans is a Professor of Astrophysics and European Research Council Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, based at the Institute for Astronomy.

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ROE2017 Joseph Weber Award for Astronomical Instrumentation to Former ROE Staff Member Prof Ian S. McLean

13 January 2017

The American Astronomical Society (AAS) has just announced the award of the 2017 Joseph Weber Award for Astronomical Instrumentation to Prof Ian S. McLean (University of California, Los Angeles). The award recognises more than 30 years at the forefront of the development of advanced infrared sensor arrays and for his leadership in the design, construction, and deployment of innovative infrared instruments that have had widespread and fundamental scientific impact across a broad community of astronomers.

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