The road to the next large astronomical observatories

Series Name Professor George Fraser Memorial Lecture
Speaker Professor Xavier Barcons, University of Cantabria
Type Lectures & Talks
When 30 Oct 2017, 05:30PM - 07:00PM
Venue Ken Edwards Lecture Theatre 3, University of Lecture
Open To Public
Ticket Price Free
For Bookings Contact Mrs Daxa Patel dp204@leicester.ac.uk

Since Astronomy is an observationally-driven science discipline, significant leaps in astronomical research occur with the deployment of new facilities, both in the ground and in space. Large astronomical observatories are long-lead items, aimed at cracking very challenging scientific objectives like finding habitable exoplanets, understanding the formation of stars, the interplay between gas, stars and black holes in galaxies or the contents and evolution of the Universe.

Through ESO, ESA and other agencies, Europe has embarked in the development of an impressive battery of large facilities, some of which will come on line during the next decade (ALMA, the ESO ELT, JWST, Athena and hopefully SKA and CTA). The road towards these powerful observatories is (or has been) rather bumpy, but thanks to the skills and dedication of many people (like George Fraser), these adventures become feasible. In this lecture I will describe the development of some of these wonderful observatories and their science objectives, in particular the Athena X-ray observatory, the ALMA sub/millimetre telescope and ESO's Extremely Large Telescope.

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