European Research Grants Aimed at Space Science and Astronomy
In the UK, people are encouraged to study and work in the fields of science and technology, thanks to the science and technology facilities that have been established over the years. The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is a United Kingdom organization that funds UK scientific research into various fields such as particle physics, astronomy, space science and advanced energy technologies. It also sponsors the construction and development of new science and technology facilities. In the last decade, it has been hosting one of the leading international conferences on the topic of astronomy.
The STFC was founded in 1963 by King Edward VIII and Queen Elizabeth. It is dedicated to the study and use of science and technology for the benefit of the nation. One of its major goals is to build the largest telescope in the world, the telescope at Mullumbin, New Zealand. The organization also funds the research and development of new technologies in physics, astronomy and the natural sciences.
The organization also sponsors research and development in the field of aerospace science and technologies, including satellites and space science, nuclear Physics, particle physics and astronomy. In addition, the STFC aids in promoting education in these areas through the establishment of institutes and scholarships. The institutes and scholarships provide financial aids to high school students interested in studying astronomy, nuclear physics or applied physics. Several colleges also participate in the program, especially those in the country’s main centres such as Manchester and Edinburgh.
Particle Physics and Astronomy STFC have been instrumental in funding the European Research Council’s Optical Physics Programmes which aims at developing technology to improve the accuracy of detection of signals from exploding stars and supernovae. Another STFC activity focuses on the Search for Energetic Stars. This is one of the biggest initiatives undertaken by the organization, resulting in the development of many facilities and detectors that helped in this search. The facility also developed the first millimeter-wave technology suitable for use in astronomy research. Other projects in the area of astronomy include the development of a national catalogue of celestial objects and the preparation of a European Space Agency program on Near Earth Objects.
Nuclear Physics and Astrophysics STFC have also been one of the founding members of the European Union’s Joint Science Programme for Fundamental Physics (JSPFE), a program designed to build up European research laboratories and strengthen the European research community’s presence in the world’s most important research centres. Apart from this, the organization also co-chairs the intergovernmental organization for space science (EUPS) with NASA and the European Space Agency. In addition to this, the organization has been an active participant in the international Search for Large Planets Survey (Lpsc), launching the European Space Agency’s first satellite, the Very Small Telescope (VST), on the final day of 2021.
Another significant partner of STFC is the European-Armenian joint research organisation, the EURASEC. This organisation also aims to build an international platform for the exchange of information on nuclear Physics, astronomy and cosmology. The two organisations also co-ordinated the construction of the Triodos Loop and the development of the Gran Sasso Study Centre, an independent astronomical observatory in Gran Sasso, Italy. The cooperation between the two bodies has resulted in many joint research papers and the co-coordination of the first European-Armenian Joint Science Program for the development of the Gran Sasso Study Centre, which went into operation in 2021. As a result of this, the organisation received funding from the European Research Council, the European Atmosphere Program, the Academy of General Chemistry and the National Institute for Cardiovascular Research.
With the development of new large-scale facilities and scientific instruments, astronomy has found itself increasingly able to exploit the full potential of its small but important contribution to the sciences. The application of the tools and technologies developed by European and international scientists for the study of space-based particles and forces, cosmology, nuclear physics and astronomy is therefore becoming ever more important. Astronomy is a very successful area with a long history of development and technological evolution, making it well worth supporting through European research grants.
Astronomy relies on the application of space science and telescope technology to take advantage of the wealth of information provided by satellites. In fact, many aspects of astronomy are carried out at the astronomers’ telescopes on the ground. For example, the Large telescope programme, now operated by the European Southern Observatory, is performing an important role in the study of stars and galaxies. The results of this programme can be seen using the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory at University College London, UK.