George William Fraser

George William Fraser

22 July 1955 — 18 March 2014

Professor George Fraser Memorial Lecture

Monday 30th October 2017
5:30 pm

The road to the next large astronomical observatories.

Professor Xavier Barcons, University of Cantabria
ESO - European Organisation for Astronomical research in the Southern Hemisphere

Venue: Physics Lecture Theatre A, University of Leicester.

All Welcome

This is the fourth in the series of George Fraser Memorial Lectures in memory of Professor George Fraser (Director of Space Research Centre 2002-2014) who died suddenly and unexpectedly on 18th March 2014.

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.

The lecture is open to all, but we ask you to fill out the form below, to give us an idea of numbers, so we can provide light refreshments.

Maps are available on the University of Leicester pages.

If you have any queries, please contact Mrs. Daxa Patel (