Jeremiah Horrocks Lecture: The Extremely Large Telescope-The Biggest Eye on the Sky

Speaker: Ruben Sanchez-Janssen, UK Astronomy Technology Centre

The Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) is the world’s most ambitious ground-based optical-infrared astronomical facility. When it achieves first light in 2028 the sensitivity and spatial resolution provided by its 39m diameter primary mirror will dwarf those of existing facilities. In this talk I will provide an update on the construction of the ELT and its innovative instrumentation suite, and I will highlight some of the key science cases that will make this facility truly transformational—from searches of biomarkers in nearby exoplanets to detailed spectroscopy of individual stars in the Galaxy and beyond, to characterisation of the most distant galaxies at the edge of the observable Universe.

Ruben Sanchez-Janssen is an Astronomer at STFC’s UK Astronomy Technology Centre (UKATC). He leads the development of scientific instrumentation and facilities for ground- and space-based astronomy from the ultraviolet to the near-infrared, with a particular emphasis on widefield astronomy and future missions. He is Principal Investigator for the UK ELT Instrumentation Programme as well as Project Scientist for MOSAIC, the multi-object spectrograph for the ELT. His research programme revolves around galaxy evolution, with a focus on low-mass galaxies and star cluster systems in the nearby Universe.

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