FUTURE OF THE ING TELESCOPES ============================ ING is happy to share with its user community the news that STFC Council, at its meeting on Tuesday 29 May, resolved to support ING's proposal for the UK's continued involvement in ING. The STFC Council decision, explained by STFC CEO John Womersley, is 'to extend operations of ING initially until 31 March 2015, which will provide time for completing negotiations with the ING partners with the goal of transferring ownership of the telescopes while retaining continued access to the northern sky for UK astronomers.' The full news item can be found at http://stfc.ac.uk/News+and+Events/39092.aspx This decision signals STFC's recognition of the importance given by UK astronomers to continued access to the northern sky. It's also a vote of confidence in ING's plans for the development and scientific exploitation of the WEAVE multi-object spectrograph. WEAVE is currently in its preliminary design phase, and a funding decision by the ING partners will be sought in 2013. With WEAVE we will carry out a number of ambitious spectroscopic surveys, including the northern- sky follow-up of the Gaia mission. Read more about WEAVE at http://www.ing.iac.es/weave/ On the basis of this decision by STFC, we expect that the future of ING will broadly follow the strategy outlined on our web site, http://www.ing.iac.es/about-ING/strategy/strategy_2013_2022.html In short, in the years up to the arrival of WEAVE, ING users will continue to have access to those existing instruments which are still in high demand, and we plan to introduce long-term programmes to allow a broad range of high-profile science, from deep wide-field surveys to time-domain astronomy. Instrument enhancement will concentrate on those instruments for which demand is highest. We plan to continue our visitor instrument programme, our student programme, and our support for the development and prototyping of technologies needed for the next generation of very large telescopes. We will also further develop our strategic partnership with the 10-m GTC. Once WEAVE is at the telescope, currently expected in 2017, it will take a large fraction of the WHT time. The fraction of time retained for observations with other instruments will be decided on the basis of user demand. ING wants to thank you, our user community, for your continued interest in our telescopes. This support has been crucial in developing our plans for the future. We look forward to working with you to make these plans a reality and a scientific success. We regret that the UK's support for our sister island site at Hawaii, operating the JCMT and UKIRT, will extend to 2014 only. We look forward to great science coming from SCUBA2 and UKIDSS in this period, and hope that new owners are found, to keep these telescopes in operation. Marc Balcells Director ING ---------------------------------------------------- Dr. Marc Balcells, Director Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes 38700 Santa Cruz de La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain Tel. +34 922 425 403 http://www.ing.iac.es balcells 'at' ing.iac.es ============================================================= You can subscribe to [INGNEWS] by sending a message to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following text in the body of the message and in the subject line: subscribe ingnews
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