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Chronology of the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes

William Herschel Telescope
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1675 The Royal Observatory founded at Greenwich by King Charles II
15 Nov 1738 Frederick William Herschel born
1781 William Herschel discovers Uranus
26 Aug 1822 Death of Frederick William Herschel
1856 First astronomical observations in the Canary Islands by Charles Piazzi Smyth 
1948-1958 The Royal Observatory is moved from London to Herstmonceux Castle in Sussex, and renamed the Royal Greenwich Observatory
Jan Hermann Brück, Astronomer Royal for Scotland, first proposes the construction of a Northern Hemisphere Observatory (NHO) 
Jan Formal start of the project 'Northern Hemisphere Observatory (NHO)'. Sir Fred Hoyle takes the chair at the first meeting of the Northern Hemisphere Review Committee
Apr John Alexander of the Royal Greenwich Observatory visits La Palma
Aug Professor M.F. Walker of Lick Observatory, California includes La Palma in a list of oceanic islands that might be used as astronomical sites 
JOSO site testers visit La Palma 
Nov  Flight over the mountain top in La Palma by JOSO (Joint Organization for Solar Observations) team
Dec John Alexander states: "The ideal solution may be an international observatory site on the island of La Palma." 
2 Jul First astronomical observations on Roque de Los Muchachos peak. They were carried out by a JOSO team consisting of G. Hosinsky, L. Staveland and H. Wöhl from Jul 2 to Jul 21
11 Jul First British astronomers arrive in La Palma
6 Aug First observations by the British site-testing team. These were carried out by Dr T. T. Gough and Mr C. M. Heath of the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh in Fuente Nueva, where the ING telescopes are erected today
May The NHO Planning Committee decides not to consider La Palma any more due to deep pessimism about the prospects for agreement on the use of La Palma site
Aug After high international activity, Spanish authorities issue an invitation to form a Joint Astronomical Site Survey to undertake an international programme of site testing on the Canary Islands
Nov The proposals for the present WHT, INT and JKT are accepted by the Science Research Council
25 Nov Site testing observations begin in Fuente Nueva
Dec Representatives of Denmark, Sweden, Germany and the United Kingdom are invited by the Rector of the University of La Laguna and the Presidents of the local Governments (Cabildos) of Tenerife and La Palma to discuss arrangements for the survey programme. During a aircraft flight above the Roque de Los Muchachos peak, these representatives "[...] felt that this must be the site for the new observatory"
Nov Tests for night site observing are completed
8 Mar A purchase order for the 4.2-m Cervit blank for the primary mirror placed with Owens-Illinois
26 May Almost 10 years after the first committee met to consider a Northern Hemisphere Observatory, a treaty governing its establishment is signed. Spain agrees to let Denmark, Sweden, and Britain build on La Palma, in exchange for 20 percent of the observing time. The treaty is signed in the Cabildo of la Palma 
May The SRC approves the 4.2m William Herschel Telescope
18 Jun SERC-ZWO agreement signed. They agree to share all the parts of the projects, including the construction, operation and use of the telescopes, each providing manpower, capital and running costs in the ratio 4:1.
September First RGO staff come to live on La Palma
Nov Contract placed for construction of the William Herschel Telescope
September First Dutch technician begins work at Herstmonceux under Anglo-Dutch collaborative programme
May Construction of William Herschel Telescope building begins
September La Palma Observers' Guide issued
Nov First light through the Carlsberg Automatic Meridian Circle
Apr Patrick Moore films Sky at Night on La Palma
September  Start of tests at Grubb Parsons of William Herschel Telescope
Dec William Herschel Telescope dismantled, packed and stored. Effective closure of Grubb Parsons
Jun  Completion of road to Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory
29 Jun Royal Inauguration of the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory on La Palma
Aug Opening of Residencia on Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory
1 Jun First Light on the WHT
15 Aug First Light on TAURUS II
22 Aug First observing run relating to a PATT application. This was for a programme called 'TAURUS observations of rotation curves, intergalactic gas and star forming regions', Dr E A Valentijn from the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute is the principal investigator
OctFirst light on FOS-2 [more]
AprThe Ground-based High Resolution Imaging Laboratory (GHRIL) sees first light [more]
31 OctThe Spanish Government approves the Sky Law
First images of features on the surface of a star (other than the Sun) [more ]
First detection of gravitational microlensing events [more ]
Identification and optical monitoring of a binary millisecond pulsar [more ]
AutumnFirst light on ISIS [more]
Starspots discovered in binary systems [more ]
RGO moves to Cambridge
Jul The first infrared array is used at ING. It was a 58×62 pixel InSb chip mounted inside the FAST camera. [more]
NovFirst light on the Utrecht Echelle Spectrograph [more]
The best-ever stellar-size black hole candidate in a compact binary system is discovered [more ]
13 Mar The regulation of the Sky Law is approved by the Spanish Government
SN 1993J was the closest core-collapse supernova to have occurred this century and observable from the north. ING telescopes immediately set in motion an extensive programme of astrometric, photometric (UVBRI) and low- and high- dispersion spectroscopic monitoring. The INT spectrum of SN1993J obtained one day after the discovery was the first recorded anywhere at any wavelength. A public on-line archive consisting of optical photometric and spectroscopic data is offered to the community. Over 70 sites worldwide have availed themselves of this unique facility [more
NovFirst light on the Prime Focus Camera [more]
OctFirst light on Autofib-2 [more]
First ever observations of a brown dwarf [more]
The deepest ground-based image in B-band [more]
AprFirst light on Wyffos spectrograph [more]
The WHT observes a star in real-time evolution, the Sakurai object [more ]
28 Feb First detection of a gamma-ray burst in optical light [more ]
16 Apr Comet Hale-Bopp: First ever images of a neutral gas tail in a comet (discovered using the ING CoCAM camera) [more ]
By observing distant type Ia supernovae, astronomers determine that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate - an observation that implies the existence of a mysterious, self-repelling property of space first proposed by Albert Einstein, which he called the cosmological constant. This extraordinary finding is named by the journal 'Science' as Breakthrough of the Year for 1998 [more]
31 Oct Closure of RGO.
Cosmic flow of galaxies across one billion light years of the Universe [more]
Feb First on-sky observations using a Superconducting Tunnel Junction detector: First light on S-Cam [more]
Feb First light on Sauron Spectrograph [more]
September First light on the new Prime Focus Camera [more]
September First sodium laser beacon at La Palma [more]
New evidence that galaxies formed early in the history of the universe [more]
16 Mar First light of INGRID [more]
2 Jun Crown Prince of Spain observes at the William Herschel Telescope [more]
14 Aug First light of NAOMI [more]
The WHT one of the most science productive telescopes in the world [more]
International review of ING [more]
7-11 May First scientific conference organised by ING [more]
16 Jul First light on the Planetary Nebula Spectrograph [more]
24 Jul First light on the new Small Fibre Module of Autofib2/WYFFOS [more]
20 Oct Science from La Palma - Past, Present and Future, a workshop organised by ING in honour of Dr Paul Murdin. [more]
First ever adaptive optics observation of a Near Earth Asteroid [more]
May First Light on OSCA [more]
16 May First Light on ULTRACAM [more]
27-31 May A Euroconference Organised by the ING: “Symbiotic Stars Probing Stellar Evolution”, La Palma, 27–31 May 2002 [more]
31 Jul Decommissioning of UES
Aug RoboDIMM starts observing [more]
9-11 Jan NAOMI Workshop [more ]
15 Feb First Light on LIRIS [more]
2 May Inauguration of GRACE [more]
6 May Signing of agreement with IAC to become a partner
26-30 May Satellites and Tidal Streams, an ING–IAC Joint Conference [more ]
Jul First light on OASIS [more]
First Detection of a Progenitor Star from a Normal Type II-P Supernova [more]
22 Apr First light on PlanetPol [more ]
27 Jul Commissioning of the new WYFFOS long camera [more ]
28 Oct Discovery of the companion star of Tycho´s supernova [more]
28 Oct Discovery of the companion star of Tycho´s supernova [more ]
9-11 May Adaptive-Optics Assisted Integral-Field Spectroscopy Workshop [more ]
6-10 Jun 2nd Meeting on Hot Subdwarf Stars and Related Objects Conference [more ]
4 Jul Deep Impact mission observed at ING [more ]
14 Jul The Discovery of a Galaxy-Wide Superwind from a Young Massive Galaxy at Redshift z~3 [more ]
4 Aug Most of the Growth of Supermassive Black Holes is Obscured by Dust [more ]
14 Oct RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting on "Science from La Palma - Looking beyond 2009" [more ]
First Observational Evidence of a Dead Cataclysmic Variable [more]
A Gaseous Metal Disk Around a White Dwarf [more]
First Detection of Rubidium in Asymptotic Giant Branch Stars [more]
4 Apr Users' meeting at NAM 2006: Astronomy from La Palma: Developments and future directions
16-19 May Conference: The nature of V838 Monocerotis and its light echo [more]
3 Dec First light on an L3CCD detector on ISIS
10-16 Dec IAU Symposium 241: Stellar Populations as Building Blocks of Galaxies [more]
A giant outburst two years before the core-collapse of a massive star [more]
Observational Evidence that Outflows from AGNs Originate as Disk Winds Rotating a Super-Massive Black Hole [more]
1 Apr The UK's Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) replaces the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) as ING's owner.
18-22 Jun Conference: Asymmetrical Planetary Nebulae IV [more]
6 Jul First Light on GHaFaS [more ]
8 Aug 02:00 UT 1,000,000th CCD exposure obtained [more ]
27 Nov First Light on FastCam [more ]
  The universe shines twice as bright [more]
23 Jun-5 Jul NEON observing school [more]
15 Jul New director for the ING [more]
22-23 Mar Workshop on "Science with the WHT 2010-2020" [more]
  Galaxy zoo supernovae and the WHT [more]
Riding the Wake of a Merging Galaxy Cluster [more]
Under the 'Dark Halo' Old Galaxies Have Many More Stars [more]
Masgomas-1: A Very Massive Stellar Cluster [more]
The Transiting Earth [more]
The Cold Veil of the Milky Way Stellar Halo [more]
First Evidence of the Relation Between Jets in Planetary Nebulae and Mass Transfer and Accretion in Close Binaries [more]
A Hypergiant Star (Partially) Traversing the Yellow Evolutionary Void [more]
Imaging Polarimetry of Circumstellar Environments with ExPo [more]
22-23 March Workshop: La Palma and Calar Alto Observatories, Science in the Next Decade [more]
Probing Nuclear Activity Versus Star Formation Using Near-Infrared Multi-Object Spectroscopy [more]
Prof. Vikram Dhillon is Awarded the 2013 Royal Astronomical Society Jackson-Gwilt Medal for the Development and Operation of ULTRACAM [more]
SAURON Team Gets the 2013 Group Achievement Award of the Royal Astronomical Society [more]
Accretion on a Very Rapidly Spinning White Dwarf Observed Using an L3CCD [more]
A Dust-Obscured Massive Maximum-Starburst Galaxy in the Early Universe [more]
Discovery of the First Isolated Compact Elliptical (cE) Galaxy [more]
The Rapid Assembly of an Elliptical Galaxy of 400 Billion Solar Masses at a Redshift of 2.3 [more]
WHT and GTC Follow Up Main Belt Comet P/2012 T1 (PANSTARRS) [more]
ING Science Strategy 2013 - 2022 [more]
The Music of the Galaxies [more]
Discovery of Circularly Polarised Light in a GRB Afterglow [more]
Spectro-Astrometry of V1515 Cygni with Adaptive Optics [more]
One of Most Accurate Measurements of the Size of a Trans-Neptunian Object from a Stellar Occultation [more]
21 Aug Report on instrumentation at the ING Telescopes [more]