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Isaac Newton Telescope – 50 Years Since First Light

The Isaac Newton Telescope (INT) saw first light in UK in 1967. It was decided to move it to La Palma in the following decade and it resumed observations in 1984 at the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory on La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain. See this chronology to learn about the main facts of the INT life and this page on general information about the INT.

Plate uncovererd by Queen Elizabeth II during the inauguration of the INT in Herstmoneux, UK in 1967.

The Queen visits the INT for its inauguration, accompanied by then Astronomer Royal Richard Woolley, 1 December 1967. Credit: Science Projects Ltd.

The INT dome and Herstmonceux Castle, former RGO's base, while the INT was still in use.

In 2017 the ING celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first light ceremony of the INT. A special momentum took place on the night of the 1st of December, 2017. A public event was organised by the Observatory Science Centre in Herstmoneux, UK, during which some prestigious astronomers gave talks about the early times of the INT and a number of real-time connections with the INT were established. The audience could follow the observations scheduled for that night, including obtaining spectroscopy of V404 Cygni, the first stellar black hole discovered thanks to observations made with the WHT and the INT in 1992. Below are some photos of this special event:

The empty dome of the INT near the location of the event celebration.

A special carp was set up for the event for hosting the public.

The speakers. From left to right: Marc Balcells, Donald Lynden-Bell, Keith Tritton, Paul Murdin, Chas Parker, and Bob Fosbury.

The end of the live connection with the INT. A toast was made with British apple cider (to remember famous Isaac Newton's apple) at the INT dome, which was joined by the public at the Herstmonceux event.

The ING team at the INT. From left to right: Thomas Wilson, Tarik Zegmott, Cecilia Fariña, Javier Méndez, Lucía Suárez and Chris Benn.

Around the dates of the anniversary, the press media published the ephemerides. Here you can find a selection of some of the press clippings:

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Last modified: 23 February 2022