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ING Newsletter No. 6, October 2002

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Message from the Director

Dear Reader,

Whilst the telescopes on La Palma keep going strong, a large number of changes are taking shape at the ING. Last winter important decisions were taken by PPARC Council that have a profound influence on the UK’s ground-based astronomy programme. As a result, the UK is now a member of the European Southern Observatory, but these decisions also imply a siginificant shift in the balance of resources. One particular implication is a reduction of funds for the ING telescopes in the future.

In order to offset the reduction of funding from PPARC, a formal partnership with the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias has been agreed. This collaboration will further strengthen international collaboration between the European partners at the ORM, and at the same time reduce the impact of the reduced UK funding.

Nevertheless, the overall reduction in resources enforces a number of important changes at ING that will not go unnoticed by ING staff or the astronomical community that we serve. In this Newsletter you will read how the changes impact on the service delivered to our user community (see article on page 19).

Another significant development since the previous Newsletter is the creation of a new observatory advisory body. The creation of this advisory group with wide international participation and a wide brief, was proposed during the observatory review last year. I am particularly pleased with the strong membership of this group, and trust that their experience will help outline future directions of the observatory.

Apart from the unavoidable ‘politics’ that surrounds the observatory, we are not losing sight of the significant astronomical results that are being produced. The articles based on observations with INGRID, S-CAM, CIRSI, NAOMI and ULTRACAM provide for a number of excellent highlights.

I hope you enjoy reading this Newsletter !

René G. M. Rutten

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Last modified: 13 December 2010