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ING Newsletter No. 6, October 2002

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A Workshop in Honour of Paul Murdin

René G. M. Rutten (Director, ING)

The creation of the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes, and more generally of the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, is intimately related with the relentless energy of Paul Murdin. In October 2001, after many years, Paul stepped down from the ING Board, and this was commemorated with a brief but interesting workshop with the title “Science from La Palma – Past,  Present and Future.”

Various talks were given, showing the highlights as well as the unavoidable but entertaining anecdotes related to past discoveries, but, more importantly, talks were also given looking at the new developments at the observatory that point the way to the future.

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Following an introduction on the planned developments at the ING, Carlos Frenk (Durham) beautifully reminded the audience how key developments and discoveries at the ING over the past decade have helped point the way towards the new generation of large telescopes. Vilppu Piirola (Tuorla) showed how the Nordic Optical Telescope exploits its excellent image quality, while Mike Bode (Liverpool) explained that the robotic Liverpool Telescope will open a new chapter in ground-based fast response astronomy. Michael Rowan Robinson complemented Carlos Frenk’s talk with examples of ING’s contribution to cosmology. The two final presentations by Eckart Lorenz (Munich) and José Miguel Rodríguez Espinosa (Tenerife), summarised the status of the two largest developments of facilities at the ORM, namely the MAGIC 17-m Cherenkov telescope, and the 10-m GRANTECAN telescope. Both these facilities will come into operation in the near future and lift the observatory as a whole to world class standards.

Of course at the end there was a lighter note to thank Paul for all these years of hard work that have helped shape the observatory in such a crucial way. Below, the top picture shows Francisco Sánchez presenting a gift to Paul. This celebration was a unique occasion to get four of the people together who have been at the helm of the ING. The picture in the middle shows, from left to right, Jasper Wall (Oxford), Paul Murdin (Cambridge), Jan Lub (Leiden) and René Rutten (ING).

The highlight of a buffet dinner in the evening was the performance of the Palmeran dancing group Echentive. The bottom picture shows Carlos Frenk having a good time on local Palmero rhythm. This formed the close of what had been an informative and entertaining event with many old friends of Paul and the observatory.

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Last modified: 13 December 2010