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ROMFORSK-Program for romforskning

Norwegian partnership in the Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT)

Tildelt: kr 5,9 mill.

In 1984, the Research Councils of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden (Iceland joined later) formed the Nordic Optical Telescope Scientific Association (NOTSA) with the purpose of building a medium-size optical and near infrared telescope for the astronomical communities in the respective countries. The telescope, a 2.56 m Ritchey-Chrétien telescope with active optics, was inaugurated in 1989 at the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands. Regular observations started in 1990. The telescope has been shown to have outstanding optical quality and the site is one of the world's best, giving a very high fraction of the time high angular resolution. In 2020, NOTSA has been replaced by a new organisational structure, where the NOT is owned jointly by the universities of Aarhus (Denmark) and Turku (Finland). Other institutions can join as partners, through partner agreements. Presently, the Universities of Iceland and Stockholm, as well as the University of Oslo, on behalf of the Norwegian astronomy community, have signed partner agreements. The University of Oslo has entered into a partner agreement with NOT, funded by the Research Council of Norway and an own contribution, for the period January 2020 - December 2023, securing Norwegian astronomers about 10% of the nights available to the partners, but allocated on a competitive basis. The present proposal is for funding that will make it possible to continue the partner agreement for the period January 2024 - December 2028. It is impossible today to forecast in detail the science which will be done in the period 2024-2028, but important research, to a large extent in combination with the use of other ground and space based facilities, are expected over the whole range of astronomy and astrophysics, from small objects in the solar system (including "guests" from interstellar space) through exoplanets, the interstellar medium, to the environments of galaxies.


ROMFORSK-Program for romforskning