Queen’s University Belfast have partnered with Belfast business, Andor Technology, to become leading players in the development of the world’s largest solar telescope.

Eight Universities across the United Kingdom have collaborated with numerous businesses to create cameras for a $344 million super-telescope.

It is estimated that the telescope, which will be based in Hawaii, will be ready by 2019. It will be used as part of the US National Solar Observatory to collect data about particles which exist on the surface of the sun, helping to further uncover key components in solar physics. QUB have put this in perspective by using the analogy of “being able to examine a £1 coin from 100kms away”. 

In a statement, Professor Mihalis Mathioudakis of the Astrophysics Research Centre at QUB, said “The Sun is the most important astronomical object for humankind with solar activity driving space weather and having profound effects on global climate and technology based communications.

“The DKIST (Daniel K Inouye Solar Telescope) will be a revolutionary instrument for ground-based solar physics, which is a growth area in the UK. It will be in a position to explore key questions regarding solar magnetic field generation and dissipation, solar variability, atmospheric structure and dynamics. Our consortium will deliver key equipment that will allow DKIST to achieve these scientific goals, and it’s another example of how Queen’s research impacts on society, both locally and internationally.” 

The UK consortium of Universities, lead by QUB, will manage the development and delivery of cameras for the telescope, providing an essential set of processing tools for the DKIST, enabling it to better analyse collected data.

For more information about QUB’s progress with the DKIST, click on the following link .


Tori Watson

Tori Watson

Tori our resident stop-at-nothing reporter, editing and writing the majority of all current news content QR has online, whilst presenting QR's dedicated news show, The Scoop. Follow The Scoop and Tori on twitter and keep up-to-date with Queen's and Belfast in general.
Tori Watson