Opening of the new observatory.

Pandora Mond with her painting titled "Earthly Markers".

Professor Isabelle Baraffe appointed to Science and Technology Facilities Council

Professor Isabelle Baraffe has been appointed as a new member of the Science and Technology Facilities Council.

Professor Baraffe, Head of Astrophysics here at the University of Exeter, was announced as one of ten members of the Council, the senior strategic body of the prominent organisation on Friday, 23 March by the Board of UK Research and Innovation.

She will serve a three-year term on the Council once it comes into effect with the launch of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) on 1 April 2018.

New observatory opened at Exeter University

On Wednesday 16th September 2015 we celebrated the opening of our newly refurbished observatory.  The refurbishment was supported by alumni Professor Peter Langley (Physics and Astronomy, 1985) and the family of Peter Lewis (Physics and Astronomy, 1955). Dr Shorthouse, a local Astronomer, also provided a donation.  We were pleased to have Professor Langley and David Lewis, cousin of Peter Lewis, to help us celebrate and officially open the new facility.   Our students now have access to a state-of-the-art observatory with a larger telescope and improved telescope drive leading to higher quality images. The telescope can be controlled remotely via computers, making it much more accessible than before.  

Leverhulme Artist in Residence

We were delighted to host Pandora Mond, Leverhulme Artist in Residence 2015, who produced a collection of artwork depicting images of extrasolar planets based on the research carried out by the Astrophysics Group here at the University of Exeter.  Attendees at the Global Conversation in Paris were the first to view the paintings, with a follow-up exhibition at the University of Exeter in July. You can view Pandora's paintings here.

Awards and prizes

The Astrophysics group has been awarded eight prestigious ERC grants:

Professor Isabelle Baraffe ERC Advanced 2013-18
Professor Gilles Chabrier ERC Advanced 2010-15
Professor Matthew Bate ERC Advanced 2014-19
Dr Matthew Browning ERC Starting 2014-19
Dr Clare Dobbs ERC Starting 2011-16
Dr David Sing ERC Starting 2014-19
Dr Stefan Kraus ERC Starting 2015-20
Dr Sean Matt ERC Consolidator 2016-21

During the period 2008-2014 the group also held/obtained the following awards:

Professor Matthew Bate European Young Investigator 2005-2010
Dr Stefan Kraus STFC Rutherford 2013-18
Professor Frederic Pont STFC Halliday 2008 & STFC Advanced 2009-14

Of particular note, Professor Gilles Chabrier was the recipient of the Grand Prix Jean Ricard of the French Physical Society in 2010 and the Eddington Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 2011.  Most recently, Professor Chabrier was awarded the Prize Ampère 2014, a scientific prize awarded annually by the French Academy of Sciences for outstanding research work in mathematics or physics.

Professor Isabelle Baraffe received a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award in 2010 and Professor Jennifer Patience received the Newcomb-Cleveland Award in 2008.

Dr Stefan Kraus won the Philip Leverhulme prize in 2013.