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Ground and space exploration synergies drive SPIE Astronomical Instrumentation

BELLINGHAM, WA, USA - 5 May 2008 - More than 2,000 international experts in developing the technology enabling the discovery of the nature and origin of the Universe will visit Marseille, France, for the SPIE Astronomical Instrumentation symposium 23-28 June. Theme of this year's event is "Synergies Between Ground and Space." Event sponsor SPIE is an international optics and photonics society advancing an interdisciplinary approach to the science and application of light.

Consortia will report on the results of existing telescopes in such diverse areas as Europe, Chile, South Africa, Antarctica, Hawaii, the U.S. mainland, Japan, China, Australia, and Russia. Reports will discuss how technology is improving both existing and new telescopes, enabling better understanding of the universe - from adaptive optics to new sensors.

Plenary speakers will include some of the top experts in the field. Presentations will be given by:

  • John C. Mather (Nobel Laureate 2006 in physics), NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, on "From the Big Bang to the Nobel Prize and on to James Webb Space Telescope"
  • Simon White, Max Planck Institut für Astrophysik, on "Introduction to the standard cosmological model"
  • David Spergel, Princeton University, on "Exploring the cosmic background radiation with WMAP"
  • Daniel Eisenstein, The University of Arizona, Steward Observatory, on "Acoustic oscillations in the Universe"
  • Pierre Astier, Université Paris, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, on "Supernova cosmology and dark energy"
  • Piero Madau, Lick Observatory, University of California, on "Probing the epoch of reionization"
  • Masanori Iye, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, on "High redshift galaxy surveys"
  • Rosemary Wyse, Johns Hopkins University, on "Galaxy archeology: near-field cosmology"
  • Malcolm Longair, University of Cambridge, on "Cosmology with future ground and space observatories"
  • Tim de Zeeuw European Southern Observatory, on "Perspectives for ground-based astronomy."

Conference attendees will hear 1,900 presentations in 12 conferences. Papers will be published online in the SPIE Digital Library beginning immediately as approved after the meeting. For more information on the SPIE Digital Library, visit http://spiedl.org/.

Seven supporting professional education courses will be offered, on optics and optomechanics for astronomy, sensors and detectors, and telescopes and systems.

An exhibition of more than 65 international companies will showcase the latest in space telescope systems, interferometry, ground-based telescopes, adaptive optics, space- and ground-based facilities, and specialized instrumentation and technology advancements.

Exhibition highlights will include:

  • The European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO) representing 11 European countries including Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom, with a new design for an extremely large optical/infrared telescope (ELT) which will provide the first ever images of Earth-like planets around other stars.
  • The Australian Centre for Precision Optics, CSIR0, with a new precision sphere product made for an international project aimed at redefining the kilogram.
  • POPsud (Pole Optique et Photonique sud), Marseille-area optics and photonics cluster, with a pavilion including several leading companies.

Networking opportunities will include a banquet, a welcome reception, and tours of local points of interest including:

  • Observatoire de Haute-Provence
  • Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille (LAM) and Observatoire Astronomique de Marseille Provence (OAMP)
  • SESO, an optics company based in Aix-en-Provence.

Symposium chairs are Mark C. Clampin, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and Alan F. Moorwood European Southern Observatory. Symposium cochairs are Masanori Iye, National Astronomical Observatory, and Douglas A. Simons, Gemini Observatory.

For more information see the SPIE Astronomical Instrumentation 2008 website, http://spie.org/x13662.xml.

Photos and logos are available upon request.

About SPIE
SPIE is an international optics and photonics society founded in 1955 advancing light-based technologies. Serving the interests of its more than 188,000 active constituents representing 138 different countries, SPIE acts as a catalyst for collaboration among technical disciplines for information exchange, continuing education, publishing opportunities, patent precedent, and career and professional growth. As the organizer and sponsor of approximately 25 major conferences and education programs annually in North America, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific, SPIE provides publishing, speaking, and learning opportunities on emerging technologies. For more information, visit http://SPIE.org.