La Palma


Third year astronomy students have the option of a field trip to the Sheffield/Durham 0.5m telescope mounted on the roof of the 4.2m William Herschel Telescope (WHT) at the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory.

More details about the 0.5m can be found at...

Undergraduates also have the opportunity of working for the ING (Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes) for one year at the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory, La Palma (Canary Islands).

More details about the ING can be found at...

For more details about either of these options, please contact Prof. Vik Dhillon.

Evelyn Johnston spent a year working as a Student Support Astronomer at the ING in La Palma. She has since gained an ESO Fellowship, based  in Santiago in Chile.

“For my 4th year I was lucky enough to be offered the chance to carry out my research project while working as a student support astronomer at the Isaac Newton Telescope (INT) in La Palma. This position gave me my first opportunity to experience life as an astronomer at an observatory, and while the job was hard, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The INT is a rather hands-on telescope, where visitors have to do everything themselves, including refilling the cryostats, pointing the telescope, opening and closing the dome, etc. As an result, it gave me a real feel for how astronomical observations are really carried out, the preparation that has to do into planning the night, and a true appreciation of the work by the whole observatory team to build and maintain the precision of such impressive machinery.

My experience in La Palma convinced me to do a PhD in astronomy, so I returned to the UK for my PhD at the University of Nottingham on how the star formation in spiral galaxies shuts off to transform them into lenticulars.

Evelyn Johnston

After my PhD, I moved to the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile. I am enjoying contributing to the running of such a large observatory and learning more about the instrumentation at Paranal from the various specialists I work with there. I also love learning my way around the southern skies when I get a few free minutes to stargaze, and I hope that by the end of my fellowship, my Spanish will be good enough to talk people through the constellations at local outreach events. “