Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes
La Palma, Canary Islands
Each year up to 10 Physics and Astronomy students have the opportunity to join a subsidised field trip to the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes in La Palma, Canary Islands, to use our pt5m telescope. At 2,400m above sea level, these telescopes are in an almost ideal environment for astronomy. They can also visit the 4m William Herschel Telescope (WHT) and the 10m Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC).
Employment Experience at ING
Students on the MPhys Physics and Astrophysics course have the option to spend a year of their degree working at at the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes through the University of Sheffield's Degree with Employment Experience scheme.
The next generation of astronomy tools
Our Professor of Astrophysics, Vik Dhillon, led the team that built HiPERCAM, a high-speed camera that has been installed on La Palma's Gran Telescopio Canarias – the world's largest optical telescope.
This revolutionary instrument can can take more than 1,000 images per second and will help scientists study the remnants of dead stars such as white dwarfs, neutron stars and black hole in unprecedented detail.
He was also part of the international research team that built the new Gravitational-wave Optical Transient Observer telescope (GOTO, pictured) on the island, to detect optical signatures of gravitational waves.
Our student Liam Hardy, featured in this video, was based at the ING and used the facilities to study planets orbiting nearby stars, known as exoplanets.
By observing the slight decrease in light from these stars as a planet passes in front of the star it is possible to both detect and study the properties of these planets.
Studies of exoplanets provide information on the formation of planetary systems and in the future will allow direct signs of life to be observed.
Field trip photo gallery
These photos were taken during one of our annual student field trips to the telescopes on La Palma.
Credit: Alexander Brown