Toulouse hosts the week of French astrophysics

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The 2015 edition of the week of French astrophysics, organized by the Société française d’astronomie et d’astrophysique (SF2A) * and the Institut de recherche en astrophysique et planétologie (IRAP – CNRS / Université Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier), in collaboration with the Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées and the University of Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier, will be held from June 2 to 5 in Toulouse. Combining scientific conferences and events dedicated to the general public, this week will more particularly be the occasion of highlighting the first spectacular results of the MUSE instrument dedicated to the observation of the distant Universe.

Over 300 professional astronomers will meet in a dozen workshops on the scientific exploitation of the Rosetta cometary exploration mission, the future of the CFHT telescope and the preparation of its future exoplanet hunter named SPIRou (a project coordinated by the IRAP), or the very fast evolution of our knowledge of the formation of planetary systems.
 The full program of the French Astrophysics Week is available on the website of the event:

The MUSE instrument in the spotlight

Partly developed at the IRAP, the MUSE (Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer) instrument in particular allows to detect very distant galaxies located more than ten billion light years away, to study their movements and their chemical properties, in order to better understand the mechanisms of formation and evolution of the galaxies since the earliest moments of the Universe. MUSE was installed in January 2014 on the ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile.

The MUSE instrument will be particularly highlighted during the Week of Astrophysics, thanks to a triple spotlight on its very first results:

  • Tuesday, June 2 at 11h30,  building 2A of the Université Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier : Roland Bacon, inventor of MUSE and astrophysicist at the Lyon Observatory, will make to the scientific community a presentation in plenary session on the first results of MUSE.
  • Wednesday, June 3 at 20h, Hôtel Dieu Saint‐Jacques: Johan Richard, a former doctoral student at IRAP, now employed by the Lyon Observatory and major user of MUSE, will receive the prestigious “Young Researcher” award of the SF2A.
  • Thursday, June 4 at 21h, Salle du Sénechal of Toulouse : Thierry Contini, CNRS Research Director at the IRAP, will explain, during a public conference, the pioneers MUSE results, especially regarding the origin of galaxies. The conference will be translated into the French sign language.

On the occasion of this week, the SF2A also organized a school competition on the theme “Discovering the Universe” (from kindergartens to high schools of the Midi-Pyrénées Region). The objective is to promote the learning of science in schools by offering students the occasion of completing a project related to astronomy. The winners, three groups of college students, will be awarded during an awards ceremony which will be hold on Wednesday, June 3 at 14:30 at the Cité de l’Espace.

* The Société française d’astronomie et d’astrophysique (SF2A) aims to contribute to the development and prestige of Astronomy in France and to involve all the astronomy professionals contributing to this same objective. Each year, it organizes the Week of French Astrophysics during which several scientific meetings are held, presentations of general interest and debates on science policy of the French astronomy.

Home Press in the presence of researchers

Wednesday June 3, 19h45, Salle des Colonnes de l’Hôtel Dieu Saint‐Jacques, 2, rue Viguerie 31000 Toulouse

Researchers Contacts

  • MUSE | Thierry Contini |
  • SF2A l Pascal Petit l T 05 61 33 28 28 l

Press Contact

  • CNRS | Alexandre Papin | T 05 61 33 60 14 |



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