Largest space event in Europe coming to city

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The Hubble Space Telescope © NASA

The Hubble Space Telescope. Pic © NASA

Liverpool John Moores University has won its bid to host the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science in the city.

More than 1,000 astronomers and space scientists are expected to attend the four-day conference and exhibition at the waterfront in 2018.

The Astrophysics Research Institute, part of LJMU, is one of the world’s leading authorities in the field and led the bid to host the event in Liverpool.

Professor Chris Collins, head of the Astrophysics Research Institute at LJMU, said that he was “delighted” and believes the event is a “major opportunity for LJMU and the city”.

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He told JMU Journalism: “I am expecting a successful scientific meeting adding value to the kudos of LJMU and the region. I also hope there will be new collaborations forming between UK and our European partners, including new collaborations with the Astrophysics Research Institute.”

With more than 20 years of tradition, the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science (EWASS) is the largest annual meeting of space scientists anywhere in Europe.

Grand star-forming captured by the Hubble Space Telescope © NASA

Grand star-forming captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. Pic © NASA

Professor Collins added: “There will be up to 1,200 delegates consisting mostly of astronomers and space scientists. Experts from across Europe will showcase their research and new technology developments, and hopefully a lot of prestige will also be brought to the region.”

Held in Britain for the first time in almost a decade, the conference will be hosted by ACC Liverpool’s BT Convention Centre in early April 2018.

The EWASS event was hosted by Athens this year and was last held in the UK in 2009, when it was also a joint meeting with the Royal Astronomical Society.

Prof John Zarnecki, president of the Royal Astronomical Society, said: “EWASS is the major astronomy and space science event in the European calendar.

“UK scientists are very much committed to collaboration with our peers across the continent, so I’m delighted that we will host the meeting in 2018.”

About Paige Freshwater, JMU Journalism