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General

National Astronomy Meeting 2014

We are pleased to announce that the National Astronomy Meeting 2014 will be held here in Portsmouth from 23rd to 26th June.

The conference website can be found at http://www.nam2014.org/.

Staff football champions - again!

Pompey EMC winners of the staff 5-a-side trophyPompey EMC winners of the staff 5-a-side trophyPompey EMC - a team made up of ICG researchers and other staff in the Faculty of Technology - have won the University of Portsmouth staff 5-a-side league for the second time in 12 months. They beat Djangos 7-6 in a cup-final thriller earlier today, having defeated the university's Sport+Recreation department 5-4 in last week's semi-final.

John Craven receives CBE for services to higher education

John Craven, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth, has received a CBE in the Queen's honours for his services to higher education and the City of Portsmouth. John is a long-time supporter of the ICG and we are part of his legacy as he heads for retirement this Summer. We wish him well.

Read more on this story on the main UoP website

ICG Member Organises Specialist Discussion at the Royal Astronomical Society

ICG Research Fellow, Dr. Karen Masters has been involved in the organisation of a Specialist Discussion on the topic of "Morphology in the Era of Large Surveys" to be hosted by the Royal Astronomical Society tomorrow (Friday 10th May) in London.

Professor Will Percival's inaugural lecture

ICG's Professor Will Percival gave his inaugural lecture last week. He spoke about his work mapping the Universe using galaxy surveys such as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, as well as discussing if it would be possible to travel to these distant galaxies in the time that he has been a professional astronomer. A longer write-up is available on the University of Portsmouth website, and a video of the lecture is on vimeo.

Sandi Toksvig Visiting ICG

The Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth, Sandi Toksvig visited us at ICG today. She had coffee and a chat with several members of the ICG, particularly the PhD students who help a lot with our outreach activties. We showed her some of the activities we take out to schools and events, including a demonstration of the building blocks of the Universe (with lego), the thermal camera, CMB beach ball and SDSS plug plates.

Here's a few photos from her visit.

Exploring the "anti-lensing" effect

A new study, examining how galaxy images should appear distorted in the Universe, has been published by a team including ICG researchers: "Antilensing: the Bright Side of Voids", Krzysztof Bolejko, Chris Clarkson, Roy Maartens, David Bacon, Nikolai Meures, and Emma Beynon, Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 021302.

Sir Roger Penrose visit ICG

Sir Roger Penrose, Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at Oxford, visited the University of Portsmouth this week, following an invitation by the University of Portsmouth Physics Society, the society created by students of the Applied Physics Degree. One of the fathers of the theory of black holes with Prof. Steven Hawking, like Hawking he was inspired to work in this research field by Dennis Sciama. Prof. Penrose gave a talk "Seeing Through the Big Bang into Another World" and discussed his ideas with the students and the public.

Major success with STFC grant

The Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG) was just awarded its first "Consolidated Grant" from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) covering the full range of research undertaken at the ICG. The grant is for a total of £1.72 million pounds over the next 3 years and will help support a range of staff, visitors and postdocs, as well as some of the travel and computing needs.

ICG begins process for joining SDSS-IV; the next phase of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

The ICG has just paid its first installment of $30k to start the process for joining SDSS-IV; the next phase of the hugely successful Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). SDSS-IV should begin in 2014 and is made up of three major surveys; APOGEE-S, MaNGA and eBOSS. This first membership payment was due before the end of 2012, and the ICG is one of the first institutions to show their commitment to this new phase of SDSS. "The ICG now has a long association with SDSS going back to the middle of the last decade" comments Bob Nichol at the ICG.

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