Svalbard has always had a special place in my heart. Way back in 2002, I spent a life changing five months living in this magical part of the world. Whilst I wouldn’t say it was easy, it was definitely something I will remember for the rest of my life. This is what the Arctic does to you, it embeds itself into your memory and imagination, and I had the amazing fortune to study up there as a student.
Suddenly, two stories come along involving the research being carried out (quite literally) on top of the world; I couldn’t resist talking about the important work currently being carried out up there…
First up, the Norwegian University Centre on Svalbard (UNIS) announced the grand opening of its brand new Kjell Henriksen Observatory (KHO) located near the European Incoherent Scatter (EISCAT) radar system overlooking some of the most astounding scenery I have ever witnessed. The KHO is an international collaboration with instrumentation contained within a sci-fi style building in the snow.
In very quick succession, a story with the EISCAT system right in the middle… UK scientists want to use the EISCAT radar dish to transmit an ad campaign into space. It’s complicated, but it is basically a campaign to raise awareness for the funding crisis for UK physics and astronomy funding (as reported on astroengine).