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Astronomers secure major funding for their work

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The University of Portsmouth’s Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG) has been awarded over £2 million in funding to continue its world-leading astrophysics research.

This funding from the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) will help to maintain their status as one of the leading astrophysics groups in the country.

The money will enable researchers to continue their studies into the physics of the Universe, from gravity to galaxies. This funding will also allow the ICG to continue to enhance its internationally-renowned collaborations, such as the Dark Energy Survey (DES, an international collaboration, co-founded by the University of Portsmouth, in a quest to understand dark energy) and the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO, a large-scale physics experiment and observatory to detect gravitational waves from the distant Universe).

Examples of recent research projects and successes include:

Professor David Wands, Director of the ICG, said: “We are delighted that this award will enable Portsmouth to remain at the forefront of international research in cosmology and astrophysics. This is a golden age for astronomy with new insights and new technologies enabling us to make new discoveries, as we strive for a deeper understanding of our Universe.”

Part of the funding will help support a newly established research group in the ICG exploring Gravitational Waves, led by Dr Andrew Lundgren. Dr Lundgren said: “This award will help us establish Portsmouth as a leader in gravitational waves, and I’m excited about the new discoveries to come in this field.”

The award will also ensure that ICG members continue to be involved in a wide range of outreach activities and citizen science projects, such as Galaxy Zoo and Gravity Spy, focused on engaging the wider community with research and science.

Professor Wands said: “We are committed to sharing our passion for science with others, and we will continue to develop our outreach and engagement programme working with local schools and the community at large. Learning about the Universe is something everyone should have the opportunity to get involved in.”

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