University of Central Lancashire lands £1m grant for research

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Preston’s university has been awarded more than £1m towards its research into astrophysics and solar physics.

The University of Central Lancashire has been given £1.2m by the Science and Technology Facilities Council.

It will be used support postdoctoral researchers and academic staff in the Jeremiah Horrocks Institute, which focuses on research and teaching in astronomy, mathematics and physics.

The grant will also fund research into solar eruptions and their effect on space weather on the Earth.

The JHI hosts the UK data centre for the NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory, which studies the rapid evolution of eruptions on the surface of the Sun.

The funding will also allow the JHI to work on a joint venture with the European Space Agency using data from the ESA Herschel Space Telescope to look at stars and planetary systems that are currently being formed, and modelling their evolution using the UCLan High Performance Computing (HPC) Cluster.

Staff and students, both postgraduate and undergraduate, working in the JHI will benefit from the results of this research.

Professor Derek Ward-Thompson, director if JH1 said: “This award is a tremendous recognition nationally for our outstanding research in the areas of astrophysics and solar physics.

“They will allow us to build on our very strong research base within the JHI in the coming years.”

Other areas supported by these grants include the study of stellar oscillations using the NASA Kepler Space Telescope,