26 March 1998
The European Space Agency's Infrared Space Observatory, ISO, will complete its space operations any day now. On Tuesday 7th April 1998, at the Institute of Physics, 76 Portland Place, London W1, an international press briefing hosted by the UK Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) will appraise ISO's accomplishments. In 28 busy months of observations, ISO has literally cast a new light on planets, stars and galaxies, by using infrared rays to probe cool and dusty parts of the Universe, and to detect the signatures of many materials present in space.
Representatives of the media are invited to attend the briefing at the Institute of Physics, which will commence with registration and demonstrations at 10:00 a.m. London time. As of 10:30, Paul Murdin, Head of Astronomy at PPARC will initiate the briefing on behalf of PPARC.
Reinhard Genzel, a German astronomer and Director of the Max Planck Institute, will make an independent assessment of ISO's achievements and announce some recent discoveries. Martin Kessler, the European Space Agency's project scientist, will summarize the extent of ISO's observations and describe the continuing work of analysis.
At 11:45 (after questions) ISO scientists will be available for interviews, with quiet rooms for radio interviews and a scale model of ISO as backdrop for TV interviews and still pictures. Other facilities will include digital images from ISO, and a demonstration of educational project work. To coincide with the event, ESA will distribute a video news release, an Information Note, and new pictures from ISO. After the briefing there will be a buffet lunch.
The nearest underground stations to the Institute of Physics are Great Portland Street and Regent's Park.
Representatives of the media wishing to attend are requested to return by fax (+33(0)188.8.131.52.90) the attached accreditation form.
For further information, please contact : ESA Public Relations Division Tel : +33(0)184.108.40.206.55 Fax : +33(0)220.127.116.11.90