Former ESO Astronomer and Head of Instrumentation Division Guy Monnet wins 2019 Tycho Brahe Medal
20 June 2019
ESO is delighted to announce that this year’s Tycho Brahe Medal has been awarded to Prof. Guy Monnet, a former ESO astronomer and Head of the Instrumentation Division. The medal, awarded by the European Astronomical Society (EAS), recognises “the development or exploitation of European instruments or major discoveries based largely on such instruments”.
Joining in 1995, Prof. Monnet spent more than 15 years of his career at ESO, during which he made many of the contributions that are recognised by this award. The medal specifically recognises his fundamental contributions to the implementation of 3D spectroscopy on optical and infrared telescopes, and his international leadership on the instrumentation programmes of large observatories. Both of these achievements are demonstrated by the work he did at ESO; as the first head of the Instrumentation Division, he oversaw the completion of the first generation of instruments for the Very Large Telescope (VLT), the largest and most ambitious instrumentation programme of any ground-based observatory. The VLT has also hosted the largest number of Integral Field Units at any observatory worldwide, largely thanks to Prof. Monnet’s influence.
Prof. Monnet was also influential in several other aspects of ESO’s progression. He was very supportive of the development of adaptive optics at ESO’s facilities, recognising its importance to the future of astronomical technology, and he supported an upgrade to the 3.6-metre telescope at La Silla, which has enabled the observatory to continue operating and producing world-class science.
Prof. Monnet’s achievements have been essential contributions not only to the success of ESO, but also to the progress of astronomy in general, and are well deserving of this prestigious honour.
The award will be presented to Prof. Monnet during the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science, to be held in Lyon, France, 24–28 June 2019.
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