HKU to establish New Space Research Center in China

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The high-techspace research laboratory set-up by the University of Hong Kong (HKU) will focus on the dynamic fields of astronomy, earth science, and planetary sciences.

A whopping HK$10 million (~US$1.3 million) has been invested by the Laboratory for Space Research (LSR) of HKU to develop a new LSR lab at the HKU Zhejiang Institute of Research Innovation (HKU-ZIRI) in the Lin’an district of Hangzhou, China.

In 2019, HKU will be allowed to work on significant major science projects such as the proposed HKU No.1 satellite in this new laboratory.

Interestingly, the mission of HKU No.1 satellite is highly interdisciplinary, where the fields of astronomy, earth science, and planetary sciences will be combined and explored. This satellite will utilize novel X-ray technology to search for evidence of mysterious dark matter, enabling scientists to study hot gas in rich galaxy clusters, investigate comets in the solar system, and explore the interaction of solar wind with the earth’s magnetosphere.

Furthermore, the new LSR will jointly fund two postdoctoral fellowship positions with the KAVLI institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Peking University, China, and the Space and Astrophysics group at Nanjing University, China.

Speaking about the exciting launch of LSR laboratory along with its promising opportunities, Professor Quentin Parker, acting director of LSR said, “This exciting development will help turbo charge our collaborations and opportunities for HK based scientists with top space and astrophysics groups in mainland China.”Parker is also working as an associate professor at the Zhejiang University, which hosts a microsatellite research group that will offer practical support to set-up the LSR at HKU-ZIRI.

Parker further added, “[With this new initiative], we are well placed to emerge over the coming years as a true force in space and planetary science in Hong Kong, mainland China and the world.”



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