Aalto University: Metsähovi Radio Observatory gathered the young researchers together

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At the end of August, the Metsähovi Radio Observatory hosted the international Young European Radio Astronomers Conference, which brought together researchers at the beginning of their careers. The conference was organised for the 51st time.

‘Organising such conferences is really important. We are all at the beginning of our careers, and we have had a nice, relaxed atmosphere here,’ says Christina Nanci (University of Bologna, Italy), who participated in the conference.

In addition to speeches, the programme included a visit to the Metsähovi Radio Observatory in Kirkkonummi. Metsähovi’s extensive renovation was completed at the beginning of 2021. Also, the protective radome of Metsähovi’s main research instrument, the 14-meter radio telescope, was replaced in 2020.

Mamiko Sato, who works at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, felt at home in Metsähovi. She was especially convinced by the observational data collected by the telescope, which is used to study active galaxies, the Sun and the rotation of the Earth.

‘It was amazing to go inside the telescope’s protective radome and see that the telescope is actually working around the clock,’ says Sato.

Nanci, Sato and Ihor Kravtsov (Institute of Radio Astronomy of National Academy of Science of Ukraine and Observatoire de Paris, France) enjoyed the experience and learned a lot during the conference. They gained a lot of useful experience by meeting colleagues around the world and practicing public speaking. The visit to Finland and the Finnish traditions in the social programme also received special thanks.

‘The best thing has been the sauna! I had never been in a sauna before, but I enjoyed it a lot,’ says Kravtsov.

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