The NWO has honored ten grant applications in the National Roadmap for Large-scale Scientific Infrastructure, including ATHENA, the new space telescope project involving the Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy of the UvA, along with other Dutch institutes.
Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven awarded the ten Roadmap certificates at Utrecht Science Park on 12 April . The resources in the National Roadmap Large-scale Scientific Infrastructure allow for building or enhancing top research facilities with an international appeal. These facilities have the highest possible scientific priority and provide Dutch researchers access to high quality national and sometimes international scientific infrastructure.
Space telescope Athena is ESA's next big mission, and will start in 2028. Athena will revolutionise our understanding of the evolution of the universe from a more or less homogeneous soup of matter to the highly structured universe we observe today. On top of that the x-ray space telescope will finally determine the role of supermassive black holes shape in the makeup of the universe.
The Netherlands will contribute essential hardware such as a highly sensitive x-ray camera annex spectrograph. For the first time, astronomers will be able to make sharp 2D images and determine the properties of gasses up until 10 million Kelvin simultaneously.