Sky in sight

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He lives on two continents, spending a large part of the year in Chile. See the film about Professor Andrzej Udalski, the recipient of the ERC Advanced Investigator Grant.

 

European Research Council was established by the European Commission. It is the first pan-European agency providing funding for frontier research, in other words: pioneering projects leading to fundamental discoveries and breakthrough results. ERC Advanced Grant is available to researchers with established reputation as independent researchers.

 

Only three Polish scientists received the Advanced Investigator Grant so far – one of them is Professor Udalski from the University of Warsaw. This is a film about him. More about the series.

 

Andrzej Udalski

 

Prof. Andrzej Udalski is the head and a co-author of the biggest astronomical project in the history of Polish astronomy: “OGLE – The Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment”, which for the last twenty years has been regularly bringing scientific discoveries of global significance. Professor Udalski is also a creator of hi-tech cameras which allow for detailed search of vast fragments of the sky. They operate together with the Polish telescope at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. In 2009 Professor Udalski, for his research within the fourth phase of the project (OGLE-IV), received an Advanced Grant “Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment: New Frontiers in Observational Astronomy” of 2.5 million euro. The OGLE-IV project brought about a great number of scientific discoveries, published in around 150 scientific papers in the world’s most important scientific journals, including six in prestigious scientific weeklies, “Nature” and “Science”.

 

A group of astronomers led by a Professor discovered, among others, the first case of gravitational microlensing in our Galaxy, several exoplanets, many of them unique, such as the recently announced discovery of a binary star system with a “Cold Earth” – OGLE-2013-BLG-0341LB, and a new category of exoplanets which are not bound to any star (so-called rogue planet). OGLE is also the world leader in studying variable objects – the “OGLE collection” currently consists of over half a million previously unknown variable stars. Another very important field of research is the study of the Milky Way and its neighbouring galaxies – Magellanic Clouds, as well as study of the distance scale in the Universe.