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Victoria Antoci, IFA had an idea!

The Villum Experiment Grants seek to reward scientists who question conventional thinking, and thus the idea of exploring the interplay between hot stars and exoplanets with a new spectrograph prototype for a unique nano-satellite missionhas been awarded a grant of DKK 1 960 230,00.

Victoria Antoci. Private photo.
Victoria Antoci. Private photo.

The proposal was submitted anonymously like 400 others, and it goes like this: What phenomena operate in these hot stars that affect the formation, evolution and dynamics of planetary systems? In a nutshell to answer these questions we require long, uninterrupted photometric and spectroscopic observations in a broad wavelength range of high-accuracy and data that are not contaminated by our atmosphere. This can only be done from space!

Some of the tings that we would like to know more ablout concerning stars. Illustration: VA, from the application.

Getting months of continuous access time to the large space telescopes is impossible. Here, I propose to develop a nano-satellite mission equipped with a miniature spectrograph to gather the data required. This space mission is a novel high-risk, high-gain project and will be unique throughout the scientific community with the potential to impact every astrophysical research field requiring these data.

 Science director Thomas Bjørnholm of the Villum Fondations says: “The bold idea that you might not dare to mention aloud may challenge acclaimed research even though it doesn’t fit into the conventional peer-review funding system.”

The press release on all 52 recipients from the Villum Foundations can be found here.