Supervisory authorities



Home > News

Roland Bacon is awarded the Jackson-Gwilt 2020 Medal

published on , updated on

Roland Bacon is awarded the Jackson-Gwilt 2020 Medal

Roland Bacon (Director of Research at CNRS) is awarded the Jackson-Gwilt 2020 Medal of the British Royal Astronomical Society for his outstanding contribution in astronomical instrumentation

Professor Roland Bacon has played a central role in the development and application of integral field spectroscopy, building the very first integral field unit, TIGER, which saw first light on the Canada France Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) in 1987. He went on to develop the CFHT’s OASIS integral field spectrograph, the first such instrument fed by an adaptively corrected wavefront. His next project, the SAURON spectrograph, was deployed at the William Herschel Telescope. Notable for its large field of view and high throughput, this instrument was used to conduct an extensive survey of the kinematics of early-type galaxies, changing our views of the formation and evolution of these objects.

The MUSE panoramic integral field spectrograph is a VLT/ESO 2nd-generation instrument constructed by an international consortium led by Professor Bacon. This sophisticated, versatile instrument saw first light in 2014 and quickly became the most oversubscribed instrument at Paranal, Chile. It consolidates integral field spectroscopy as a core technique in observational astrophysics.

The instruments for which Professor Bacon has been responsible have extraordinarily wide applications, and have been exploited by a broad and diverse community of astronomers in studies ranging from solar-system bodies to the distant universe. For his crucial leadership roles in these instruments, and particularly for the construction, commissioning, and use of MUSE, Professor Bacon is an exceptionally worthy honouree.

For these reasons, Professor Bacon is awarded the Jackson-Gwilt Medal.

Source : Leading astronomers and geophysicists honoured in RAS bicentenary
Royal Astronomical Society press release - RAS PR 20/1


NB. The Jackson-Gwilt Medal is awarded for outstanding invention, improvement, or development of astronomical instrumentation or techniques.


View online : Leading astronomers and geophysicists honoured in RAS bicentenary year