Media (English version)    

The Joint European and National Astronomy Meeting (JENAM) makes also possible for media professionnals to meet astronomers. This european meeting is open every day to the press, but there is a special rendez-vous on wednesday 6 July 2005.

The day will begin at 8:30 am with the conference "Cosmic Vision" by David Southwood, scientific director of the European Space Agency (ESA), and Giovanni Bignami, chairman of ESA's Space Science Advisory Committee, presenting the future scientific challenges of ESA. At 9:30 am, the director general of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) will talk of the new ground-based European projects.

Next (around 10:30 am) will take place a discussion/press conference about two themes: comets and astrobiology.

In fact, during the JENAM, comet Tempel 1 will be bombarded by the Deep Impact spacecraft. This comet and this impact will be observed with the best ground telescopes, the Very Large Telescopes of the European Southern Observatory. The press conference will thus begin with the latest news concerning the impact. Two comet specialists participating to this observing campaign will answer your questions: Damien Hutsemékers, in Liège, and Emmanuel Jehin, live from the Cerro Paranal Observatory.

We also invite you to a discussion with most renowned specialists of astrobiology, the science exploring the possibility of life on other planets. During this second part of the press conference, five scientists will present the latest results in this domain, notably by pointing out the results of the European spacecraft Mars Express & Huygens, and the American rovers (Spirit and Opportunity).

Will be present for this second part of the debate :
  • Agustin Chicarro (ESA), responsible for the European spacecraft Mars Express
  • Emmanuelle Javaux (ULg), astrobiologist
  • Jean-Pierre Swings (ULg), chairman of the executive committee of Aurora (the European Mars exploration program)
  • Andy Knoll (Harvard Univ.), responsible for the NASA Opportunity rover
  • Juan Perez-Mercader, director of the astrobiology center in Madrid
  • Jean-Pierre Lebreton (ESA), european responsible of the Cassini-Huygens mission
After a light meal offered by ULg, the media professionnals will have the opportunity to visit not only the Centre Spatial de Liège, where will be tested at that time the European satellite Planck, but also AMOS, the company that is building the auxiliary telescopes of the VLTI !

The day will end with a science café about life in our Universe (for more details see outreach page.

Note also that on friday July 8, the press is invited to the session "Astrobiology in Belgium", that will welcome the Nobel Prize Christian de Duve. A specific press conference is organized between 12h30 and 13h.

If you wish to take part to these exceptional events, register now with this bulletin (to be sent by fax to +32 (0)4 366 97 46).

Press release :
  • a preliminary press release is available here.
  • information about the 5 themes can also be found in an article published in RDT info, here
Contacts :
Yaël Nazé
tél.: 04 / 366 97 20
fax: 04/ 366 97 46
tél.: 04/366 52 17
fax: 04/ 366 57 98