Archive for Helsinki

From Helsinki to Maynooth

Posted in Biographical with tags , on June 7, 2019 by telescoper

So here I am, back in Maynooth once more, one more Euclid Consortium meeting over and one more coffee cup added to the Departmental collection..

Euclid 2019 is still going on as I write, but I had to leave this morning in order to get back in time for an Examination Board meeting this afternoon. The morning flight to Dublin with Finnair left at 8.15 (local time) from Helsinki and I was up at 5.30 to make sure I got to the airport on time. That means I was up at 3.30am Dublin time, so I’m more than a little tired. I hope the meeting doesn’t go on too long!


P.S. Next year’s Euclid Consortium meeting will be in Sitges….!!

The Congress of Helsinki

Posted in Biographical, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , on June 5, 2019 by telescoper

After yesterday’s murky and rainy start, it’s lovely weather this morning in Helsinki as I get ready to leave my hotel for the conference venue. It took me a while yesterday to find the way in, but I succeeded in the end to find a promising opportunity through the rear entrance.

After close of play yesterday the conference participants adjourned to the City Hall (which is about a 30 minute walk from Finlandia Hall) for a reception hosted by the civic authorities which was nice.

There was time afterwards to have a drink in a bar overlooking the harbour too. Drinks are rather expensive here – as are most things, apparently – but Helsinki is definitely a very livable city, nice to walk around but also with very good public transport.

I’ve been here a couple of times before, though not recently. The last time I was here was just for a couple of days, on a Scandinavian funding panel, which was very hard work, so didn’t get the chance to see the City at all so it’s nice to be able to wander around a bit.

It’s light until very late and gets light again very early at this time of year in Helsinki, which gave me a bit of trouble sleeping the first night I was here but I slept well last night and managed not to wake up until 6am (local time).

Oh, and it was my birthday yesterday too.

Notes from Euclid 2019

Posted in Biographical, Maynooth, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , on June 4, 2019 by telescoper

I’ve just had my breakfast so I thought I’d do a quick post before the start of play on of the 2019 Euclid Consortium Meeting in Helsinki. Previous Euclid Consortium meetings were held in: Bologna (2011); Copenhagen (2012); Leiden (2013); Marseille (2014); Lausanne (2015); Lisbon (2016); London (2017); and Bonn (2018). I’ve only attended the last two: I was non-Euclidean before that.

Finlandia Hall

The venue is the Finlandia Hall, which looks splendid from the outside. I passed it during my stroll yesterday afternoon just so I could be sure where it is. It’s easy to find as it is very central and on the edge of a lake next to a major thoroughfare (Mannerheimintie). . I arrived yesterday to beautiful sunny weather but that has changed – it is pouring down as I write this, with thunder and lightning to boot. I don’t have to leave the Hotel for an hour or so, however, so perhaps it will have passed. There’s no sign of that just yet but I brought a brolly, and it’s only 15 minutes away from the Hotel on foot.

According to the web page there are 408 participants at the last count. I expect there’ll be quite a few people I know here but I haven’t met any yet. The Euclid Consortium has well over a thousand members, but obviously they’re not all here this week. I seem still to be the only representative of Ireland.

There’s a nice webpage showing all the institutions around the world who belong to the consortium behind the European Space Agency’s Euclid Mission. Here’s a screen grab that shows all the logos of all the institutions involved in this very large Consortium:

There are so many that it’s hard to see them all, but if you look very closely about half way down, among the Ms, you will see Maynooth University among them. Ireland is a member state of the European Space Agency, by the way.

Top tips for participants include not to tip:

Here is the latest timeline for the Euclid mission: launch around June 2022 followed by six years of operations.

If you want to follow on Twitter the relevant hashtag is #Euclid2019.

Hello Helsinki!

Posted in Biographical with tags , , on June 3, 2019 by telescoper

This picture will show you that I am not in Maynooth…

In fact I am in Helsinki. Here is a better picture of the splendid Cathedral behind me in the selfie.

The Cathedral is Lutheran by the way. I’m not sure Luther was into cathedrals, but there you go..

It’s about a three hour direct flight from Dublin to Helsinki via Finnair (and a two hour time difference) but all went according to plan. I also found my accommodation without difficulty: it seems comfortable enough.

I took a long walk around this afternoon because the weather is lovely and I wanted to stretch my legs after the flight. It’s a very pleasant city for a stroll, with lots of public spaces and plenty of places to stop for a coffee or something stronger.

All that done, it’s time for dinner!

The reason for being here, by the way, is the annual Euclid Consortium meeting but enough of that tomorrow..