UK

MPs to assess potential of UK astronomy sector

SITC launches inquiry into the potential of UK Astronomy (Victoria Jones/PA)
SITC launches inquiry into the potential of UK Astronomy (Victoria Jones/PA) SITC launches inquiry into the potential of UK Astronomy (Victoria Jones/PA)

MPs have launched an inquiry to examine the potential of the UK’s astronomy sector.

The Science, Innovation and Technology Committee said the aim is to showcase the UK as a science superpower and maximise its leadership chances in international programmes.  

The inquiry will investigate the UK’s research base and assets as well as access to international astronomical facilities and contribution to international programmes.

It will also explore astronomy’s potential contribution to the UK economy and look into the aspects that should inform the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s next Strategic Delivery Plan, which is due to be published in 2026.

The UK has several large optical telescopes and has been at the forefront of research in radio astronomy for more than six decades, the committee said.

The nation is also home to thousands of professional and amateur astronomers who have produced some of the best planetary images in the world, according to the British Astronomical Association.

The deadline for submitting evidence to the inquiry is October 27.