The Construction of the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) in Chile is in full swing. NOVA, the Dutch Research School for Astronomy, is contributing to the advanced instruments for this revolutionary telescope. After a long design phase, the production of components for METIS and MICADO, the first instruments for the ELT, has recently started in Dwingeloo. This important milestone is the result of many years of hard work and represents a big step for NOVA. Also in a literal sense, because the huge components of the ELT instruments could not be made with their existing equipment. NOVA has therefore expanded its capabilities with a new facility equipped for the coming generations of large-scale and high-precision instruments. In this temperature-stabilised facility, NOVA now has a 5-axis milling machine and a clean room with a measuring machine to accurately verify the dimensions of manufactured parts. Both machines can handle parts up to 1.4 m in size. In the tradition of astronomical acronyms, NOVA has named this new facility NOVA MAX: Manufacturing and Assembly of eXtreme instrumentation.

To inaugurate this new phase festively, NOVA would like to invite SpaceNed-members on Tuesday afternoon 11 April, at Nijverheidsweg 11A in Dwingeloo. They will be happy to tell you more about the challenges they face when building the new generation of ELT instruments, how they will overcome them and show you how the new facility was created in a unique collaboration with local businesses. There will also be an opportunity to tour the new facility and to have a celebratory drink.

Provisional programme: 
15:00 – 15:30 Walk-in (tours in small groups)
15:30 – 16:15 Main programme with opening ceremony
16:15 – 17:30 Drinks (& continued guided tours)
17:30 – 19:30 Barbecue

For guests arriving by public transport, there will be bus transport offered to and from Hoogeveen station.

NOVA hopes to welcome you to this festive opening. You can register here, where you can also indicate bus transport choices and dietary requirements.