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NAOJ and UTSA Sign an Agreement to Collaborate in Astronomy

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On November 11, 2016, UTSA President Ricardo Romo (left) and NAOJ Director Masahiko Hayashi (right) sign an agreement as Congressman Joaquin Castro (center) watches.
On November 11, 2016 (Local Time), UTSA President Ricardo Romo (left) and NAOJ Director Masahiko Hayashi (right) sign an agreement as Congressman Joaquin Castro (center) watches. Photo Courtesy of UTSA

From the next generation of extremely large telescope projects to individual research plans, international collaboration is becoming the norm in astronomy. To further strengthen international collaboration, the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) and the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on collaboration in astronomy. We aim to strengthen the international presence of both organizations by promoting the collaboration and personnel exchange for big research projects, as well as develop human resources to lead international projects.

On November 11th (Local Time), the agreement was signed at UTSA. UTSA President Ricardo Romo and NAOJ Director General Masahiko Hayashi signed the agreement. Congressman Joaquin Castro, Consul-General of Japan in Houston Tetsuro Amano, Princeton University and National Institutes of National Sciences URA Hiroshi Karoji were also in attendance.

The content of our collaboration covers all aspects of astronomy, including observational instrument development for the next generation extremely large telescope TMT, and the exchange of researchers and students between the two organizations. UTSA Associate Professor Chris Packham, who has been collaborating with Japanese researchers for more than twenty years, hopes that this new MOU will increase and invigorate that relationship. “It’s really important we have international exchanges,” he said. “Science is best when we have frank conversations with each other, rather than be in our ivory towers. This MOU as its heart is about an exchange of people from Japan and the USA.” NAOJ Director General Masahiko Hayashi said, “I expect that mutual visits between young researchers and graduate students in NAOJ and UTSA will become more frequent, and that it will lead to future research exchanges.”

During a short stay at NAOJ, UTSA Associate Professor Chris Packham (right) discusses research with a Japanese collaborator (left).
During a short stay at NAOJ, UTSA Associate Professor Chris Packham (right) discusses research with a Japanese collaborator (left). Chris Packham collaborates with Japanese research groups on the observational instruments plans for the next generation extremely large telescope TMT project. Photo Courtesy of Chris Packham

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