2019 Tycho Brahe Medal awarded to Prof. Guy Monnet

2019 Tycho Brahe Medal awarded to Prof. Guy Monnet

Fri, 15/03/2019

Honors and awards

The Tycho Brahe Medal is awarded in recognition of the development or exploitation of European instruments or major discoveries based largely on such instruments.

The 2019 Tycho Brahe Medal is awarded to Prof. Guy Monnet (CRAL) for fundamental contributions to the development and implementation of 3D spectroscopy on optical and infrared telescopes and for his international leadership of observatory instrumentation programs.

Guy Monnet was born in Lyon, France. After a diploma of engineer from the École polytechnique in 1962, he obtained a Master in physics and mathematics from the University of Paris in 1963, followed by a PhD from the University of Marseille 1968, as astronomer, becoming its director from 1971 to 1976. Guy Monnet then moved to his natal city as director of the Observatoire de Lyon from 1976 to 1987, while coming member of the Academy of sciences of Lyon in 1978. He became the Assistant director (1987-1990) and then Director (1990-1993) of the Canada-France- Hawaii telescope (CFHT), until his return in  1993 in Lyon. He became Head of the ESO instrumentation division from 1995 to 2003, and Head of the ESO telescope systems (2004-2006). From 2006 to 2009, Guy Monnet worked for the ESO extremely large telescope, as Project scientist. He travelled further to Australia, becoming Head of the Australian astronomical observatory from 2010 to 2011. Guy Monnet is now Professor emeritus at CRAL (formerly Observatoire de Lyon).

Prof. Guy Monnet developed the 3D spectrographic capability, beyond the scanning Fabry Perot. He took the concept of integral field spectroscopy, invented by Georges Courtès, and led the development of the first working instrument (TIGER) at CFHT with Roland Bacon and Yvon Georgelin. This lenslet array based facility demonstrated the unique capabilities of this approach and prduced a number of key scientific results such as the first ever contiguous two-dimensional stellat velocity field of a galaxy. This opened road for a long list of very succesful development of integral field spectrographs, e.g., SAURON (WHT) and MUSE (VLT). Today most major observatories around the world, andkey spaces missions, have integral field spectrometers as essential components of their instrument complement.

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