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This profile was last updated on 9/27/07  and contains information from public web pages.

Prof. Michael Perryman

Wrong Prof. Michael Perryman?

Employment History


  • PhD
    Cambridge University
52 Total References
Web References
The best map of our galaxy yet | SpaceRef Europe - Your Daily Source of Space News from Europe, 27 Sept 2007 [cached]
"When Hipparcos was launched, astrometry was an obscure area and no one could have foreseen the surprises coming," said Michael Perryman, ESA's Project Scientist for Hipparcos.
Michael Perryman, ESA Hipparcos Project Scientist Email:
Michael Perryman awarded ..., 23 July 2013 [cached]
Michael Perryman awarded prestigious Tycho Brahe Prize 06 June 2011 Professor Michael Perryman, the scientific leader of ESA's Hipparcos mission, and a founding father of its successor mission, Gaia, has been awarded the 2011 Tycho Brahe Prize from the European Astronomical Society. Read more
Michael Perryman awarded ..., 6 June 2011 [cached]
Michael Perryman awarded prestigious Tycho Brahe Prize ESA Science & Technology: Michael Perryman awarded prestigious Tycho Brahe Prize
Michael Perryman awarded prestigious Tycho Brahe Prize
06 Jun 2011
Professor Michael Perryman, the scientific leader of ESA's Hipparcos mission, and a founding father of its successor mission, Gaia, has been awarded the 2011 Tycho Brahe Prize from the European Astronomical Society. The prize recognises the extraordinary work accomplished by Perryman in shepherding the field of astrometry to its successful leap into space-based observations and demonstrating the importance of measuring stellar positions for a plethora of astronomical applications.
Michael Perryman
British astrophysicist Michael Perryman has been inextricably linked to the field of space-based astrometry since the 1980's when, shortly after receiving his PhD from Cambridge University, UK, he joined ESA and quickly became acquainted with one of the scientific projects being studied by the Agency at the time: the Hipparcos mission, the first space-based telescope dedicated to measuring the positions, motions and distances of stars. With a background in theoretical physics and extragalactic astronomy, it was not immediately obvious that astrometry was a discipline that could capture his interest, but Perryman was soon captivated by the ingenious and elegant technique of the new satellite concept and by its immense scientific potential.
The Hipparcos mission was conceived in the late 1960s by French astronomer Pierre Lacroute and, when accepted into the ESA science programme in 1980, Perryman was appointed project scientist.
Hipparcos was launched in 1989 and, with Perryman assuming the role of operations manager in addition, observed for 3.5 years before operations ceased in March 1993.
The scientific reach of the Hipparcos mission has gone well beyond astrometry and has had profound implications for the fields of stellar and galactic astronomy, as well as cosmology and fundamental physics.
This prestigious award recognises Perryman's "crucial role in the fostering of high precision, global stellar astrometry from space, in particular the development of the Hipparcos mission," and acknowledges his pivotal work leading this fully European enterprise "through many difficulties to its ultimate success."
The exciting progress of the Hipparcos mission, from concept to launch and beyond, including an account of its many astronomical applications, is reported in Perryman's book "The Making of History's Greatest Star Map", published in 2010. The mission is also presented, in the broader framework of astrometry, in a comprehensive textbook also written by him, "Astronomical Applications of Astrometry: Ten Years of Exploitation of the Hipparcos Satellite Data", published in 2009.
Michael Perryman
Michael Perryman
FLUG REVUE update: Week ending January 13, 2002 [cached]
During 1992, working with ESA astronomer Michael Perryman, they predicted this unique capability of superconductors and the impact such a revolutionary light sensor would have on the field of astrophysics. +++NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has made a stunning, high-energy panorama of the central regions of our Milky Way galaxy.The findings are an important step toward understanding the most active area of the Milky Way as well as other galaxies throughout the universe.Like a sprawling megalopolis, the new Chandra images show hundreds of white dwarf stars, neutron stars and black holes bathed in an incandescent fog of multimillion-degree gas around a supermassive black hole.
Michael Perryman, an ... [cached]
Michael Perryman, an astronomer at the University of Bristol, UK, and former project scientist for the mission, is optimistic. "Gaia will be tremendous and transformational, a huge leap forward both in terms of the number of stars measured and the accuracy of those measurements," he says.
The downgrades led Perryman to quit the project in 2006, after six years as leader of the scientific team. "I was enormously frustrated by the decision to de-scope this project, which was not made on scientific grounds," he says.
But Gaia survived and is now scheduled for launch as early as 20 November. With a bit of distance and a graveyard of space astrometry missions to reflect on, Perryman now expects big things from the mission.
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