As seen in South China Morning Post | April 5, 2019

  • The University of Hong Kong’s Laboratory for Space Research specialises in planetary and space science, high-energy astrophysics and late-stage stellar evolution
  • A satellite/telescope will soon be sent into space to observe galaxy clusters and dark matter
Science Journalist Bruce Dorminey in Hong Kong at Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute

University of Hong Kong Professor Emeritus Sun Kwok and journalist Bruce Dorminey. Photo: Bruce Dorminey

Given its role as a global business centre, it’s little wonder that most people marvelling at Hong Kong’s night sky are looking at the glittering skyscrapers rather than the Milky Way or Mars.

But that may be changing, thanks to a few forward-thinking researchers at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) working at the west end of Hong Kong Island. Since 2016, HKU has been renting space for its Laboratory for Space Research (LSR) at the Cyberport Business Park. And from here, Hong Kong is doing its bit in the search for, among other things, alien life.

Overlooking Telegraph Bay, the LSR, funded by a HK$10.8 million (US$1.4 million) government development grant, conducts research into fields such as astro­chemistry, astrobiology, high-energy physics and planetary science.

“I’m trying to secure and grow the LSR so that we can be productive and impactful,” its director, Quentin Parker, explains to me on a recent visit to the lab. “We are striving to be Asia’s global university and we are not ignoring the tremendous potential in the greater world to connect, collaborate and build links,” says the astrophysicist, who points to recent collaborations with Peking University, Zhejiang University and Nanjing University. Read full article here.