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Luxembourg National Research Fund

FNR Science Image Competition: Luxembourg scientists in Antarctica


The FNR Science Image Competition aims to show the beauty of research and science outreach in Luxembourg, or in this case – Antarctica. Sajad Tabibi’s photo ‘scientists in Antarctica’ won the 2022 Scientists in Action category. Learn more about this captivating photographs and the research connected to it.

“Luxembourg researchers in Antarctica” by Sajad Tabibi

The picture represents scientists from the Geophysics Laboratory (GL) of the University of Luxembourg in such a harsh environment in Antarctica that it resembles the surface of the Moon.

The Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) visible on the right corner of the picture is located at the former Japanese station “Asuka”, around 60 km from the Belgian station. It was upgraded by two GL members, in the 2021-2022 Antarctica expedition, using state-of-the-art hardware adapted to harsh conditions.

The scientists are involved in a research project at the Belgian zero emission scientific research station “Princess Elisabeth Antarctica”.

The project tackles key questions about climate change: Using geodetic techniques, such as gravity and GNSS observations, the project tracks the mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet. The measurements will provide a better understanding of how fast the Antarctic ice sheet is changing in mass.

Combined with measurements from other parts of the white continent, they will help determine where the ice cap is gaining and losing mass. Since 90% of the world’s freshwater is contained in the Antarctic ice sheet, the rate at which the ice sheet loses mass to the oceans could determine how much sea level rise will occur in the coming years due to climate change.

The photos were taken by scientists Sajad Tabibi and Olivier Francis, researchers on the project.

About the FNR Science Image Competition – discover the exhibition!

The exhibition can also be discovered until the end of 2022 in Luxembourg City/Limpertsberg, in front of LGL

The FNR Science Image Competition ran for the first time in 2020, on the occasion of the FNR’s 20th birthday. Now in its third edition, the 2022 awarded and ‘distinction’ images – along with the ‘Prix du Public’ awarded in collaboration with media partner RTL, can be discovered at an exhibition at the Luxembourg Science Center from 29 June until the end of September 2022. From Mid-September 2022 you can also discover the exhibition in front of Lycée de Garçons in Luxembourg-Limpertsberg (Place Auguste Laurent) – until the end of the year.

Categories in the FNR Science Image Competition

1) Object of study: From the microcosm to the macrocosm, images of the research object captured by scientists using a camera or generated by a computer.

2) Scientists in action: Photographs of research in practice, presented by and featuring those conducting it.

3) Places and tools: Photographs of the surroundings in which scientists take measurements, generate data, share their passion, make discoveries and of the instruments they use while doing so.

4) Science outreach activities: Photographs of an activity where researcher and science communicators dialogue with the school children, students or the wider public or of interactive projects for school children, students and the wider public, giving them an overview of science and research and/or scientists’ research methods.


Discover the stories behind more images from the 2022 FNR Science Image Competition