astronomy_meeting2

The Universe of Digital Sky Surveys

Over the last decades, digital sky surveys performed with dedicated telescopes and finely tuned wide field cameras, have revolutionized astronomy. They have become the main tool to investigate the nearby and far away universe, thus providing new insights in the understanding of the galaxy structure and assembly across time, the dark components ofthe universe, as well as of the history of our own galaxy. They also have opened the time domain leading to a new understanding of the transient phenomena in the universe.
The astronomical community is pursuing ambitious programs using new and planned facilities both ground based (e.g. SDSS, VST, VISTA, Skymapper, DEC@BLANCO and LSST) and from the space (cf. EUCLID). These technologically challenging efforts are producing an unprecedented synoptic (multi wavelength and multi epoch) view of the universe. Needless to say, the ever increasing amount, quality and complexity of the data has also lead to a stronger connection with other fields of the human endeavor such as databases technology, computer sciences, advanced statistics and machine learning. By providing public access to top quality data, digital surveys have also changed the every day practice of the astronomical community who do not need as much as in the past to have direct access to large observing facilities. The full scientific exploitation of these surveys has also triggered significant advances in technology (both from the space and from the ground) and in the field of multi object spectroscopy.

The conference aims at summarizing the results from the main current and past digital sky survey projects and at discussing how these can be used to inspire ongoing projects and better plan the future ones. For this reason the conference will be articulated in long review talks and a small number of shorter contributed talks.