Gaia is the cornerstone mission of the European Space Agency, successfully launched in December 2013. Its main goal is to map the entire Galaxy, but thanks to repetitive observations of the entire sky it also acts as a unique time-domain space survey, suitable for real-time detections of transients. In recent years the astronomy of transient phenomena has became a very vivid area of research. Gaia will join numerous current large-scale surveys like PTF, PANSTARRS, CRTS, SkyMapper, OGLE, LOFAR, which are aiming at delivering transient objects corresponding to a wide range of astrophysical phenomena, from solar system objects, through new types of stellar variability and signatures of exoplanets, to supernovae and orphan Gamma Ray Bursts. However, without prompt and appropriate follow-up observations, much of the scientific potential of these new discoveries will be lost. It becomes crucial for transient astronomy that the new phenomena are rapidly observed with small and medium size telescopes and the data are analysed quickly to share the knowledge. Continua a leggere 5° Gaia Science Alerts Workshop 2014
Supernovae are a core element of modern astrophysics, providing fundamental insights into stellar evolution, the interstellar medium, astroparticle physics, nucleosynthesis and cosmology. While astronomers now routinely detect enormous number of supernovae every year at increasingly large distances, wide-field surveys and all-sky monitoring are now providing an important new element to such studies: there are a growing number of new supernovae being discovered very close to home. Continua a leggere Supernovae in the Local Universe: Celebrating 10,000 Days of Supernova 1987A
The XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre is organising a major astrophysical symposium from Monday 16th to Thursday 19th of June 2014 in Dublin, Ireland. The symposium is the fourth international meeting in the series “The X-ray Universe”. The intention is to gather a general collection of research in high energy astrophysics. The symposium will provide a showcase for results, discoveries and expectations from current and future X-ray missions. Continua a leggere The X-ray Universe
In 2014 it will be 10 years since the publication of the comprehensive ‘Science with the Square Kilometre Array’ book and 15 years since the first such volume appeared in 1999. In that time numerous and unexpected advances have been made in the fields of astronomy and physics relevant to the capabilities of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). The SKA itself has also progressed from an idea to a developing reality with a baselined Phase 1 design (request-for-proposals) and construction planned from 2017. Continua a leggere Advancing Astrophysics with the Square Kilometre Array
In 2014 it will be over twenty years since the first discussions of the SKA and the ambitious call for a radio telescope with a considerable increase in sensitivity (two orders of magnitude) over existing instruments. It will also be ten years since the publication of the rationale for the SKA in ‘Science with the SKA’ (Carilli and Rawlings). These years have seen much progress in radio astronomy, especially in the development of instruments covering the full radio wavelength range from millimetres to metres (ALMA to LOFAR). In May 2012, the sites for the putative SKA were decided, with the bulk of the collecting area to be built in Africa.
This symposium will discuss progress in SKA science, as well as its relationship to scientific results from other contemporary instruments. Meeting sessions will encompass all aspects of contemporary radio astronomy, including the early Universe, HI in galaxies, star formation, galaxy evolution, pulsars and transients.
- A clearer understanding of the SKA scientific goals and their role in contemporary astrophysics.
- A broadening of our understanding of current themes in radio astronomy and the experimental and theoretical methodology used to tackle them.
- A new experience in outreach, where our research students interact directly with high school learners.
Gaia will be ESA’s milestone astrometric mission, and is due for launch in Autumn 2013. The final results from this billion stars survey are expected in around 2020. Gaia will repeatedly map the whole sky and will find many transient events, including supernovae, novae, microlensing events, quasar flares, etc. Getting ready for this influx of Gaia data is now very timely and essential. We would like to invite you to the 4th Gaia Science Alerts Workshop, which will take place at the IAP in Paris, on 19-21 June 2013. During the workshop we will present the current status of the Gaia mission with an emphasis on developments in the alert pipeline and the capabilities of Gaia as a transient survey. The main part of the workshop will be devoted to the organisation of a dedicated follow-up observing team, which will conduct the verification of the alerts, and produce the first scientific results, from Gaia in 2014. The workshop will be an opportunity for presenting the partners and learning how to get involved in the follow-up of Gaia alerts. This year’s workshop is also the first meeting within the EC’s OPTICON Time Domain Work Package. The overall plan of this WP is to encourage small and medium telescopes to take part in coordinated time-domain astronomical observations. The Gaia alerts verification team will be the first body to be supported by the OPTICON.
The topics this year include:
- Status of Gaia – year of the launch!
- Prospects for Gaia alerts
- Preparation for the alerts follow-up and verification
- Follow-up strategies
- Current/planned multi-wavelength transient surveys
- Reports from tests on transient follow-up
- Presentation of new partners