Institute of Astronomy

Meetings

The Institute of Astronomy plans to host one large summer conference each year. Below is a list of upcoming and previous meetings at the IoA.

Previous Meetings

Dark Energy Survey December collaboration meeting Cambridge 2016

12 December 2016 - 16 December 2016

Welcome to the DES December 2016 collaboration meeting at the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge. The meeting will take place from the 12th to the 16th of December 2016.

Meeting Webpage: http://www.ast.cam.ac.uk/meetings/2016/des.cambridge.2016

Location: Madingley Rise on Google Maps: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.2145409,0.0927952,15z

LOC:

Galaxy clusters: physics laboratories and cosmological probes

5 December 2016 - 9 December 2016

Conference Rationale
Galaxy clusters are unique astrophysical laboratories in which the powerful interaction of supermassive black holes with the surrounding intracluster medium, the complex effects of the cluster environment on galaxies, as well as a wide range of non-thermal processes like magnetic field amplification and cosmic ray acceleration can be studied. In addition, clusters form from the largest matter overdensities in the Universe that collapse under their own gravity. Due to their formation from these highest density peaks, clusters provide a large leverage to probe cosmological models. However, to make full use of this potential, the internal structure of clusters and how it affects observational signatures needs to be understood. This meeting will bring together both international experts on this subject and early career researchers to catalyse progress on puzzles like the discrepant cosmology results from galaxy clusters and the primary cosmic microwave background and to help interpretation of a wealth of upcoming, multiwavelength observational programmes, such as eROSITA, Athena, JWST, DESI, Euclid and SPTPol and Advanced ACT.

Kavli ExoFrontiers 2016 Symposium

5 September 2016 - 6 September 2016

Exoplanetary science is on the verge of an unprecedented revolution. With at least four space missions and numerous large ground-based facilities scheduled to become operational in the next decade, the new era promises unprecedented observations of exoplanets - both in their detection as well as in detailed characterization of their atmospheres, interiors, and formation conditions. Concomitant major developments are also expected in all aspects of exoplanetary theory and data interpretation.

Binary Stars in Cambridge 2016

24 July 2016 - 30 July 2016

Now that multiplicity is known to be common among stars and that half the stars in our Galaxy have been or will be altered by interaction with at least one companion, the crucial role of binary star evolution in astrophysics in general has been established. Stellar interactions lead to a veritable zoo of exotic objects, many of which play crucial roles in the Universe. However, our understanding of many of the basic properties of binary stars - how they form, evolve and interact and how they ultimately die - is still incomplete. These issues cannot be ignored in fields of astrophysics spanning stellar cluster evolution, planet formation, galactic chemical evolution, etc. We plan to discuss many of the exciting implications of duplicity among stars. 

Modelling galaxies through cosmic times

14 September 2015 - 18 September 2015

Conference rationale

Our ability to interpret the spectral energy distribution (SED) of galaxies is key to understanding how the physical processes at play in galaxies govern their evolution. Over the past decades, numerous multi-wavelength surveys have been carried out, sampling the ultraviolet to sub-millimetre SED of galaxies from the Milky Way neighbourhood to very high redshifts. To connect this treasure trove to the formation and evolution of galaxies through cosmic times, we need to derive precisely and accurately key astrophysical properties of galaxies: stellar mass, metal content, star formation history, dust mass and temperature, star formation rate, dust obscuration, heating sources, etc. At the same time, major investments have been made to build physically motivated SED models of galaxies with the aim of measuring their physical properties as reliably as possible. The aim of this workshop is to bring observers and modellers together to present their respective approaches in building and interpreting the SED of galaxies. In particular, we will discuss:

  • the observed SED and the properties of galaxies: their evolution across cosmic times from the Milky Way to the highest redshifts,
  • the building blocks of SED modelling: stellar populations, interstellar dust, young embedded star clusters, AGN,
  • retrieving galaxy properties at various scales and redshifts by modelling their SED: radiative transfer and energy balance approaches,
  • bringing models and observations together: "observing" galaxies from numerical simulations and comparing with real observations.