Institute of Astronomy


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.

Upcoming & Recent Meetings

PLATO Theory Workshop 2018

3 December 2018 - 5 December 2018

Welcome to the home page of the PLATO Theory meeting 2018, which will be hosted at the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge. PLATO was adopted as ESA’s M3 mission in June 2017, and is currently scheduled for launch in 2026. The mission is designed to discover and characterise thousands of extrasolar planets through a combination of space-based transit detections, a ground-based radial velocity follow-up programme and asteroseismic characterisation of the host stars, yielding accurate masses, radii and ages for the detected planetary systems. The unique capabilities of the PLATO mission will allow it to discover and characterise a broad diversity of exoplanets and planetary system architectures, including terrestrial planets in the habitable zones of their stars.
PLATO’s key science goals include understanding the formation and evolution of planetary systems, and this goal will be achieved by using theoretical models of planetary system formation and evolution to interpret the observations. A number of theory Work Packages have been established to provide a focus for the theoretical work that needs to be undertaken in time for the mission launch. The primary purpose of this meeting is to provide an opportunity for members of these work packages to present and discuss recent relevant work, and to plan for future activities. Researchers who are not yet involved in the mission, but who are interested in becoming involved, will also be welcome to attend and present their work.
The plan for this two and half day meeting is to organise the sessions according to the various work packages that comprise the PLATO theory programme focussing on the formation and dynamical evolution of planetary systems. More information about the theory packages can be found here. When registering and submitting a title and abstract for a presentation (oral or poster), it would be useful in you could indicate which work package you wish to be affiliated with for the purpose of organising the sessions. The end of the workshop is scheduled to overlap with the PLATO Week 7 meeting that will be held at the IoA from 5-7 December. Information on previous PLATO Week meetings can be found here.
We look forward to seeing you in Cambridge in December 2018.


Yann Alibert
Melvyn Davies
Oliver Gressel
Tristan Guillot
Anders Johansen
Willy Kley
Jacques Laskar
Christoph Mordasini
Alessandro Morbidelli
Richard Nelson (co chair)
Frank Sohl
Nic Walton
Mark Wyatt (co chair)

Steve Brereton
Richard Nelson
Fatima Rasool
Amanda Smith
Mark Wyatt

Key dates: abstract and registration deadline 2 November 2018

Previous Meetings

Putting Gravity to Work

21 July 2008 - 25 July 2008

Putting Gravity to Work: from black holes to galaxy clusters was a high energy astrophysics conference held at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge, in celebration of Andy Fabian's 60th birthday.

Meeting Website

The Planet-Disc Connection

17 July 2006 - 21 July 2006

Observations of the later evolutionary stages of discs around young stars offer the best opportunity to study planet formation from an observational perspective. Localised clearing of dust and gas in discs can be inferred from a variety of imaging/spectroscopic diagnostics and is often interpreted as evidence for planet formation; alternatively, such clearing results from some other process which needs to be taken into account when assessing the environment in which planets form.

Meeting Website

Starbursts - From 30 Doradus to Lyman break galaxies

6 September 2004 - 10 September 2004

Large-scale starbursts are very common features of early galaxy evolution. At high redshifts, the majority of the present-day "normal" galaxy progenitors either appear to be undergoing violent gravitational interactions, or experience very active star formation throughout.

Meeting Website