Special Meeting SM2  25 June 2015

VLTI Community Day 2015


  • July 14: A selection of the presentations from the meeting are now available on this website.
  • Deadline March 10: Submit abstracts for talks and posters using the Abstract Submission Page.

Aims and scope

The "VLTI Community Day" (VCD) provides a platform for the VLTI user community to exchange with ESO, to discuss about ongoing and future projects, and to advertise the scientific opportunities offered by VLTI to the wider astronomical community.

The first VCD took place in January 2014 in Grenoble/France. Holding the next VCD at EWASS 2015 is timely, given that the commissioning of the 2nd-generation instrument VLTI/GRAVITY is planned to start in late 2015 and that the science community should prepare for the first science observations. It will include presentations on the scientific opportunities that will be enabled by GRAVITY, covering topics in Galactic Center research, AGNs, YSOs, and exoplanets. Furthermore, we will reserve time for discussions about yet unexplored applications that could be pursued, stimulating the community to make optimal use of this new instrument.

An important objective of the VCD is also to serve as entrance point for potential new VLTI users. For this purpose, we will review the science opportunities enabled by VLTI, set them into relation to the capabilities of other techniques and facilities (e.g. ALMA), and outline available tools and contact points for user support. In fact, several initiatives are currently underway in order to make VLTI more accessible to non-expert users, including the establishment of VLTI expertise centres.

With the 2nd-generation VLTI instruments nearing completion, we will also facilitate a discussion about the future of VLTI in the ELT era. Studies in this direction are currently conducted by several groups, investigating infrastructure enhancements that could push VLTI either towards imaging at higher fidelity, higher contrast, or at new wavelength regimes. The meeting will provide the stage to outline these plans and to collect community feedback. This feedback will be incorporated into the whitebook that is currently prepared by the OPTICON-funded "Future of Interferometry in Europe" working group, providing input for upcoming infrastructure decisions.

The meeting comprises three sessions (1.5 hours each) and will be open to contributed talks, where we will favour contributions that present recent highlights in high-angular resolution research, on innovative uses of interferometry, or instrumentation aspects. We welcome poster contributions about all topics related to high-angular resolution astronomy.


  • VLTI/GRAVITY: Instrument characteristics and main science driver in Galactic Centre science
  • VLTI/GRAVITY: Science opportunities in stellar astrophysics
  • VLTI in the context of ALMA and interferometry world-wide
  • VLTI Expertise Centres: Making optical interferometry more accessible to non-expert users
  • Contributed talks on science highlights and instrumentation work related to optical interferometry
  • Discussions on maximising the scientific output of VLTI and on the roadmap for the future of VLTI

Invited speakers

  • Jean-Philippe Berger (ESO, Garching, Germany)
  • Jason Dexter (Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching, Germany)
  • Gilles Duvert (IPAG, Grenoble, France)
  • Thomas Henning (Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg, Germany)
  • Ivan Marti-Vidal (Onsala Space Observatory, Onsala, Sweden)
  • Guy Perrin (Observatoire Paris, France)

Scientific organisers
Stefan Kraus (Chair, University of Exeter, UK)
Jean-Philippe Berger (Co-chair, ESO Garching, Germany)
Leonard Burtscher (Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Germany)
Catherine Dougados (IPAG Grenoble, France and UMI LFCA Universidad de Chile, Chile)
Jon Marcaide (Universidad de Valencia, Spain)
Antoine Merand (ESO Santiago, Chile)
Thibaut Paumard (Observatoire de Paris, France)
Hugues Sana (Space Telescope Science Institute, USA)
Markus Wittkowski (ESO Garching, Germany)

skraus @ astro.ex.ac.uk

Updated on Tue Jul 14 13:08:44 CEST 2015