EWASS 2019: the culmination of an especially good year for the EAS
Closing Ceremony speech by EAS Vice-Presidents
The Annual Meeting of the European Astronomical Society, EWASS 2019, took place from 24 to 28 June 2019 in Lyon, and was attended by about 1200 participants. The two EAS Vice-Presidents, Sara Lucatello and Sofia Feltzing, closed EWASS 2019 by presenting their impressions of the meeting and summarising the highlights of the Society's year which has been a particularly important one. ▸ Read more
This has been an especially good year for the EAS. We have implemented a new membership scheme, in which scientists can become members through their national society, without any extra fee. This has not only has increased the membership to over 2500, but also considerably strengthened our relationship with the national societies. Several of these societies are also providing support to the EAS representation in Brussels. Earlier this year EAS, together with ESA, organised both an exhibition as well as a small set of talks in Brussels to bring information and awareness to the parliamentarians about curiosity driven science and its impact on society. The event was a success and we are planning for a follow up in 2020, focusing on exoplanet science.
We are also happy to announce that the Slovenia and Hungary are now represented as Affiliated Societies to the EAS. We have three new Organisational Members: CTA, the Finnish Astronomical Society and the Fritz Zwicky Foundation. Together with the other organisational members, the exhibitors and the sponsors they have been a tremendous support to make EWASS happen. A particular thanks to one of the most generous sponsors, the MERAC foundation. In the past year, the Society has established the IAU E-ROAD office and also had its first "Inclusion Day" as part of EWASS. Both initiatives will be topics for Special Sessions at the EAS Annual Meeting 2020 in Leiden.
The scientific content of the conference has been outstanding. This is of course thanks to all the speakers, whom we are very grateful to, but also to the work of the SOC and all the small SOCs from the individual Symposia and Special Sessions. Thank you very much. A particular acknowledgement to Philippe Pruignel and Elena Pian who have expertly led the SOC in the difficult task of building a program showcasing the cutting-edge research that goes on in Europe and in the world. Thank you from the EAS Council and from all the EAS members.
That a meeting of this size runs smoothly takes many hands behind the scenes. A big thank you to all the local helpers (the purple shirts), without whom there would be no filled up water, no slides projected and much more. We would also like to thank Kuoni for all the work they have been doing for this meeting: from managing the communication with the delegates, to taking care of the conference dinner buses, to rearranging the schedule and logistics on account of the extreme weather,... pretty much at every stage Kuoni has been working to make things run smoothly. Thanks to Frank and Audrey, and especially to Laurie, who has been tirelessly running around before and during the meeting. And thanks to Edina, Clémence, Cécilia.
EAS 2020 in Leiden, 29 June - 3 July 2020
Proposals for Symposia, Special Sessions, and Lunch Sessions due 15 September 2019
The European Astronomical Society Annual Meeting, previously known as the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science (EWASS), will take place in Leiden, the Netherlands, from 29 June to 3 July 2020. The meeting is organized by the EAS in collaboration with the Royal Dutch Astronomical Society (KNA). The venue, the Event & Convention Center and the Holiday Inn, is located near the city center. We invite proposals from colleagues who are interested in organising a Symposium, a Special Session, or a Lunch Session at EAS 2020. All details can be found at this page. The deadline for submitting Expressions of Interest is Sunday 15 September 2019.
Call for nominations for EAS Prizes
Deadline 30 September 2019
EAS Council invites EAS members to nominate suitable candidates for the different EAS Prizes. The Tycho Brahe Medal is awarded annually in recognition of the development or exploitation of European instruments, or major discoveries based largely on such instruments. The MERAC Prizes for Best Doctoral Thesis are awarded to recognize and support young European astronomers. The Fritz Zwicky Prize for Astrophysics and Cosmology is a new biannual prize to recognize scientists who have obtained fundamental and outstanding results related to astrophysics and cosmology. ▸ Read more
Short biographies of previous years' awardees and full details regarding the different EAS Prizes can be found on the EAS website:
Hungary and Slovenia new EAS Affiliated Societies
Reminder: free EAS membership for all opting-in members of EAS Affiliated Societies
The EAS has two new Affiliated Societies: the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA), and the Society of Mathematicians, Physicists and Astronomers of Slovenia (DMFA). EAS welcomes these new Affiliated Societies. Council wishes to remind all European astronomers of the new EAS membership scheme, in which opting-in members of EAS Affiliated Societies receive free membership if they qualify for the EAS membership requirements. In particular, Council encourages EAS Individual Members to contact their Affiliated Society to take advantage of this new membership scheme.
New Organisational Members for the EAS
Fritz Zwicky Foundation, CTA, and the Finnish Astronomical Society
The EAS welcomes three new Organisational Members. Created in 2011, EAS Organisational Members are either public or private entities which play an important role in European astronomy and express through their membership their support to the community of astronomers. A vibrant community is indeed essential to develop and keep a vigorous program of astronomical research in Europe. ▸ Read more
The Fritz Zwicky Foundation (FZS) and the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) have become new EAS Organisational Sponsors. The Fritz Zwicky Foundation was established in 1973, and holds and manages Fritz Zwicky's entire estate. The Foundation's objective is to conserve and manage Fritz Zwicky's lifework. The FZS funds a new biannual prize, the Fritz Zwicky Prize for Astrophysics and Cosmology, which will be awarded for the first time in 2020.
Exploring the time-domain phase space from current surveys to LSST
EWASS 2019 Symposium 1
This Symposium aimed to bring together the time-domain community, observers, modelers, theoreticians and software developers to discuss results from synoptic surveys, how sophisticated software frameworks can be used to mine life-streams in real-time and new strategies for classifying transients. The Symposium spanned six sessions over two days, with ~80-100 participants attending each session. ▸ Read more
The past decade in transient science was characterised by unparalleled efforts of optical synoptic surveys, such as ASASSN, ATLAS, PanSTARRS and PTF, to explore the entire transient phase-space systematically. In spring 2018, the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) started its science observations and joined these efforts. The public ZTF survey monitors the entire northern hemisphere every three nights in g and r and the Galactic plane every night in g and r to a depth of 20.5 AB-mag resulting in up to 100-150 epochs per year. New transient-surveys, such as ZTF, will detect several 100,000 up to a million transient sources, pushing data volume and alert rate to a new order of scale. These combined efforts will allow studies from cometary outbursts and asteroid collisions, to infant supernovae and failed GRB jets, Be stars and ultra-compact binaries, via interaction with super-massive black-holes, to cosmology and hence lead to a revolution in transient science.
The fourth session focused on variable stars in synoptic surveys. Results were presented on a variety of pulsating stars, novae, different types of eclipsing binaries as well as the properties of flaring stars which might host exoplanets.
Quasars in cosmology
EWASS 2019 Symposium 2
We gathered for the first time scientists who propose various methods of using quasars as probes of the properties of the Universe. We covered the use of quasars as standard rulers (BAO, strong lensing) and standard candles (reverberation methods, selection of quasars at Eddington luminosity, UV-Xray nonlinear relation). ▸ Read more
We also included the indirect use of quasars through studies based on the Lyman alpha forest. Finally, the issue of the first quasars and their role in the reionization epoch was discussed, as well as the important issue of the black hole growth as a function of cosmic time, with strong constraints from very massive quasars at large redshifts. We also touched other related issues like processes affecting the dynamics of the Broad Line Region which, in turn, affect the measurement of black hole masses. This topic is important in the studies of quasar evolution.
Edi Bon (Astronomical Observatory, Belgrade, Serbia)
Natasha Bon (Astronomical Observatory, Belgrade, Serbia)
Bozena Czerny (Center for Theoretical Physics, Warsaw, Poland)
Elisabeta Lusso (Durham University, UK)
Paola Marziani (INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Italy)
Mauro D'Onofrio (Department of Astronomy, University di Padova, Italy) EWASS 2019 Symposium 2 website
The Universe in the first billion years
EWASS 2019 Symposium 3
The most intriguing question of modern extragalactic astronomy is to locate and study the first galaxies in order to determine when they emerged from the dark ages, what are their physical properties and what role do they play in governing the transition of intergalactic hydrogen from a neutral state to one that is ionised. With this two-day Symposium, we brought together a diverse community of researchers working in both theory and observations. ▸ Read more
In the past few years, our knowledge of the early Universe has increased significantly. Measures of the optical depth of electron scattering by the Planck satellite indicates this 'cosmic reionization' was a fast process occurring relative late around z~8. Observations of galaxies at z>8 across the electromagnetic spectrum have given us break-through insights into their abundance and properties. Together with recent results on the global 21cm signal from the EDGES experiment, these observations demonstrated that the first galaxies may have formed at z>15 and have opened up a completely new observational window on the era of Cosmic Dawn. With insights gained from simulations and theoretical models, they provide an unprecedented opportunity to explore and understand the nature of the first stars, galaxies and black holes in the Universe.
Anne Hutter (Groningen University, The Netherlands)
Anna Schauer (University of Texas, USA) EWASS 2019 Symposium 3 website
Cosmology and multi-messenger astrophysics with Gamma-Ray Bursts
EWASS 2019 Symposium 4
Symposium 4 provided a very timely opportunity to bring together specialists working on GRB-related fields from both theoretical and observational perspectives. In early 2019, the LIGO and Virgo observatories started their third run of operations, following the previous two successful runs which led to a huge leap forward in our understanding of fundamental physics through the discovery also of the first neutron star-neutron star merger and the associated electromagnetic emission in the form of a short GRB. The EWASS 2019 was thus perfectly suited to check the preliminary new results and discuss the exciting future perspectives to come in the closer as well as in the far future. ▸ Read more
As part of the future perspectives, a section of the event was focused on the description of the instrument and science goals of the Transient High-Energy Sky and Early Universe Surveyor, THESEUS, one of the three mission candidates selected by the European Space Agency to compete for a launch of opportunity in 2032 within the M5 slot. THESEUS is currently undergoing a study phase that will be concluded in 2021 when only one of the three candidates will be down-selected for implementation and launch. The EWASS provides the perfect environment to present THESEUS to a wide and diverse community, illustrating the enormous potentialities of the mission in the field of cosmology, multi-messenger astrophysics, and fundamental physics.
The program comprised many exceptional invited talks and excellent
contributed talks, with a total attendance that vastly exceeded the
initially foreseen participation. The event greatly benefitted from the
interventions of many esteemed colleagues, who gave their suggestions on
how to widen further the international scientific interest in THESEUS
exploiting the unprecedented capabilities of the mission.
Dynamics of disc galaxies in the era of large surveys
EWASS 2019 Symposium 6
We live in the era of the advent of large surveys which target numerous galaxies or stars with superb quality, and we are witnessing a revolution in our understanding of galaxy evolution. This Symposium aimed at bringing together experts in all aspects of galaxy disc dynamics to review the recent observational, analytical, and numerical results, as well as the prospect for the immediate future. ▸ Read more
It has long been known that bar and spiral instabilities are major agents in driving the internal secular evolution of disc galaxies, whereas interactions with external galaxies are responsible of major changes in the organized disc dynamics. Precious information is contained in the so-called vertical structure, i.e., the off-plane dynamics: discs may heat up and thicken, bars and spiral arms develop vertical instabilities, and polar inner discs may be formed. This vertical structure host fossil remnants of the past galaxy evolution: thick discs are prevented against bar development, buckled bars may form box/peanut structures, bending modes can be the result of interaction with external perturbers, and polar structures may indicate a past interaction with an external galaxy.
Our session was split into 6 sub-sessions covering the main aspects of disc galaxy dynamics and consisting of an invited review talk followed by shorter presentations. Sub-session topics were focused on spiral arms dynamics, galactic bars, gas dynamics, discs in their environment, chemodynamical processes and a focus on the Milky Way. Our review talks were given by researchers in their early career: Jean-Baptiste Fouvry (spiral arms, IAS, USA), Francesca Fragkoudi (bars, MPA, Germany), Mattia Sormani (gas dynamics, ITA/ZAH, Germany), Chervin Laporte (environment of galactic discs, University of Victoria, Canada), Anaëlle Hallé (chemodynamical processes, Paris Observatory, France) and Teresa Antoja (Milky Way disc, Barcelona, Spain). The symposium also contained three poster presentation sessions were the presenters were given a 3-minutes slot to provide a greater exposure to their work.
Arnaud Siebert (Strasbourg, France)
Adriana de Lorenzo-Cáceres (IAC, Spain) EWASS 2019 Symposium 6 website
Cosmic dust (r)evolution
EWASS 2019 Symposium 7
Symposium 7 aimed to bring together researchers with a wide range of experience in the field of interstellar dust grains. Dust is ubiquitous in the interstellar medium and known to influence every aspect of the evolution of the media in which it is embedded. The goal of this Symposium was to discuss all aspects of the dust life cycle from astrophysical, chemical, and mineralogical points of view. ▸ Read more
In recent years, multiwavelength data with unprecedented spatial and spectral resolution have made it possible to make great strides in terms of observational constraints on dust (Planck, Herschel, ALMA, and in the future JWST, SKA, SPICA). In particular, it is now possible to trace dust evolution from the most diffuse regions to the centre of molecular clouds and protoplanetary discs.
N. Ysard (IAS, France) chaired the fourth session in which the link between laboratory experiments, dust modelling and astronomical observations was made. C. Jäger (MPIA, Germany) gave a review about the state-of-the-art of laboratory experiments on dust which was followed by three contributed talks highlighting how much laboratory knowledge is needed to correctly analyse astronomical observations (S. Zeegers, ASIAA, Taiwan; L. Fanciullo, ASIAA, Taiwan, and M. Saajasto, University of Helsinki, Finland).
Resolving the ionized ISM
EWASS 2019 Symposium 8
Symposium 8 brought together Galactic and extragalactic observers, as well as simulators and modelers, to discuss recent results that resolve the ionized interstellar medium (ISM) of galaxies from sub-pc to kpc scales. This ionized gas phase plays a crucial role in the cycling of baryons within galaxy disks. ▸ Read more
Newly formed massive stars inject radiative and mechanical energy that serves to both trigger and suppress additional star formation, and in their end phase chemically enrich the local environment. These processes are traced through the ionized gas emission lines, which provide diagnostic information on the physical conditions (dynamics, chemical abundance, ionization state, density) of the ISM.
Key topics addressed included mapping HII region gas phase metallicities both within our own galaxy and across nearby galaxies, latest advancements in modeling of massive stellar systems and revisions to photoionzation models, and constraints to the ionization source of diffuse ionized gas arising from both simulations and observations.
Kathryn Kreckel (MPIA, Germany)
I-Ting Ho (MPIA, Germany)
Guillermo Blanc (Carnegie Observatories, USA)
Laurie Rousseau-Nepton (CFHT, USA)
Evan Skillman (University of Minnesota, USA)
Christy Tremonti (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA) EWASS 2019 Symposium 8 website
The future of exoplanets: synergy between small-scale and large-scale telescopes
EWASS 2019 Symposium 9
Exoplanets is a consolidated field in astrophysics that keeps growing by the day. We are at the verge of many discoveries, as new instruments and telescopes are in the phase of commissioning or construction. This Symposium was the only session at the EWASS 2019 meeting fully dedicated to exoplanets. In particular, the Symposium emphasized the complementary possibilities offered by small facilities (both in space and on the ground) together with the main workhorses from international astronomical organizations and space agencies. ▸ Read more
The concept of "small facility" is somewhat difficult to define, but we thought it could refer to telescopes (and instruments on them) of up to 50 cm in space and 4 meters on the ground. As recent discoveries show, major advances in exoplanet science very often come from such facilities. Very importantly, these discoveries are triggering new questions that theorists and modelers are pursuing to answer.
Antonio García Muñoz (Technische Universität Berlin, Germany)
Thierry Fouchet (LESIA, Paris, France)
Kristine Lam (Technische Universität Berlin, Germany)
Alexis Smith (DLR Berlin, Germany)
Isabelle Boisse (LAM, Marseille, France)
Arnaud Cassian (IAP, Paris, France)
Anne-Marie Lagrance (Institut de Planétologie et d'Astrophysique de Grenoble, France)
Hans Deeg (Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Spain)
Susana Barros (Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço, Porto, Portugal)
Petr Kabath (Astronomical Institute Ondrejov, Czech Republic) EWASS 2019 Symposium 9 website
Feedback during the star formation process
EWASS 2019 Symposium 10
The process of star formation is a multi-scale, highly non-linear process. It involves a complex interplay between interstellar medium gas, magnetic fields, turbulence, radiation, chemistry, and cosmic rays. The rapid rise of computation power now allows to combine these processes in multi-component simulations at large galactic scales as well as scales of young stellar objects. Symposium 10 aimed at providing a state-of-the-art view of this rapidly evolving field. ▸ Read more
The Symposium described the scale-dependent physics of star formation, i.e. from the smallest young stellar object (YSO) scales to the galactic scales and even extragalactic scales. These issues were addressed in two main sessions. The first session focused on the physics of the different feedback mechanisms throughout the stellar evolution, from birth to death, as well as the stellar mass. It also described their effects at molecular clouds scales on the star formation efficiency. In detail, the main subjects/invited speakers were:
Benoît Commerçon (CRAL, ENS, Lyon, France)
Yohan Dubois (IAP, Paris, France)
Pierre Hennebelle (AIM, Saclay, France)
Alexandre Marcowith (LUPM, Montpellier, France) EWASS 2019 Symposium 10 website
Protoplanetary disks: the birth places of planets
EWASS 2019 Symposium 11
Symposium 11 at EWASS 2019 focussed on protoplanetary disks: the birth places of planets. High angular resolution observations of protoplanetary disks (e.g., with ALMA or VLT/SPHERE) have opened a new door toward understanding the physical processes taking place therein, with implications both on our understanding of planet formation, disk winds, jets, and outflows, and accretion in young stars. ▸ Read more
First images have revealed disk substructures such as annuli, gaps, snow lines, density waves, etc. With this symposium we aimed to present the latest results on protoplanetary disks, their formation, evolution, and properties, in particular linked to planet formation, obtained with top ground and space facilities, and compare them with numerical simulations. The symposium eventually touched upon the novelties expected with future facilities, such as JWST, ELT, and SPICA.
We thank the EWASS 2019 SOC for selecting this symposium.
Marc Audard (University of Geneva, Switzerland)
Péter Ábrahám (Konkoly Observatory, Hungary)
Phil Armitage (Stony Brook Univ/Flatiron Institute, USA)
Lucas Cieza (Universidad Diego Portales, Chile)
Ilsedore Cleeves (University of Virginia, USA)
Davide Fedele (Arcetri Observatory, Italy)
Manuel Güdel (University of Vienna, Austria)
Willy Kley (University of Tübingen, Germany)
Ágnes Kóspál (Konkoly Observatory, Hungary)
Stefan Kraus (Exeter University, UK)
Hauyu Liu (ASIAA, Taiwan)
Christoph Mordasini (University of Bern, Switzerland)
Hideko Nomura (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan)
Takashi Onaka (University of Tokyo, Japan)
Laura Perez (Universidad de Chile, Chile)
Dary Ruiz-Rodriguez (Rochester Institute of Technology, USA)
Judit Szulágyi (University of Zurich, Switzerland)
Leonardo Testi (ESO, Germany)
Eduard Vorobyov (University of Vienna, Austria) EWASS 2019 Symposium 11 website
Knowns and unknowns about brown dwarfs 24 years after its discovery
EWASS 2019 Symposium 12
The first brown dwarfs were discovered in 1995. A few thousand brown dwarfs have been discovered in the last 24 years, including proto, young, and old brown dwarfs. The parameter space of known brown dwarfs extends down to a few Jupiter masses, ~250 K, and 250 times more metal-poor than the Sun. Brown dwarfs are found orbiting around other stars and hosting planets, they are variable and have radio emissions. New atmospheric and evolutionary of brown dwarfs and very low mass stars have been developed. This Symposium aimed to bring observers and theorists together to discuss the latest works on brown dwarfs, and seek the future research directions. ▸ Read more
This Symposium was composed of 9 invited talks, 7 contributed talks, and 2 open discussion sessions. A third of our speakers were female. Major research topics related to brown dwarfs were covered by invited talks. Davy Kirkpatrick (California Institute of Technology, USA) kicked off the meeting with a talk on the mass function of brown dwarfs using discoveries from WISE and CatWISE surveys. Then Adam Burgasser (University of California San Diego, USA) talked about using brown dwarfs to study the Milky Way: population simulations, kinematics, and the history of (sub)star.
Gilles Chabrier (École normale supérieure de Lyon, France) talked about new perspectives on brown dwarf structure, evolution and formation. Basmah Riaz (University Observatory Munich, Germany) discussed the chemical tracers in proto-brown dwarfs by observations and modelling. Beth Biller (University of Edinburgh, UK) talked about the variability monitoring of brown dwarfs and directly imaged giant exoplanets. ZengHua Zhang (Observatoire de Paris, France) talked about the population properties of metal-poor transitional and degenerate brown dwarfs.
Many brown dwarfs topics were presented and discussed in contributed talks: X-ray and radio observations of ultracool dwarfs (Beate Stelzer), the age sequence of planetary-mass objects and brown dwarfs (Nicolas Lodieu), properties of transiting brown dwarfs (Alexis Smith), young substellar binaries (Per Calissendorff), the rotation of young brown dwarfs (Ray Jayawardhana), a 5D map of the nearest open clusters from high-mass stars down to the substellar regime (Nicolas Lodieu), and new ultracool dwarfs in Gaia DR2 (Céline Reylé).
Topics discussed during the two end-of-the-day open discussions included relatively unexplored fields, new research directions, and future telescopes and sky surveys related to brown dwarfs.
ZengHua Zhang (Observatoire de Paris, France)
France Allard (École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France)
Nicolas Lodieu (Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Spain)
David Pinfield (University of Hertfordshire, UK)
Richard Smart (Osservatorio Astrofisico di Torino, Italy)
Maria Rosa Zapatero Osorio (Centro de Astrobiología, Spain) EWASS 2019 Symposium 12 website
Jets and disk winds across cosmic scales
EWASS 2019 Symposium 13
Outflows in the form of jets and accretion-related winds arise in a surprisingly diverse array of astrophysical environments, from new-born stars to the hearts of active galaxies. EWASS Symposium 13 brought together researchers from several fields focusing on outflows at all scales, including cataclysmic variables, stars, X-ray binaries and ULXs, gamma-ray bursts, AGNs, and tidal disruption events. Despite the many commonalities between outflow phenomena at different scales, researchers from these fields rarely meet and interact. ▸ Read more
Both jets and winds have been phenomenologically characterised at every frequency of the electromagnetic spectrum, yet many fundamental open questions remain. In the era of multi-messenger astrophysics, with neutrinos being detected from jetted AGNs and some detected gravitational wave events likely being related to short GRBs, the topic of outflows is of wide interest and links most fields of observational and theoretical astrophysics. We also focused on the still unsolved issues of winds origin and launching mechanisms at all scales, involving experts on both the theoretical and observational sides.
Despite intensive research, both on the observational and theoretical side, even the simpler, most nearby systems are difficult to explain, as many competing mechanisms can be at play in launching winds. Complex systems, like AGNs, have more emitting/absorbing plasmas, stratified and interacting with each other. Future instruments will help in solving some of the more pressing issues: launching radius of the winds, gas density, etc. Jets are likewise complex, although many progresses in understanding the connection between the jet episodes and the accretion disk have been carried out for the compact objects in our Galaxy.
Elisa Costantini (SRON, Netherlands), on behalf of the SOC EWASS 2019 Symposium 13 website
Royal Society Publishing photography competition
One of the five categories devoted to astronomy
Following the success of their 2018 photography competition, the Royal Society Publishing's portfolio of journals is organising a new edition of their annual photography competition. It celebrates the power of photography to communicate science and the role images play in making science accessible to a wide audience. This competition is split into 5 categories, including astronomy. The competition is only open to scientists, and is open for entries until 30 August 2019. More details can be found at this website.
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