UK-Germany National Astronomy Meeting NAM2012
The Germany-UK NAM 2012 covers a wide range of astronomy and solar system science, as listed below.
Each topic contains one or more specific sessions, listed below with their organizers. The schedule shows how each session is timetabled.
Individual session timetables can be accessed by clicking on the session names below; clicking on a talk or poster title will display the abstract. Full listings of all presentations and all posters are also available. You can also download the abstracts as printer-friendly PDFs: posters, presentations.
|COS1||Cosmology and Structure Evolution with Wide-Field Optical and NIR Imaging Surveys|
|Joe Mohr (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat, Munich, Germany), Bob Nichol (Portsmouth), Jochen Weller (LMU, Munich), Richard McMahon (Cambridge)|
Wide field imaging surveys have returned tremendous gains for studies of cosmology and the evolution of cosmic structures, and it is clear that we are moving into a world where deep, multiband information is available over every patch of the sky. In this session, our goals are (1) to review the theoretical drivers for these surveys, (2) to hear scientific results from recent and ongoing surveys and (3) to discuss the plans for future surveys.
With the recent selection of Euclid for launch this is a perfect time to bring the community together to discuss the various efforts underway with the goal of increasing collaboration. Moreover, while the scientific drivers for wide field imaging surveys remain unchanged, there is continued rapid development on the techniques that will be most effective in achieving the scientific goals. The new techniques often have implications for survey planning of future missions. Moreover, there is a rich emerging tapestry of theoretical studies to seek an underlying "natural" explanation for the observed cosmic acceleration. An overview of these theoretical developments would provide natural context for the ongoing survey work.
We plan to arrange a combination of overview and highlight talks into two 75-minute sessions. If you are working in this area and would like to give a talk, then please submit an abstract! Note that this session is complementary to the COS2 session on "Future Wide-field Massive Spectroscopic Surveys with 4m Telescopes".
|COS2||Future wide-field massive spectroscopic surveys with 4m-telescopes|
|Will Percival (University of Portsmouth, UK), Roelof de Jong (AIP, Potsdam) , Chris Benn (ING, La Palma), Joe Mohr (LMU & MPE, Munich)|
There is a pressing need for new multi-object spectrographs (MOS) on 4m-class telescopes capable of measuring many thousands of spectra simultaneously over a large field-of-view, thereby enabling spectroscopy of millions of objects over a large fraction of a hemisphere in a few years. Provision of highly-multiplexed spectrographs on 4-m telescopes was a strong recommendation of ASTRONET's 'European Telescope Strategy Review Committee' (Drew report, 2008). For Gaia, follow-up with a ground-based MOS on a 4-m class telescope is crucial for fully exploiting the substantial investment in the mission. Support for Euclid could be provided by undertaking a large "low-redshift" galaxy survey to help understand dark energy and galaxy evolution. Many other science projects would benefit from such a resource. This session will review the science that such instruments are capable of delivering, discuss proposed instruments on 4-m telescopes such as 4MOST (NTT/VISTA), WEAVE (WHT), BigBOSS (Mayall), DESpec (Blanco), and Hermes (AAT), and consider their complementarity with other proposed spectroscopic surveys such as MOONS, Hectospec, GTC/CO-IRS, PFS and Euclid.
|COS3||Simulations of the formation of galaxies and larger structures|
|Carlos Frenk (ICC, Durham), Simon White (MPA, Garching)|
Computer simulations have played a central role in the development of the current structure formation paradigm, the LCDM model. Early simulations of large-scale structure demonstrated the viability of the model, and subsequent developments have enabled ever more precise observational tests. Today's simulations address aspects of cosmic structure, from the innermost structure of dark matter halos, through the visible properties of galaxies and galaxy clusters to the matter distribution on cosmological scales. Simulations are an indispensible tool for testing the validity of the underlying assumptions of LCDM: cold dark matter, dark energy and the inflationary perturbation spectrum.
The ability to model the evolution of baryons in simulations has been a major growth area over the past decade, either through full gasdynamic simulations or through semi-analytic modelling. Mock catalogues from simulations are now routinely used to to link astronomical data to physical models.
The purpose of this session is to bring together experts in simulation of cosmological structure formation to discuss new developments in numerical techniques, particularly in cosmological gasdynamics, as well as recent numerical work addressing galaxy formation, dark matter physics and large-scale structure.
|COS4||Modelling Dark Energy and Modified Gravity|
|Richard Battye (University of Manchester), Jochen Weller (LMU, Germany)|
The discovery of cosmic acceleration has been recently recognised by the award of the Nobel prize for physics. However it is origins are still a mystery: there are many models to explain this phenomenon, but none are compelling. It could be a dark energy component, or result from a modification to gravity at long distances. The aim of this session is to explore both individual models and phenomological approaches to describing cosmic acceleration. It will complement the sessions on future photometric and spectroscopic observations which are designed, amongst other things, to probe these models.
|GAL1||12 billion years of star formation and nuclear activity in galaxies - the submillimetre view|
|Dr. Axel Weiss (MPIfR), Prof. Steve Eales (Cardiff), Dr. Jon Davies (Cardiff), Prof. Matt Griffin (Cardiff), Prof. Ian Smail, (Durham), Dr. Mark Swinbank (Durham), Dr. Fabian Walter (MPIA).|
We are on the cusp of an exciting era for extragalactic astronomy: with the start of ALMA operations, the continuation of the Herschel mission and the commissioning of a wide range of new sub/millimetre instruments. These facilities will combine to provide an unprecedented insights into the physics of obscured star-formation and AGN activity in galaxies from the Local Group out to the highest redshifts. Herschel and ground-based submillimetre cameras, such as LABOCA and the newly-commissioned SCUBA-2, are providing us with panoramic surveys of the strongly-evolved far-infrared luminous population out to very high redshifts, z>6. Equally important are their observations of the Milky Way and nearby galaxies, which are revealing the processes which underlie this cosmic evolution, in particular the physics of star formation and feedback. With telescopes like ALMA and PdBI, we are starting to measure the gas content of galaxies over a large range of cosmic time - another crucial piece in the puzzle of galactic evolution. These sessions will feature the latest observational results from this field, from observations of star formation in our own Galaxy to observations of the gas, dust and star formation in galaxies at the highest redshifts. We also encourage theoretical talks by researchers interested in interpreting these observations and talks by those who wish to consider the future possibilities in this field.
Provisional sessions titles:
|GAL2||Diving into the outer halos of elliptical galaxies: clues to galaxy formation and evolution|
|Magda Arnaboldi (ESO), L. Coccato (ESO),
C. Maraston (University of Portsmouth), T. Naab (MPA-Garching),
D. Thomas (University of Portsmouth)|
Galaxy halos - where the dynamical timescale is comparable to the age of the Universe - offer a unique opportunity to trace the fossil records of those processes which led to the formation of galaxies the way we observe them today.
Reliable observations of stellar kinematics and stellar populations - to two effective radii and beyond - will be presented. We shall discuss how well the cosmological models compare with the observed kinematics and stellar populations properties. The goal is to identify those observational strategies and model developments which will lead to a deeper understanding of galaxy evolution.
|GAL3||The nature of satellite and dwarf galaxies|
|Noam Libeskind (AIP, Germany), Vasily Belokurov (IoA Cambridge)|
In this session we aim to highlight the latest discoveries in the large field of small galaxies. Satellite and dwarf galaxies are among the most ancient and most prolific galaxies in our Universe, yet owing to their low surface brightness they remain mysterious. Two main drivers have advanced our understanding of dwarf galaxies: the improved observational ability to detect them on the one hand, combined with increased numerical resolution to simulate them on the other. Although observations and simulations have solved many problems, many still remain unanswered. For example, what exactly is the role satellite and dwarfs play in understanding the formation of the Local Group? This session will focus on a myriad of topics related to both observations and the modeling of dwarf and satellite galaxies and what they can tell us about the Local Group. These include their main formation and destruction mechanisms, tidal stripping, stellar streams and the stellar halo, their orbits, their spatial and kinematic distribution, their stellar populations, and other bulk internal properties such density profile and color.
|3. HIGH ENERGY ASTROPHYSICS AND TRANSIENTS|
|Carole Mundell (Liverpool John Moores University, UK), Stefanie Kommossa (Technical University Munich, Germany)|
The time-variable sky is the next observational frontier and major new facilities, like LOFAR and LSST, are expected to revolutionise discovery of transient phenomena. Today, however, a growing number of discovery and rapid-response facilities with ever-improving capabilities are already opening this time domain.
Extragalactic transients trace physics under extreme conditions: the strongest gravitational and magnetic fields, most extreme tidal forces and explosive energy releases. They provide tight constraints on our understanding of accretion physics, jet formation, and ultimately may deliver long-elusive gravitational waves. Their huge peak luminosities allow us to detect them out to large cosmological distances and back to the earliest cosmic times.
The goal of this session is to bring together leading UK and German observers and theorists across the fields of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), supernovae (SNe), stellar tidal disruption flares (TDFs) and Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) variability, triggering and fuelling, to exploit the strong synergies and links between them, both in the underlying physical processes and their survey-search/follow-up techniques and strategies. The link between this broad-reaching set of time-variable phenomena represents a cutting-edge interface between complementary communities and their techniques and holds much promise for progress; e.g. recent Swift satellite discoveries of distant galactic centre flares.
Abstracts are invited presenting new results in any of these astrophysical areas - observation, theory and instrumentation/technological capability - and particularly at the interface between them. We also encourage abstracts on multi-messenger campaigns such as neutrino and gravitational waves combined with EM signatures.
|HE2||The Gamma-ray/radio connection|
|Ian Browne and Patrick Weltevrede (University of Manchester, UK), Lars Fuhrmann & Anton Zensus (MPIfR)|
The Fermi mission has opened wide a new widow on the Universe and stimulated many associated ground-based observational programmes. Some or all of the following topics will be discussed:
|HE3||Multi-wavelength observations of compact objects|
|Roberto Mignani (MSSL/UCL, UK), Silvia Zane (MSSL/UCL, UK), Kirpal Nandra (MPE, Germany)|
Collapsed stellar corpses, neutron stars and black holes, are among the most interesting targets of high-energy astrophysics, from radio to high-energy gamma rays. The multi-wavelength study of galactic compact objects, both isolated and in binary systems, is key to address fundamental issues in massive star evolution, the properties of matter under extreme conditions, and the emission physics in highly-magnetised environments. Aim of this parallel session is to present recent discoveries in the multi-wavelength study of transient/persistent galactic compact objects and discuss the potentialities of forthcoming X-ray missions (in particular those with large UK/German participation as LOFT, eRosita, ATHENA) and their potential synergies.
|4. GRAVITATIONAL WAVE ASTRONOMY|
|GW1||Dawn of Gravitational Astronomy|
|B.S. Sathyaprakash (University of Cardiff, UK), Michael Kraemer (Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, Germany / Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, University of Manchester, UK|
Advanced gravitational wave detectors are currently under construction in the US, Europe and Japan and the first ones are expected to be operational by 2015. LISA, a mission to detect gravitational waves in space is currently undergoing changes in the planning. German and British radio astronomers also collaborate on searches for gravitational waves of ultra-low frequencies using pulsar timing. With continued regular monitoring, the first detection of a background could come between 2015 and 2020. Observation of gravitational waves from astronomical systems will provide unique kinds of information and will have great synergy with other ways of observing these sources in optical, radio, x-ray, gamma-ray and other windows. This synergy can provide invaluable insight into the nature of these sources and will impact cosmology and astrophysics. Topics in this session will include:
|5. INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM|
|ISM1||Interstellar medium and star formation|
|Matthew Bate (Exeter), Andreas Burkert (Muenchen)|
Despite its importance for various areas of astrophysics, the physics of star formation is still poorly understood. It is generally accepted that stars and stellar clusters form in the turbulent, cold and molecular environments of molecular clouds. But there exists no consistent model that is able to predict when and with what efficiency a given molecular cloud would condense into stars, what stellar distribution it will produce (e.g. distributed, clustered, or the mixture), the properties of the stars (e.g. the initial mass function), and how the molecular cloud is disrupted by the newly formed stars.
Despite the lack of a consistent theoretical model, major progress has been made during the past 10 years both in modeling gravitational collapse and star formation in turbulent molecular environments, the evolution of the molecular web in galaxies, and the heating and disruption of molecular clouds by newly formed stars. Observations, most recently with Herschel and Scuba 2, provide detailed insight into the microphysics of star formation which now can be compared with theoretical models and numerical simulations.
Our session aims to bring together observers and theorists in order to discuss the recent new observations on star formation and confront them with numerical models and theories. The major topics to be covered are:
|Mikako Matsuura (UCL, London, UK), Thomas Henning (MPIA, Heidelberg, Germany), Eric Lagadec (ESO), Nigel J. Mason (Open University, UK), Tom Millar (University of Belfast, UK), Albert Zijlstra (University of Manchester, UK), Nigel Mason (Open University)|
Carbon plays an important ingredient in the formation of cosmic dust and molecules, as well as itself plays a role in the energy balance of gas. The life cycle of carbon starts with atomic synthesis in stellar interiors. During the late stages of stellar evolution, carbon is ejected from stars into the interstellar medium. Many forms of carbonaceous molecules, such as acetylene, fullerenes, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and carbonaceous dust grains have been found in evolved stars. Carbon has also been found in the form of molecules and carbonaceous dust in molecular clouds, star-forming regions and in the form of atoms in the interstellar media of nearby galaxies.
Despite carbon being found so commonly in space, the chemistry to form carbonaceous molecules and dust is largely unknown. The goal of this session is to discuss the last finding made by recent space and ground-based telescopes. The interpretation of these new results requires advances in laboratory techniques and modeling studies. We also discuss prospects of studying carbon chemistry with the ALMA.
|ISM3||Massive Star Formation in the Milky Way|
|Melvin Hoare (Leeds, UK) and Henrik Beuther (MPIA, Heidelberg, Germany)|
Massive star formation underpins much of astrophysics from feedback into the ISM, the evolution of galaxies and signposting the very first objects in the universe. Our own Milky Way provides a close-up view which is an essential part of the effort to understand the physical processes controlling the birth of massive stars. This parallel session will focus on the rapid progress in our understanding of massive star formation in the Galaxy as a result of recent advances in survey astronomy.
Wide field surveys are allowing us to elucidate the conditions, environments and manner in which massive stars form with samples that at last have a firm statistical basis. These result from new surveys such as IPHAS(ING)/VPHAS(VST), UKIDSS(UKIRT)/VVV(VISTA), GLIMPSE(Spitzer), Hi-GAL (Herschel), ATLASGAL(APEX)/JPS(JCMT), MMB(Parkes/Effelsberg) and CORNISH(ATCA/VLA). UK and German astronomers lead most of these surveys and the NAM will be a good opportunity to bring the two communities together. Topics will include the Galactic distribution, evolutionary sequences and phase lifetimes, massive young clusters, triggering and star formation efficiency and the local Schmidt-Kennicutt law in an extragalactic context.
|STA1||Massive stars: From the Milky Way to beyond the Local Group|
|Chris Evans (ATC, Edinburgh, UK), P aul Crowther (Sheffield), Ben Davies (Cambridge), Rolf Kudritzki (MPA, Munich), Norbert Langer (Bonn), Joachim Puls (USM, Munich), Jorick Vink (Armagh)|
Massive stars are the dominant population in star-forming galaxies, driving their evolution via intense radiation fields and feedback from their winds and supernova explosions. Only by improving our models of stellar evolution via empirical studies in the local Universe can we hope to achieve a realistic interpretation of unresolved populations in distant galaxies.
Recent work in the Milky Way and Magellanic Clouds has led to important new insights in our understanding of massive stars, such as revision of the upper-mass limit to the IMF, the incidence of multiplicity, the effects of metallicity, and the role of rotational mixing in their atmospheres. In parallel to these efforts, spectroscopy of luminous massive stars in galaxies at Mpc distances has been used to obtain direct chemical abundances, tracing the star-formation history and chemical evolution of their host galaxies. We invite talks for two sessions on topics related to massive star evolution, supernova progenitors, and extragalactic massive stars.
|STA2||Binary Stars: Duplicity is Everywhere|
|Rob Izzard (University of Bonn, Germany), Christopher Tout (University of Cambridge)|
Binary stars are excellent probes of many aspects of modern astrophysics from nucleosynthesis to general relativity. In this session we will investigate all aspects of binary stars such as compact binaries (cataclysmic variables, double white dwarfs/neutron stars, X-ray binaries, gravitational wave sources etc.), chemically peculiar stars (e.g. barium and carbon-rich stars, sdO/B/RCrB stars), mass transfer and stellar mergers. We invite both observers and modellers, in particular PhD students, to participate in this exciting session!
|7. THE MAGNETIC UNIVERSE|
|MAG1||Magnetospheres throughout the Universe|
|Chris Arridge (Mullard Space Science Laboratory, UCL, UK), Prof. Michael Kramer (Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, Germany / Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, University of Manchester), Dr. Ben Stappers (Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, University of Manchester), Dr. Aline Vidotto (School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St. Andrews, UK)|
Magnetospheres are ubiquitous throughout the Universe, being found in interstellar gas clouds, in the environments of black holes and degenerate objects as well as around planets and stars. Comparative studies between planets (including Earth) and moons throughout the solar system allow in situ investigations of a wide range of physical conditions, such as magnetic field configuration and composition of the plasma. Comparisons between planetary and astrophysical environments reveal interesting similarities in system-level behaviour (such as phase shifts and drifting periods in periodic planetary radio emissions and the intermittent behaviour of some pulsars) which may have common underlying physical mechanisms. The study of exoplanet magnetospheres is drawing on the significant body of understanding developed from solar system magnetospheres but also providing new lessons for solar system environments. The topic of this session is to discuss observations, theories and modelling of these structures, explore common themes and physical processes, and to encourage interaction between the diverse communities studying magnetospheres throughout the universe.
|MAG2||Structure and Dynamics of Solar and Stellar Magnetic Fields|
|Gunnar Hornig (University of Dundee, UK), Joerg Buechner|
This joint session invites contributions from Solar Physics and Astronomy on the structure and dynamics of magnetic fields. The magnetic field of a star facilitates the transport of energy from the interior to the atmosphere and beyond, and is therefore essential for understanding the appearance of stars in general and our Sun in particular. The focus of this session will be to address the nature of generic structures of magnetic fields. This includes dynamo action, energy transport and release mechanisms, as well as observational consequences such as heating and acceleration of particles or flows due to the relaxation of magnetic fields.
|8. EXOPLANETS AND PLANETARY SCIENCE|
|PL1||Small bodies in Our Solar System|
|Colin Snodgrass (Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Germany), S.C. Lowry (University of Kent, UK), S. Green (Open University, UK)|
This session will bring together researchers on Solar System minor bodies from various disciplines (spacecraft missions, laboratory based, observations and theory). The session will be divided into topics based on different populations, with a mix of talks from different disciplines within each, to encourage discussion between these fields. Likely topics will be on Main Belt asteroids, Near Earth Objects, Comets and Outer Solar System bodies. We expect talks to cover results from the Dawn, Rosetta and Stardust missions; observations of all minor body populations (including results from the Herschel space telescope); meteorites, meteors and links with their parent bodies; theoretical/computational/experimental results on solar system formation and evolution; experimental and instrumentation work related to spacecraft missions.
|Peter Wheatley (University of Warwick, UK), Eamonn Kerins (University of Manchester, UK), Coel Hellier (University of Keele, UK)|
The field of exoplanets continues to grow rapidly, with wide interest in the UK and German communities. Results from current instruments such as CoRoT, Kepler and WASP are driving the field at a dizzying pace, leading to frequent high-profile press coverage and strong public interest. There is also strong UK and German involvement in the development of new instrumentation, for instance PLATO, ECHO, SPHERE and NGTS.
The exoplanet session aims to cover all aspects of exoplanet research, both observational and theoretical. Contributions are encouraged from senior and junior researchers, and are expected to include all methods of exoplanet discovery and characterisation, as well as models of planet formation and evolution. The organisers would also welcome contributions on the habitability of exoplanetary systems and astrobiology.
|9. COMPUTATIONAL ASTROPHYSICS|
|CP1||Current Developments in Numerical astrophysics|
|Chris Wareing (University of Leeds, UK), Christer Sandin (AIP, Germany)|
We invite contributions to this session focused on the development, testing and implementation of numerical schemes currently used in astrophysics, including but not limited to methods for particle dynamics, hydrodynamics, magneto-hydrodynamics, radiation transport and statistics. We particularly encourage submissions from early career researchers and graduate students, presenting latest developments to mature codes, or presenting new codes and the associated validations, or seeking guidance to overcome development issues. This will be a rare chance for the UK and German communities to present to each other and cross-fertilise new developments. We intend to have an invited review [Prof. S.A.E.G. Falle, Leeds, S2?: to be confirmed] followed by a number of either 10+2-minute or 12+3-minute short presentations, depending on the number of abstracts per session.
|10. TELESCOPES AND INSTRUMENTATION|
|INS1||Evolution with ALMA - first science results on the cool universe|
|Anita Richards and A Avison ( (University of Manchester, UK), M Zwaan (ESO ARC node), S Muehle (German ARC node)|
ALMA is the most ambitious ground-based telescope in operation, sensitive to mm and sub-mm wavelengths which are absorbed by water vapour at sea level. When complete (in 2013) it will comprise 66 antennas; currently at least 16 are being used for science operations. The first Cycle 0 science results will be presented, such as on stellar and planetary evolution, star formation and distant galaxies associated with intense star formation. We invite successful Cycle 0 proposers or prospective Cycle 1 ALMA users to talk about their science. The ALMA session and also a lunchtime meeting will update the astronomical community on ALMA construction progress and the support available for prospective ALMA users including preparation for the Cycle 1 deadline.
|INS2||The European Extremely Large Telescope|
|Chris Evans (ATC, Edinburgh, UK), Ric Davies (MPE, Munich), Tom Herbst (MPIA, Heidelberg), Isobel Hook (Oxford), Simon Morris (Durham), Martin Roth (Potsdam), Aprajita Verma (Oxford)|
Plans are advancing toward construction of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), the world's largest optical/infared telescope. The baseline design has a 40-m class primary aperture which, when combined with the power of adaptive optics to correct for the turbulence of the Earth's atmosphere, will provide a uniquely sensitive window on the Universe, from studies of nearby exo-planets, out to 'first light' galaxies at the largest redshifts.
The intention of this session is to bring the general astronomical community together with those working directly on the E-ELT project, to give an overview of recent developments and highlight the hugely exciting future scientific prospects. We invite talks on topics such as E-ELT science drivers and simulations, proof-of-concept science results, instrumentation design studies, and technology demonstrators.
|INS3||First Science from SCUBA-2|
|Ian Robson (UKATC), Jane Greaves (St Andrews), Derek Ward-Thompson (Cardiff), Mark Thompson (Herts), James Dunlop (IfA)|
The SCUBA camera opened up submillimetre imaging of the cosmos in the late 1990's. Its replacement on the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope, SCUBA-2, has come into general operation in the last year. SCUBA-2 has a much wider field-of-view, a mapping speed hundreds of times that of its predecessor, and data processing specifically designed for wide-field imaging. Legacy Surveys (many UK-led) plus PI programmes have been underway for several months, and the latest highlights will be presented. Survey topics range from star and planet formation to nearby galaxies and cosmology
|INS4||LOFAR, the LOw Frequency ARray: Ongoing Developments and Early Results|
|Mario M. Bisi (Institute of Mathematics and Physics, Aberystwyth University, UK), Michael W. Wise (Astronomy Group, ASTRON (Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy), The Netherlands), Philip Best (School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, UK), Benjamin W. Stappers (The School of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Manchester, UK), Peter T. Gallagher (School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland), and Marcus Bruggen (School of Engineering & Science, Jacobs University, Germany)|
The LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) is a next-generation radio telescope which utilises thousands of stationary dipoles and tiles to observe celestial phenomena. This session is intended for the broader community to learn about the developments of LOFAR including updates on the status of the system and its current scientific capabilities, the early science results from all aspects of its applications and operation, as well as the upcoming opportunities for general "open skies" observing.
With its dense core array and interferometric baselines of up to 1,000 km, LOFAR has the potential to achieve both unparalleled sensitivity (sub-mJy) and spatial resolution (sub-arcsecond) in this largely-unexplored low-frequency radio regime (~10 MHz to 250 MHz). Areas of science which can be explored with LOFAR include, but are not limited to, the Epoch of Re-ionisation (EoR), Pulsars, Transients, Cosmic Rays, Magnetism, deep Extra-Galactic Surveys, and also studies of the Sun, the Solar Atmosphere/Solar Wind, Space Weather, and the Earth's Ionosphere. In summary, the session is designed for showcasing LOFAR's scientific potential and progress to date. The session should include a LOFAR overview and specifics of LOFAR commissioning, current status, scientific and technical capabilities, and upcoming opportunities. We solicit contributions from any/all of the science areas that will be covered by the observational capabilities of LOFAR.
|INS5||Radio to sub-millimeter technology developments for receiver arrays|
|Bruno Maffei, G.Pisano, P.Wilkinson (University of Manchester)|
With the present success of the latest millimeter to sub-mm space missions Herschel and Planck, there is great interest in technology developments for their successors. These future instruments will involve hundreds if not thousands of pixels. Multi-pixel receiver arrays are also being developed at lower frequency for the SKA, for the large European radio telescopes and the 500-m Chinese telescope FAST.
On the other hand, from tens of MHz to about 100 GHz, coherent phased array techniques can be used to increase the field of view of interferometer arrays or as elements in arrays (e.g. LOFAR). Even if the detector technologies might be different, there are many commonalities and potential synergies over this wide spectral range.
This session is dedicated to the state-of-the-art technology developed for present and future radio to sub-mm multi-pixel instrumentation. In particular, we welcome abstract proposals on:
|INS6 (COS2)||Future wide-field massive spectroscopic surveys with 4m-telescopes|
|Will Percival (University of Portsmouth, UK), Roelof de Jong (AIP, Potsdam) , Chris Benn (ING, La Palma), Joe Mohr (LMU & MPE, Munich)|
|HIS1||Kepler and his discoveries|
|A E L Davis (Imperial College, London, UK); Chair: T J Mahoney|
Two professional historians will present accounts of what astronomy was like in Kepler's time (1571-1630). In his day most people still believed that the universe (the solar system) was geocentric, and Kepler set out one of his most cogent arguments for heliocentricity by describing what astronomy would have been like if viewed from a satellite (a word he invented) - that is, from the Moon. Thus one of the talks will discuss Kepler's lunar astronomy; the other will explain how Kepler's laws were discovered. Using only the straightedge and compasses permitted by Euclid, Kepler was able to construct an unknown curve to fit the observations, and finally to give exact geometrical proofs that that curve was an ellipse, and that time was measured by area.
Posters contributed by student, or young graduate, historians of astronomy will be most welcome.
|Alison Boyle (UK), Marek Kukula (Royal Observatory Greenwich), Robert Massey, (Royal Astronomical Society), Tim O'Brien (Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics)|
This session provides an opportunity for people working in all aspects of public astronomy (outreach, media, formal education, heritage) to share innovation and best practice in their fields, and for astronomers to gain insights into how to share their work more widely through a variety of formats. As NAM 2012 takes place close to Jodrell Bank Observatory, still one of the world's leading working observatories and, perhaps paradoxically, also recently shortlisted for World Heritage Site nomination, part of the session will focus on the challenge of celebrating and preserving the UK's recent astronomical heritage. Other topics for discussion could include, but are not limited to: outreach projects, astronomy in schools, citizen science, Dark Sky discovery, amateur astronomy and funding opportunities for public engagement.
|13. SOLAR PHYSICS|
|SP1||Interplanetary observations of the solar wind|
|Chris Davis (STFC, UK), Volker Bothmer (University of Göttingen), Matthew Owens (University of Reading), Jackie Davies (RAL Space)|
In recent years, and particularly with the advent of the STEREO mission, many new data analysis techniques have been developed that have improved our ability to track solar wind transients out to distances of 1 AU and beyond. Combining these tracking techniques with complimentary methods such as interplanetary scintillation (IPS) and in-situ spacecraft measurements is advancing our understanding of how these solar wind transients propagate through the heliosphere. There is still much to learn about the links between the Sun and the heliosphere, in particular the origins of the ambient solar wind and solar ejecta, their structure and evolution as they propagate into interplanetary space and their subsequent interactions with planets and other solar system bodies. This session will draw together our current knowledge of the physics within the solar-heliospheric environment, and consider techniques that wil lead to progress in this area of science, with particular emphasis on the exploitation of multiple missions.
|SP2||Solar coronal magnetic fields|
|Stephane Regnier (UCLAN, UK), David Shelton (MSSL/UCL, UK) Thomas Wiegelmann (Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Lindau, Germany)|
The solar coronal magnetic field evolves at different time and spatial scales from the quiet Sun to active regions. Space-borne missions such as SDO and Hinode are now providing high spatial and temporal resolutions as well as a broad spectral coverage of the corona to tackle some important coronal physics with an unprecedented accuracy. These new observations provide a direct and systematic view of the coupling between the different scales. Thus this session aims at reviewing the different efforts to understand better the geometry and evolution of the coronal magnetic fields from the quiet Sun, active regions and the global Sun. We invite contributions exploiting SDO and Hinode data, especially emphasising quantitative comparisons between numerical models (field extrapolations, MHD models), and magnetic and spectroscopic observations.
|SP3||UKSP/MIST Missions Forum 2012|
|David William (MSSL)|
This is a very exciting time for the future of the heliophysics community. Solar Orbiter has just been adopted by ESA, and we have the opportunity to discuss where we want to go beyond this, scientifically and literally. Another ESA M-class mission call is anticipated in the next two years, multilateral opportunities are also emerging, and we'd like our heliospheric community to be ready to capitalise on them and bring ideas that they, themselves, would like to discuss. The session is one of our main channels for informing young and experienced researchers in the community of the upcoming opportunities on the sort of timescales that they need to plan the next phase of their careers.
With that in mind, we will offer a session to cover the possible futures for missions which will explore the heliospheric environment in new and exciting ways. As in the previous two years' sessions, we will invite some experienced figures to talk, but we encourage you to submit abstracts on mission or facility opportunities which you feel could benefit the community. Poster contributions on existing missions and facilities are also very welcome. Please note that there will be a dedicated Solar Orbiter session - of particular interest to heliophysicists! - and relevant contributions can be directed to that session.
|SP4||Solar Orbiter mission - How does the Sun createand control the heliosphere?|
|Andrzej Fludra (STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory), Louise Harra (UCL/MSSL), Tim Horbury (Imperial College), Chris Owen (UCL/MSSL)|
Solar Orbiter has been selected as ESA's Cosmic Vision Medium Class mission for launch in 2017. The spacecraft will travel closer to the Sun than any previous solar mission, reaching 0.28 AU at perihelion. The inclination of its elliptical orbit will increase up to 30 degrees latitude to provide, for the first time, a clear view of Sun's polar regions. Solar Orbiter will measure the solar wind plasma, fields, waves and energetic particles close to the Sun and provide the first detailed link between the solar wind and magnetic fields measured at the location of the spacecraft and their origins on the Sun.
The mission represents a unique opportunity for members of both the Solar Physics and STP communities to come together to capitalise on the science of Solar Orbiter. This session will be used to inform both communities of the mission's concept, instruments and science goals and to begin joint scientific preparations for this exciting opportunity. We invite presentations regarding recent work that relates to the science goals of Solar Orbiter and the scientific preparation for the mission, including theory and modelling as well as data analysis results. Contributions describing other missions and instrumentation that will provide related measurements during the Solar Orbiter era are also welcome.
|SP5||Waves in the solar atmosphere|
|M. Mathioudakis (University of Belfast, UK), Richard J Morton (University of Sheffield, UK)|
Topic: The generation, propagation and dissipation of waves in the solar interior and atmosphere
Over the last few years, magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) waves and oscillations have been observed to be continuous and ubiquitous in all the different layers of the solar atmosphere with both space-based missions (e.g. SOHO, TRACE, STEREO, Hinode & SDO) and ground-based facilities (e.g. ROSA & COMP/DST, CRISP/SST, TESOS/VTT, GONG/NSO etc). The generated waves are believed to play a hugely important and influential role in determining the behaviour of the Sun's highly structured and dynamic atmosphere from the solar surface up to the corona, even determining Space Weather in the interplanetary space.
The aim of this session is to discuss recent advancements, challenges and future directions in the theory, simulation and observation of wave phenomena from the interior to the outer layers of the solar atmosphere.
|SP6||Solar Physics General Session|
|Valery Nakariakov (University of Warwick, UK), and the UKSP SOC|
This session will include all aspects of Solar Physics, from the interior to the atmosphere and the heliosphere, especially topics not well covered in other sessions of the programme. Abstracts on latest developments in theory, modelling and observations of the Sun, and the interaction between these, are invited.
|MST1||Magnetic Reconnection in Space and Astrophysical Plasmas|
|Clare Parnell (Uni. St Andrews), Bernhard Kliem (Univ. Potsdam and MSSL), Andrew Walsh (MSSL)|
Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental process involving topology change and energy release in plasmas and conducting fluids throughout the universe. All events associated with a change in magnetic field connectivity must involve magnetic reconnection. Examples include disruptions in fusion plasmas, the opening of planetary magnetospheres to the interplanetary magnetic field at their dayside magnetopauses, flux closure during substorms in planetary magnetotails, coronal heating, solar eruptions, the entry of interstellar plasma into the heliosphere, the dynamic balance between a star's open and closed magnetic flux, highly efficient particle acceleration in solar and stellar flares and astrophysical jets. Space plasmas are a particularly rich source of information about the mechanisms and consequences of reconnection, with recent missions like Cluster and SDO providing deeper insight and revealing new challenges. Despite intense research, the nature of reconnection processes at microscopic scales are far from understood. Currently two key developments of the field address the two-dimensional breakup of current layers into a cascade of filamentary structures and the related three-dimensional breakup of current layers relating to various topological or geometrical properties of the magnetic field. Both of these processes suggest a transition into a turbulent regime.
The session targets both the UKSP and MIST communities as well as astrophysicists interested in effects related to magnetic fields. We intend to provide a broad forum for the discussion of all relevant observational, experimental and theoretical aspects of magnetic reconnection. Especially welcome will be contributions which emphasize the similarities and differences of reconnection between various astrophysical, magnetospheric and solar phenomena and the key developments mentioned above.
|MST2||New exploration of the geomagnetic field: opportunities with the ESA SWARM mission|
|Mike Hapgood (STFC), Richard Holme (Liverpool), Malcolm Dunlop (STFC) and Hermann Luehr (Potsdam)|
The ESA SWARM mission is a three-spacecraft mission to explore the Earth's magnetic field in unprecedented detail and is due for launch in the near future (July 2012). It will provide new insights into the many sources that contribute to this magnetic field - both within the Earth and those arising externally in the ionosphere and magnetosphere. This, in turn, will advance our understanding of the interior and exterior regions of our planet. These advances require a coordinated scientific effort involving experts across a range of topics covered by RAS, including the fields of solid-Earth geophysics, solar-terrestrial physics, space instrumentation and ground-based measurements (for example, to support calibration and validation of the spacecraft data). This session will review current work and open questions, and will encourage wider participation by the relevant science communities to get the best science out of the mission. We welcome oral and poster presentations that address any and all aspects of the science preparations for SWARM, including calibration and validation activities and plans for science exploitation of the data, including coordination with data from other spacecraft and with ground-based sensors. We particularly welcome contributions that will stimulate new collaborations and proposals for SWARM science.
|MST3||Vertical Coupling through planetary atmospheres and ionospheres|
|Andrew J. Kavanagh (British Antarctic Survey)|
Observations of the Earth's atmosphere have made it clear that to fully understand this system it is essential to understand how the different layered regions (charged and neutral) couple with one another. This holds true for other planetary bodies, though the mechanisms that dominate may vary. Coupling occurs via electrodynamic, chemical and dynamical processes, and at Earth the ways in which these mechanisms are influenced by the Sun and by changes in the lower atmosphere are still poorly understood. The complexity of the interactions of the neutral and ionized portions of our atmosphere make this a particularly challenging area. Differences in composition, magnetic structure and planetary motion bring further challenges to studies of other planetary bodies. This session invites contributions on subjects such as gravity and planetary wave coupling in the middle atmosphere; dynamical and chemical structure of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere; solar influences on the middle and lower atmosphere, including particle precipitation; electrodynamical coupling between the ionosphere and thermosphere; and the role of thunderstorm-related processes and relativistic atmospheric electrodynamics. Comparitive studies between planetary atmosphere are welcome.
|MST4||Recent results in MIST science|
|Robert Fear (University of Leicester, UK), Colin Forsyth|
The UK MIST (Magnetospheric, Ionospheric and Solar-Terrestrial) community investigates physical processes within the Sun-Earth system and at other planets. This includes study of the solar wind and planetary magnetospheres, ionospheres, thermospheres & mesospheres, and the coupling between these regions. We welcome contributions detailing the latest results from all areas of science covered by the MIST purview from the UK, Germany and beyond, including research into similar processes in other stellar systems.
|MST5||Particle acceleration and transport at the Sun and in the heliosphere|
|Mykola Gordovskyy (University of Manchester, UK), N.Bian, V.Nakariakov|
Acceleration of particles in flares and other explosive events and their transport in the solar atmosphere and heliosphere remains a major problem of solar and solar-terrestrial physics. Despite the significant progress made in the last decades, there are number of outstanding issues such as the mechanisms behind the huge numbers of non-thermal electrons derived from hard X-ray observations and the role of energetic ions in flares. In recent years, various space missions and ground-based instruments provided substantial volume of high-quality multi-wavelength data. The goal of this session is to review recent observational results and to discuss how to adopt theoretical models to the tight constrains imposed by these observations.
The session will focus on correlative analysis of simultaneous hard X-ray, gamma-ray and radio observations of non-thermal particles in the corona. In addition, we will discuss how to connect the results of remote and in-situ observations related to the high-energy particles in the heliosphere with the particle acceleration in the corona.
Although this session will concern the recent progress made in the field of particle acceleration at the Sun and transport in the heliosphere, it will also include a discussion of the role of future missions/instruments in solving the problem of energetic particles.
|OTH1||Other topics - posters only|
Abstracts are invited for any topics in astronomy and astrophysics which do not fit into any of the above sessions. These may be accepted as posters only. (Please contact email@example.com if you wish to submit a talk and are not sure which session it should be submitted to.)