Columbia University-Universidad Católica de Chile Joint Workshop on Astrophysics

May 27, 2015 - 8:00am to May 29, 2015 - 7:00pm
Columbia Global Centers | Santiago

The past few decades have seen an astonishing amount of investment in astronomical facilities in the mountains and deserts of northern Chile. Indeed, by some estimates, by 2020 over two-thirds of the world's astronomical infrastructure will be in Chile. 2020 is also the year the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope will begin operations on Cerro Pachón and begin imaging the entire sky every few nights to unprecedented depths. LSST's celestial movies will usher in the golden age of time-domain astrophysics and keep astronomers, statisticians, and computer scientists busy for years to come exploring the dynamic nature of our universe.

To prepare for the arrival of telescope and to explore other joint interests, the Department of Astronomy of Columbia University and the Instituto de Astrofísica of the Pontificia Universidad Católica are jointly organizing a three-day workshop May 27-29, 2015, under the heading Teaming Up to Prepare for the Next Decade in Time-Domain Astrophysics: A Joint Columbia University - Pontificia Universidad Católica Workshop.

Among the Columbia faculty planning to attend are Kathryn Johnston, the Department's chair, an expert on using our Milky Way galaxy and other nearby galaxies to understand the general process of hierarchical structure formation; Marcel Agüeros (pictured at top right), whose work uses new data sets and technologies to address classic questions in stellar astrophysics, such as the initial-to-final mass relationship for white dwarfs; Zoltán Haiman, a theorist with broad interests in supermassive black holes, the large-scale structure of the universe, and the detection of electromagnetic counterparts to gravitational-wave sources; David Schiminovich (pictured at bottom right), an observer and instrumentalist whose interests range from characterizing the intergalactic and interstellar medium to constraining the evolution of galaxies; and Mary Putman, a radio astronomer and expert on determining the role of hydrogen gas in galaxy formation and evolution.