Conference update - The life and times of the Milky Way - Shanghai, Nov 2018

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=== The life and times of the Milky Way - The symbiosis between Gaia and ground-based spectroscopic surveys
=== November 12th-16th; Shanghai, China
=== Website: <>

As you may have seen from our previous announcement, this autumn Shanghai will host a large international conference addressing the birth, evolution, and current status of the Milky Way. Full details are contained below, but before that let us remind you that the deadline for submitting abstracts is the July 31st. We have assembled a great line-up of invited speakers (see below) and have devised a format to promote discussion and interaction. It’s shaping up to be an exciting meeting which we hope you will be eager to join!

Rationale and outline:

We are now in a golden age for understanding our Galaxy. Surveys are providing data of unprecedented quality, volume, and dimensionality, allowing us to study both individual stars and composite populations in exquisite detail. This rapid progress is being spearheaded by the combination of Gaia data and large, ground-based spectroscopic surveys. From these, we are extracting a complete picture of the Milky Way’s dynamical and chemical phase space, allowing us to unveil the history of our Galaxy as never before.

The conference occurs at a crucial time for this field, coming 6 months after the first major astrometric data release of the Gaia mission. Other expansive spectroscopic surveys are continuing apace, as evidenced by the conclusion of the first phase of the LAMOST survey (totalling over 7 million stellar spectra), the completion of the RAVE and Gaia-ESO surveys, and the ongoing data releases from both APOGEE-2 and GALAH. Participants will therefore hear about new and previously unattainable findings on the nature of our Galaxy.

With this meeting, we will bring together both theorists and observers to share progress on a number of topics related to our Galaxy, including the evolution of the disc and the accretion history of the stellar halo. We have emphasised invited talks from leading early career researchers (see below), with an aim of a vibrant meeting tackling the most relevant issues of the day. Participation from graduate students and postdocs is especially encouraged and a significant amount of time will be set aside for discussions. In the week following the conference we will also host a supplementary three-day hands-on session, where enthusiastic researchers can remain in Shanghai to work together on simulations and data, forging new collaborations in an interactive environment. Space is limited so please sign up early to ensure a place. Full details are can be found on the hack-a-thon page <>.

Registration is now open here <> and the abstract deadline is July 31st. If you wish to be kept updated about future announcements, please fill in the registration form.

Conference topics:
Introduction to, and the status of, Gaia and leading spectroscopic surveys
The kinematics of the Milky Way disc: signatures of the bar, spirals, vertical excitation, secular dynamical evolution
The chemistry and chemical evolution of the Milky Way disc
The bulge/bar: its structure, history and relation to the thin & thick discs
Stellar physics: chemically peculiar and ultra metal-poor stars, asteroseismology
The halo: structure of the stellar halo, the Milky Way's accretion history, mapping the dark halo
Future spectroscopic surveys (including LAMOST-2, 4-MOST, WEAVE, PFS, and SDSS-V)

Confirmed speakers:
Gaia overview - Coryn Bailer-Jones
Disc kinematics - Ralph Schönrich, Wilma Trick
Disc chemical evolution - Victor Debattista, Diane Feuillet
Bulge - Juntai Shen, Chris Wegg
Stars - Luca Casagrande, Laurent Eyer, Keith Hawkins, Haining Li, Karin Lind, Else Starkenburg
Halo - Alis Deason (TBC), Annette Ferguson, Yang Huang, Jason Sanders
Conference summariser - Marc Pinsonneault

July 31st: Abstract submission deadline
October 1st: Visa request deadline
November 12th: Conference begins

Martin C. Smith (Shanghai Astronomical Observatory; chair)
Vasily Belokurov (University of Cambridge; co-chair)
Gail Zasowski (University of Utah; co-chair)
James Binney (University of Oxford)
Masashi Chiba (Tohoku University)
Paola Di Matteo (Observatoire de Paris)
Sofia Feltzing (Lund University)
Ken Freeman (Australian National University)
Chao Liu (National Astronomical Observatories of China)
Xiaowei Liu (Peking University & Yunnan University)
Sarah Loebman (University of California, Davis)
Heidi Newberg (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)
Matthias Steinmetz (Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics)
Gang Zhao (National Astronomical Observatories of China)

LOC: <gaia2018 at <mailto:gaia2018 at>>
Jinliang Hou (chair)
Yang Yang (co-chair)
João A. Amarante
Caili Li
Zhao-Yu Li
Fu Jian
Zhong Jing
Zhen Yuan
Yanqiong Zhang

Shanghai Astronomical Observatory
National Astronomical Observatories of China
Chinese Academy of Sciences

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