EuroVO-DCA - Spectroscopy workshop

Contact person: Matteo Guainazzi (ESA)

As agreed at the Board kick-off meeting, a focused workshop has been organised by WP3 at ESAC: "Astronomical Spectroscopy and Virtual Observatory Workshop" (21st-23rd March, 2007 -

The main goal of the Workshop was to identify current and future needs of astronomical spectroscopy, and discuss how the Virtual Observatory (VO) concept and applications can fulfil them. The method pursued to achieve this goal was promoting a forum of discussion and interchange of experiences between astronomers and engineers active in the VO endeavour, and astronomers with a specific expertise and involvement in astronomical spectroscopic projects – both from the observational and from the theoretical side.

Since the early phases of its design and organization, the Workshop was conceived as a highly interactive forum. The Workshop was structured into five sessions:

  • “Spectroscopic surveys”,
  • “VO standards and applications”,
  • “Spectroscopic tools and algorithms”,
  • “Photometry in the VO”, and “
  • Access to laboratory databases and theoretical data”.

Each session was introduced by a series of presentations, providing the Workshop participants with an overview to the astronomical and technical context, and concluded by a round table discussion, where future challenges astronomical spectroscopy will have to face in the coming years, as well as possible VO solutions thereof were lively discussed. Overall, 34 presentations were given (5 of them invited review talks at the start of each session); the time spent in the round table discussions amounted to more than 20% of the total Workshop duration. More then 20 poster papers were also presented during the Workshop.

The Scientific and Technical Organizing Committee (STOC), a board of 10 astronomers and engineers of widely differentiated background and expertise, co-chaired by Matteo GUAINAZZI and Pedro OSUNA (ESA), was in charge of the scientific organization of the Workshop. The board fulfilled the task of ensuring the overall coherency and quality of the Workshop scientific program.

The Workshop has been perceived by the astronomical community as a timely and appropriate undertaking. This interest is demonstrated by the large number of participants, which largely exceeded the most optimistic expectations. 116 participants from 15 countries attended the Workshop sessions. The participation of astronomers from countries which do not belong to the European Union (Armenia, Chile, Japan, Mexico, Switzerland, and United States) is particularly noticeable. The subdivision of the participants by nation is shown in Figure 1.

Four IVOA Working Groups Chairs attended the meeting (Data Access Layer, Data Model, Query Language, Table). This event has been instrumental in providing the VO projects with community-driven momentum and guidelines, helping the further development of VO standards, protocols and tools in this field. The Workshop will produce the following documents:

  • a report on the main scientific recommendations emerged from the Workshop discussions is being compiled by the STOC, and will be presented to the Euro-VO executive board as well as to the International Virtual Observatory Alliance as a community-driven input to the Euro-VO Project
  • the proceedings of the Workshop, including contributions from all the oral and poster papers presented, and a summary of each of the round table discussions, are being compiled, and will be published by ESA

-- MathiasDepretz - 25 Jun 2007

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Topic revision: r3 - 26 Jun 2007 - MathiasDepretz
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