With Steffen Mieske I’m currently organizing a conference called “Satellites and Streams in Santiago”, which will take place in April 2015 in Santiago de Chile. I’m very excited about this meeting, as the topic will be (as the name suggests) streams and satellites, and there hasn’t been a similar gathering of experts in these fields in more than a decade. With about 100 people, we will focus for one week on dwarf galaxies and globular clusters, which orbit around the Milky Way and nearby galaxies, as well as tidal streams, which these satellites produce while orbiting and dissolving in their host galaxy’s gravitational potential. Aim of the meeting is to bring the two communities together to create the big picture of how large galaxies like the Milky Way assemble mass over billions of years by eating smaller satellites and globular clusters, and how the gravitational fields of the host galaxies transform satellites with time.
The conference will take place on the beautiful premises of the European Southern Observatory in Vitacura. It is generously sponsored by ESO with a large grant allowing us to invite amazing speakers from all over the world. Together with the scientific organizing committee, we came up with a list of keynote speakers that should guarantee a comprehensive and controversial representation of the current standing of the fields. I am very grateful to Steffen, who has gathered a lot of experience with this kind of organization in his years at ESO. He is supported by the amazing staff in Vitacura and in the ESO headquarters in Garching, who also took over the design of the conference poster (above). I’m sure they will help us to turn this meeting into a great experience for all participants. In the middle of the week we will have a Chilean asado in the ESO garden, with lots of Chilean beef and yummy pisco sour – my mouth is watering while I’m writing this – I really can’t wait to get to Chile!