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. Continue reading Carne, Pisco and a Conference in Chile
I spent all of August in beautiful Canada at the University of Toronto for the International Summer Institute for Modeling in Astrophysics (ISIMA). Continue reading ISIMA 2014 Toronto
Last week I’ve been to Heidelberg to visit collaborators and friends (or both). Matthias (definitely both) was kind enough to host me for the week at the Observatory (Landessternwarte), which is situated on top of the Königsstuhl high above Heidelberg Castle. Continue reading Heidelberg
After my weekend in London, I spent a couple of days in Guildford, which is like 30 min south of London. I was visiting Mark Gieles and Justin Read, who both recently took up their professorships at the University of Surrey. The two are the initiators of the Gaia Challenge workshop, which happened last August in Guildford. This year, there will be a second edition of the workshop in Heidelberg, where I’m very much looking forward to as I will be leading the stream group together with Andreea Font. In preparation for that, and as a recapitulation of the first Gaia Challenge, we started writing a collaborative paper with our stream group. The paper is going to be written publicly on Authorea, which is – like the workshop – very experimental and novel in its design and approach. On my last night in Guildford, the Surrey people took me and visiting astronomer Andrea Maccìo out for dinner to one of Jaime Oliver’s Italian restaurants. A delicious last night with British lamb, fresh mint, and great wine. As you can see in the picture, the astronomy group of Surrey University is a young and fun mix of people. They gave me good reason to come back!
Last night I arrived in Baltimore, Maryland, which PR agents in the 70’s tried to dub as Charm City. Anyone who has seen The Wire knows that this is nothing but a bold face lie. Nevertheless, I’ve enjoyed a nice and sunny Sunday walking across the campus of Johns Hopkins University, through some sketchy neighborhoods of Baltimore, all the way down to the nicer and more gentrified parts of town. I must admit, Baltimore got its charm. Especially the independent coffee shops far off the touristy parts around the Inner Harbor area appealed to me. The next few days will give me some more time to make up my mind about this city: the 2014 Hubble Fellows Symposium is being hosted by the Space Telescope Science Institute until Wednesday. Almost all of the about 50 current Hubble Fellows are getting together to enjoy each other’s science and company. A first trip to a local bar with my former Yale colleagues Rachel Bezanson and Erik Tollerud started off sciency with a discussion of the premier of the new COSMOS earlier this evening, but ended up in watching the finale of True Detective on HBO, and talking over drinks with random townsfolk. Quite a day.
What a weekend! While back home in Köln people are going crazy about Karneval, we went out to celebrate Steffen’s farewell.
After an excessive soju warm-up over Korean BBQ in K-town, we headed over to a karaoke place (or more like upstairs, Koreans are not stupid, they know how to keep the money in the building). Steffen, Ludwig and Juan couldn’t wait and started performing over dinner already – very much to the entertainment of the entire restaurant. Continue reading Karneval
After a busy but very successful week, Alejandro and Mathieu took me out for a pre-weekend drink. We ended up in a place in their neighborhood in Harlem called “Bier International”, and it turned out to be a fountain of joy and delight. I had great German beer – Reissdorf and Jever – which came with a classy selection of hearty Wurst and tasty Brezel. No doubt this place is going to be my second home in summer when you can sit outside on Frederick Douglass Boulevard. By the number of coffee shops, bars and restaurants opening up in this area you may think “this is going to be the new SoHo” (wishful thinking of Mathieu). Continue reading Bier