Euro Summer School
Observation and Data reduction with the Very Large Telescope Interferometer

4-16 June 2006, Goutelas (France)
EUROPEAN HIGH LEVEL SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCE, Supported by EC contract n° MSCF-CT-2005 - 029954

Second announcement

 
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With the advent of large and multi-telescope arrays in the past years, interferometry has reached a new stage. Interferometers have become a more common tool for astronomical observations. They have long been team instruments equipped with a few telescopes of small diameter. Because interferometers were limited to bright sources and with no imaging capabilities, only stellar physics have benefited from this instrumental breakthrough. This time is over! Thanks to the use of large telescopes, interferometers now allow to study bright as well as relatively faint objects. First observations of active galactic nuclei have been performed with the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) and the Keck interferometric array allowing to study objects which were still point-like until very recently. With the increasingly large number of telescopes, interferometers are on the verge to reconstruct complex images at an unprecedented angular resolution. Interferometric facilities are becoming more and more open to non-specialist astronomers. The VLTI is a very good example. Three instruments have been opened to the astronomical community : VINCI (until 2004), MIDI and AMBER. It is one of the most powerful interferometers with four 8-m telescopes and four 1.8-meter telescopes, the latter being relocatable on the array allowing an extensive number of configurations for high quality imaging. Although it is still the beginning, VLTI is a success with several tens of astrophysical papers already published. Such a powerful tool is very promising for many astrophysical topics and outstanding science is at hand for astronomers who know how to prepare and use such observations.

School objectives

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The European Southern Observatory (ESO) in collaboration with many European institutes has operated the VLTI since 2002. Institutes in Europe have teamed-up to build a first generation of instruments which are in use and available through calls for observing proposals. The operation of the first VLTI instruments has allowed to train newcomers to this technique. A second generation of more powerful instruments will be available with still better sensitivities and imaging capabilities. However the scientific outcome will be at the same level as the VLTI performance only if astronomers get prepared to interferometric observations and to the use of interferometric data and if the specialists in interferometry transmit their knowledge to the European astronomical community. With this objective in mind, we organize a summer school to train astronomers to the use of the VLTI current generation of instruments.

The objective of the school, beyond learning the basics of interferometry and getting acquainted to the VLTI instruments, is to get practical training of the most important tools required to prepare interferometric observations and to process the data for astrophysical studies. A first school in 2002 had focused on observation preparation. In this sequel, attendees will in particular be trained to data reduction, model fitting and image reconstruction. The goal is that attendees be autonomous to prepare an observing proposal to use MIDI and AMBER and use the data for their own astrophysical studies.

The curriculum of the school consists in general lectures for 30% of the time, practical training for 50% of it and informal seminars for the remaining of the time. A detailed agenda is available on the school web site. The school will take place over two weeks at the Château de Goutelas in the center of France from June 4 to June 16.

ORGANIZATION

School Chairs

-  Fabien Malbet (LAOG, Grenoble)
-  Guy Perrin (Observatoire de Paris, Meudon)

To contact them, please send a message to vltischool@obs.ujf-grenoble.fr

Scientific Organizing Committee

R. Akeson (MSC/Caltech), A. Boden (MSC/Caltech), F. Delplancke (ESO), A. Dutrey (Bordeaux), P. Garcia (Porto), A. Glindemann (ESO), C. Haniff (Cambridge), C. Leinert (MPIA, Heidelberg), B. Lopez (OCA, Nice), R. Petrov (UNSA, Nice), D. Queloz (Genève), J. Surdej (Liège), G. Weigelt (MPIfR, Bonn)

Local Organizing Committee

-  Gilles Duvert (LAOG, Grenoble), coordinator
-  Ginette Buisson (LAOG, Grenoble)

Participants

The number of participants is limited to 50. The financial support from the European Union together with other sponsors will allow us to cover most of the costs of the school (housing and travel) of participants (priority rules from the European Commission will be applied for the selection of participants). This financial aspect should not prevent any student or scientist from applying.

School program

A preliminary program has been established and is available on the school website. The final program will be published in the final announcement.

APPLICATION / REGISTRATION

Application for the school is opened and can be performed by using the ONLINE registration program on the school Web site at:
http://vltischool.obs.ujf-grenoble.fr

SCHOOL MILESTONES

- 1st announcementJanuary 15, 2006
- 2nd announcementMarch 24, 2006
- Application deadlineApril 15, 2006
- Disclosure of participant listMay 1st, 2006
- Final announcementMay 15, 2006