Science from the Next Generation Imaging and Spectroscopic Surveys, ESO Garching, 15-18 October 2012

Scientific Rationale


Science from the Next Generation Imaging and Spectroscopic Surveys

Garching, 15-18 October 2012


With the addition of VISTA and VST imaging survey facilities to the La Silla-Paranal Observatory and the start of the selected spectroscopic public surveys ESO and European astronomy have firmly entered the era of large public surveys. The aim of the ESO workshop “Science from the Next Generation Imaging and Spectroscopic Surveys” is to present scientific results from the first two years of science operations of the VISTA public surveys, the first year of the VST public surveys, and an overview of spectroscopic public survey projects at ESO. The first results from the nine ongoing imaging public surveys from VISTA and VST will be featured through the invited talks by the survey PIs as well as contributed talks from survey team members. The scientific usage of public survey data products, including the community's science goals based on Public Surveys Archive data, will be discussed.

Another goal of the workshop is to put the ESO public survey projects in the context of other on-going or planned large Optical and NIR imaging surveys such as SDSS III projects, PANStars, LSST, SkyMapper, UKIDSS, GAIA and also within the context of spectroscopic surveys carried out at other telescope facilities and/or as follow-up of imaging surveys.

As ESO public surveys cover such a wide range of topics in observational astronomy, this workshop will not concentrate on specific scientific areas, but rather show the exciting new results coming from large surveys and how overall astronomical knowledge can be advanced using public survey data. To this end, contributed talks from scientists that have used public survey data for their own science, but do not necessarily belong to some specific group that has led/executed the surveys, will be encouraged. The topic of data mining and availability of data products for a wide science use by the community will also be discussed. Contributions from open time and GTO projects on the ESO survey telescopes VISTA and VST will also be welcome. The workshop will then end with a panel discussion with a forward look on how large collaborations and big projects are organized in other communities (e.g. CERN, ITER).

Main Science Topics include

  • VISTA public surveys science
  • First results from the VST public surveys observations
  • Overview of spectroscopic public surveys at ESO
  • On-going and planned large survey projects
  • Synergies between ground based and space surveys
  • Data mining and the availability of survey products for wide science use by the community

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