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And we are back (at the edge of the Universe)

Along with some UWC chums (i.e. Imogem, Kim & Mario) I spent a very pleasant (well, at least until I got a flu;/) week in Sintra (Portugal) attending the “Back at the edge of the Universe” conference. The meeting was devoted to discuss astronomers’ present and future studies of the high-redshift Universe, including their attempts at detecting the Universe’s ‘First Light’, i.e. the first galaxies and black holes to have formed after the Big Bang, and assessing their impact on the reionization of  the Universe. This followed a previous gathering from 9 years ago organized on the same grounds, and the meeting was thus also a chance to take stock of the substantial progress  made in tackling these questions over the last decade. The long science sessions in beautiful Sintra were made all the more pleasant by the terrific home team led by Jose Afonso and Portugal’s newly established Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences and by frequent generous helpings of Bacalau & Porto, and perhaps unsurprisingly everybody is now hoping to get a chance to make it back here for another conference much sooner than in 9 years time. We’ll see about that.

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