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The Digital Universe

I am spending the week at “The Universe of the Digital Sky Surveys” conference in Naples, catching up on the latest news from sky surveys from both ground and space and enjoying excellent coffee, red ginseng, mozzarella, pizza and seafood on the side.

The conference is also a celebration of  Massimo Capaccioli‘s 70th birthday. Massimo is between other things the PI of ESO/INAF’s VST telescope, built by INAF on behalf of ESO, which has been working for about 3 years now and I’ve actually been using for a survey project of mine. The conference will therefore be showcasing some of the first results from VST surveys.

The meeting is hosted by the Astronomical Observatory of Capodimonte, which as I now recall I first visited for a graduate school in astronomical technology back in 2000. Weather’s looking good this morning and everybody’s suitably delighted to be up the hill overlooking the bay of Naples.

This morning we started with a couple of excellent review talks about ground-based and space-based extragalactic optical surveys by Tom Shanks and Yannick Mellier respectively, but surveys of the nearby and distant Universe alike will be presented. We’ll have a few talks and posters presenting VOICE results, on wednesday Oxford/UWC’s Matt Jarvis will be presenting VIDEO and I’ll be closing things down talking about HELP and Data Fusion as the last speaker (oh joy!;-) on friday afternoon.

It all looks like it’s going to be a great conference: live streaming and twitter feed are available.

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