Amidst the stunning beauty of the Foz do Iguaçu park and waterfalls in Brazil, more than 130 astronomers and staff from the seven-country Gemini partnership converged during the week of June 11th, 2007 to discuss current results, capabilities and future research and collaborations.
The Laboratório Nacional de Astrofísica (LNA), acting as the Brazilian National Gemini Office, was responsible for the local organization of the meeting. Foz de Iguaçu was chosen as the meeting place because it combines a desirable tourist attraction – the Iguaçu-Falls are among the most stunning natural displays on earth – with excellent infra-structure for international conventions. “We are very satisfied that the Gemini Board accepted the offer of LNA to host the Gemini Science Meeting in Brazil,” said Albert Bruch, chair of the Local Organizing Committee. “Among several options we choose a prime meeting place which from the very beginning gave us confidence that the participanting scientists would find the agreeable surrounding as well as the comfort and service which are indispensable for a successful and fruitful congress. These expectations were entirely fulfilled according to the responses experssed by many participants.”
The Scientific Organizing Committee worked under the lead of Verne Smith, Director of the NOAO Gemini Science Center. All major themes of current forefront astrophysical research were covered by the 60 oral talks and about 45 posters. Several specific Gemini tools like mid-infrared capabilities, the several integral field units for spectroscopic mapping, (especially when fed by adaptive optics), were shown by the spectacular results presented at the meeting. These results demonstrate the extremely power these capabilities deliver on 8-m telescopes optimized for infrared observations and high spatial resolution. Many remarkable results were presented at Foz, and the following is a small sample:
For more information on this meeting and its participants, see the supporting website at: http://www.lna.br/~gsm2007/
After the three-day science conference, a lively and successful Gemini Users’ Meeting was held where many of the science conference participants, National Gemini Offices and Gemini Observatory staff reviewed and discussed a range of topics that included: current science operations, efficiency of systems, science productivity, present and future instrumentation, time allocation process, enabling a greater number of large observing programs, etc. On the fifth day, more than 30 members of the Gemini Science Staff and National Gemini Office Staff met to review many issues related to the support of our users community and to define ways to better serve our users.
Participants of the Gemini Science Meeting held near Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil during the week of June 11, 2007.
A section of the Foz do Iguaçu falls taken by Gemini’s Public Information and Outreach Manager Peter Michaud.
Isobel Hook shares her work with the attendees at the 2007 Gemini Science Meeting