Saturday, March 12, 2011

First announcement


Exploring the Nature of the Evolving Universe

Place – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (PUC – Rio, Pontifícia Universidade Católica)
Dates – August 15 to 19, 2011

DEADLINE TO SEND ABSTRACTS April 15 - late abstracts will be given Poster presentations.
DEADLINE TO REGISTER May 15 (date will be updated accordingly).


Registration will be done via email. Send your name, institution and an abstract to demello at cua . edu . Students should also write the name of their supervisors. Write Subject: Abstract PUC

No registration fee will be charged. Participants who are not presenting work should still register in order to guarantee a seat and a name tag.

In this Workshop we will bring together scientists and students from around the world working on different topics related to the Evolving Universe, from the origin of life to the most distant galaxies.

The right time and the right place

We are living the golden era of astronomy with 10m class telescopes available for more than a decade now and several large projects such as the Atacama Large Millimeter Telescope (ALMA) and the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) being constructed and a few 30-40m telescopes being discussed and built. Moreover, recently Brazil has also joined the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in a major investment of resources which will give new impetus to the development of science, technology and innovation in Brazil.

The city of Rio de Janeiro has been a central point for Brazilian astronomy since Dom Pedro I started the Observatório Nacional in 1827. Rio de Janeiro has also had the astronomy undergraduate course offered at UFRJ since 1958. This was the only course in astronomy in the nation until 2009 when USP started to offer a similar degree. UFRJ also hosts the Valongo Observatory which was created in 1881 in downtown Rio.

Therefore, it is the right time to build new collaborations between the astronomers of the state of Rio de Janeiro and others around the world. One of the best venues to do that is the Pontifícia Universidade Católica (PUC) do Rio de Janeiro where we expect to gather physicists and astronomers interested in Exploring the Nature of the Evolving Universe.

Questions to be addressed

We will discuss a variety of themes related to the Evolving Universe:

- Stellar Evolution
- Galaxy Evolution
- Chemical Evolution

A few questions to be addressed during the workshop are:

• When did the first stars and first galaxies form?

• What are the main open issues in stellar evolution?

• What are the fossil records of galactic archeology?

• When and how did the Milky Way form?

• What is the importance of super massive black holes and starbursts in galaxy evolution?

• What is the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation?

Invited speakers and topics

We invited 12 experts in this field based at several universities similar to PUC-Rio in other parts of the world to give 1 hour lectures to scientists, graduate and undergraduate students interested in these topics.

  • Marcio Catelan (PUC-Santiago, Chile) – Stellar Evolution, Milky Way formation
  • Alejandro Clocchiatti (PUC-Santiago, Chile) – Chemical Evolution (Supernovae)
  • Jose Funes (VO Vatican) – Galaxy Evolution (Star formation)
  • Gaspar Galaz (PUC-Santiago, Chile) – Galaxy Evolution (Post-Starbursts, local galaxies)
  • Christopher Howk (Notre Dame IN, USA) – Chemical Evolution
  • Leopoldo Infante (PUC-Santiago, Chile) – Cosmic Microwave Background (Distant galaxies)
  • Steve Kraemer (Catholic University of America, DC, USA) – Super massive Black Holes
  • Dante Minniti (PUC-Santiago, Chile) – The Milky Way Galaxy
  • Paul Schweitzer (PUC-Rio, Brazil) – God's action in the Evolution of the Universe
  • Tommy Wiklind (JAO, Chile) - Distant Galaxies
  • Enio F. da Silveira (PUC-Rio, Brazil) – Chemical evolution (astrophysical ices and cosmic rays) – chair of Local Organizing Committee (LOC)
  • Duilia de Mello (Catholic University of America, DC, USA) – Galaxy Evolution (Distant galaxies) – chair of SOC
  • And others still to be confirmed.

Students Participation

Senior undergraduates with some knowledge of astronomy and graduate students based at universities similar to PUC-Rio around the world are highly encouraged to submit abstracts to present their research work. Other students from other Brazilian universities are also encouraged to submit abstracts for short presentations but preferences will be given to residents of Rio de Janeiro state.

Contributed Talks

All researchers interested in these topics are also encouraged to submit abstracts for short presentations but preferences will be given to residents of Rio de Janeiro state and to researchers based at other universities similar to PUC-Rio.

Scientific Organizing Committee

The Scientific Organizing Committee (SOC) will evaluate all abstracts submitted and decide on which ones are within the scope of the meeting. The SOC will also put together the program as soon as everyone has confirmed attendance.
We have started advertising the meeting and the deadline for Registration is April 15 2011 and Deadline for Abstract submission is May 15 2011.


• Duilia de Mello (Catholic University of America, DC, USA) – chair of the SOC
• Marcio Catelan (PUC-Santiago, Chile)
• Jose Funes (Vatican Observatory)
• Gaspar Galaz (PUC-Santiago, Chile)


• Enio F. da Silveira (PUC-Rio, Brazil) – chair of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC)
• Waldemar Monteiro da Silva (PUC-Rio, Brazil)
• Alexandre Cherman (Planetário Rio, Brazil)

Meeting format

We are expecting around 70-100 participants.

Each invited speaker will have a total of one hour to review their topic of research,
including 8-10 minutes for questions.

We have reserved 6 hours to students presentations and discussion sessions in the program.

Researchers from the state of Rio and other universities are highly encouraged to participate and give contributed talks. We have reserved 4.5 hours for their presentations in the program.

Besides scientific discussions, this Workshop will also aim at building strong networking between Rio de Janeiro scientists and others around the world. We have dedicated time for “networking” during the lunch break and will encourage participants to plan lunches together where they can learn more about each other scientific interests and discuss possible collaborations. We will also encourage other universities similar to PUC-Rio to organize other workshops and invite their new collaborators for extended visits and exchange of students and post-doctoral fellows.

The last afternoon of the workshop will be dedicated to a summary of the networking efforts, a discussion on how to improve the network, and next steps.

DEADLINE TO SEND ABSTRACTS April 15 - late abstracts will be given Poster presentations.
DEADLINE TO REGISTER May 15 - or 100 participants (date will be updated accordingly).

Email your name, institution and abstract to demello at cua . edu . Students should also write the name of their supervisors. Write Subject: Abstract PUC

- 2nd announcement will contain information on lodging in Rio, and more details on how to register. Modest funds for students might be available upon request and based on Abstract.

NEW: AMERICAN CITIZENS need visa to go to Brazil. We highly recommend them to start thinking about this. It is expensive (US$160) and takes time (at least 10 days)

Sponsors (list to be confirmed): PUC-Rio, Catholic University of America (CUA), PUC-Santiago, Vatican Observatory, INEspaço, FAPERJ.