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Conference Announcement: The Milky Way in the Herschel Era

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Conference Announcement: The Milky Way in the Herschel Era

Posted by Maohai Huang at October 28. 2010


The Milky Way in the Herschel Era:
towards a Galaxy-scale view of the Star Formation Life-cycle

Rome, September 19-23 2011


The formation of stars is the event that shapes the fate of galaxies, and
can be studied at best in our own Milky Way Galaxy. From low-mass to
high-mass stellar regimes our comprehension of several of the critical steps
in which this complex phenomenon unfolds, has been steadily improving over
the past decades.

What it remains still largely unexplored is a global perspective on Galactic
star formation that can lead to a bottom-up model of the Galaxy as a star
formation engine. Such a model would give solid physical foundation to
commonly used prescriptions for star formation rates and efficiencies,
providing the much needed link toward the extragalactic perspective.
By spring 2011 the major Galactic photometric surveys with Herschel will be
completed, with high-quality data products starting to enter the public
domain, allowing for the first time a high spatial resolution panoramic view
of the Milky Way Galaxy over more than three decades in wavelength from the
near infrared to the microwaves regime. The synergy with large-scale
Galactic spectroscopic surveys of the atomic, molecular and ionised
interstellar medium offers the unprecedented potential to paint a
Galaxy-scale picture of the entire birth sequence of stars from the diffuse
interstellar medium to the arrival of the forming stars on the Zero-Age Main


Topics that will be covered in the conference will be:

* Morphology and physics of the diffuse interstellar medium; the agents
shaping its properties.

* Galactic structure as traced by the atomic and molecular ISM and by the
young stellar population. Distance determinations.

* Conditions, mechanisms and timescales for the formation of star forming
structures throughout the Galaxy.

* The onset of star formation. Star formation thresholds, their origin and
their location in the Galaxy.

* The evolution of mass function from filaments and clumps, to the stellar

* Star formation modes and their Galactic budget: ³spontaneous² vs

* The timeline for the formation of stars as a function of mass and
environment. Star Formation rates and efficiencies across the Galaxy.

* The Extra-Galactic view of the Milky Way.

We foresee stimulating formats for focused discussions, where current
theoretical frameworks for each of the above topics will be critically
reviewed in the light of the latest observational results.


Scientific Organising Committee:

Sergio Molinari - INAF/IFSI, Rome (Italy)
Bruce Swinyard ­ UCL and STFC/RAL, Didcot (UK)
Alberto Noriega-Crespo - SSC, Pasadena (USA)
Toby Moore - John Moores University, Liverpool (UK)
Jean-Philippe Bernard ­ CESR, Toulouse (France)
Renè Plume ­ University of Calgary, Calgary (Canada)
John Bally ­ University of Colorado, Boulder (USA)
Michael Barlow ­ UCL, London (UK)
Annie Zavagno ­ OAMP, Marseille (France)
Peter Martin ­ University of Toronto, Toronto (Canada)
Philippe Andrè ­ CEA/SAp, Saclay (France)
Leonardo Testi ­ INAF/OAA, Arcetri (Italy) and ESO Hq., Garching (Germany)
Göran Pilbratt ­ ESA, ESTEC (The Netherlands)

The MW2011 Conference will be held in 19-23 September 2011 in Rome. The
Conference venue will be announced shortly, but for your early planning you
may assume it will be in Rome city center.

To express your interest and receive further updates, and for general
information and inquiries, pre-registration is available by sending an
e-mail to

or by visiting the website

More information about confirmed invited speakers, registration opening and
call for contributed talks and posters, logistics and accommodation, will be
available on the website and circulated later this year.

Yours Sincerely

Sergio Molinari on behalf of the SOC

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