Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Not a derby but the CANDELS 2013 team meeting

As we have for the last few years, the CANDELS team members come together to present the fruits of their labor over the last year to the rest of the team and discuss and make new plans for the coming year. This year, we're meeting at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

Those of you who are following us on Twitter (@CANDELS_team and #CANDELS2013) might already have a pretty good idea on what yesterday was all about. If you didn't, let me give you a short description on what we did yesterday and you still have the chance all week to follow our live tweets.

Yesterday was all about giving status updates to the team, from the PI's, the data reduction and observation schedulers, most of the working group leaders and quick lightning talks from each member on their current CANDELS project. This is not only useful for long-term team members but also offers all the newly joined students and postdocs who participate in their first team meeting to get a quick update on available data, catalogues and on-going science projects.

After the first welcome and general logistics (and breakfast of course!), Harry Ferguson and Sandy Faber - the two PI's of the CANDELS survey - summarized the team's scientific accomplishments of the past year, listed their goals for the meeting as well as big science questions to address in the future. We learned for example that in the last three years, the CANDELS team published on average one paper every two weeks. That's pretty impressive and amounts to quite a number of publications. Many of which team members have already posted here about.
Poster advertising Sandra Faber's public talk at the University of Kentucky
Image credit: University of Kentucky, Dale Kocevski

With regard to observations and data reduction, this team meeting happens at a very special time. As Harry Ferguson already told you in this post, all planned observations for CANDELS are now completed. We have all the data! 

Then we moved on to the lightning talk round. A lightning talk round is exactly what it sounds like, it's over in a flash of a second. Everybody (about 50 meeting participants) had the chance to summarize their current CANDELS science projects in one slide and maximally two minutes. With all the different projects on-going, that is quite a tough job. But I thought everybody managed well and I'm looking forward to hearing more details in the science talks scheduled throughout the week as well as talking to people during the week about their projects.

Finally, most working group leaders gave short presentations highlighting some of the science results achieved within the working group in the past year. They also provided an overview over what data products and catalogues, like the redshift catalogues or multi-wavelength catalogues, are available for the team to use and where to find them. We heard updates from the Spectroscopy, High-Redshift, Extragalactic Background Light, Multi-wavelength catalogues, Clustering and Environment, AGN, Theory and the Education and Public Outreach working groups. Of course the blog was featured in my summary of the CANDELS outreach efforts. The day finished with a few theory-related science talks.

Tomorrow, the day will be structured differently. We will listen to more science presentations from team members and in the afternoon we will split into sub-groups to discuss current as well as future projects and "work to be done" in the working group sessions. And if you find yourself in Lexington, don't miss your chance to listen to Sandy Faber's public talk on "Modern Genesis: The Amazing Story of Our Cosmic Origins" at 7pm!

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