INAF – Catania Astrophysical Observatory

Astrophysics Section
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Catania


Gaia Research for European Astronomy Training

European Science Foundation


Ground-based observations and theoretical analysis for the Gaia Science on Open Clusters and Young Associations

13 – 14 May 2010, Museo Diocesano di Catania, Italy

This workshop will gather together scientists engaged in preparing the research field of stellar Open Clusters and Young Associations for the arrival of data from the ESA cornerstone mission Gaia. The main purpose of the meeting is to discuss scientific goals that can be fulfilled by combining Gaia data with existing or new surveys and the theoretical developments required to analyse and interpret this vast and detailed amount of observations.


Open clusters, OB associations, and low mass star forming regions represent fundamental tools to investigate how stars form and evolve, as well as the formation, structure, and evolution of the Milky Way. The Gaia mission will dramatically increase the sample of clusters and associations which can be studied in detail, allowing us to gather unprecedented and most valuable information on their global properties, along with the identification and characterization of their members down to the lowest masses.

Combining Gaia data with existing or new surveys will allow studying with unprecedented details topics like: the structure and internal kinematics of nearby clusters; the formation and evolution of the Galactic thin disk; the origin of young associations and of the Gould Belt; the environmental effects on the stellar angular momentum evolution; the star formation history; the initial mass function. The implications on our understanding of the Galaxy and its constituents will be enormous.

At the GREAT (Gaia Research for European Astronomy Training) kick-off meeting (see GREAT web site) a working group on open clusters and young associations was created, in order to start preparing the cluster community for the arrival of Gaia data, to consolidate existing collaborations and create new ones, and to join efforts in planning complementary surveys and exploiting existing ones (see GREAT-OCYA WG). A first exploratory workshop was held in Padova on the 29th and 30th October 2009 in which key topics were identified and the planning of new ground based surveys discussed.


This workshop aims at discussing key science themes in the field of Open Clusters and Young Associations research on which the Gaia mission, eventually supplemented by other surveys, will have a major impact. The discussion will allow the completion of a white-book, which will represent a guidance for future activities and planning of the GREAT working group on Open Clusters and Young Associations. Plans for new ground based surveys will be discussed, as well as the linkage and exploitation of existing ones, and requests for new instrumentation. Existing collaborations will be consolidated and new ones stimulated.


    • Stellar structure and evolution
    • Star formation
    • Stellar angular momentum evolution and magnetic fields
    • Open clusters as tracers of the formation and evolution of the thin disk
    • Open clusters internal structure and interaction with the Galaxy
    • Ground-based surveys on Open Clusters and Young Associations


Go to the Programme page


Go to the Participant list page


Preliminary bookings have been made in a few hotels in the city center, close to the workshop venue. Please contact directly the hotel to confirm the reservation before March 31st. May is a very busy period in Catania and we strongly reccommend to confirm your reservation immediately. Be aware that the preliminary reservations are not valid after the deadline. See the hotel list for tariffs and contact details.

Registration and deadline

Registrations closed.


Abstracts submission closed.


Local Organising Committee:
Alessandro Lanzafame,
Daniela Domina,
Gina Santagati

Scientific Organising Committee:
Alessandro Lanzafame (Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Catania);
Sofia Randich (INAF – Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Firenze);
Antonella Vallenari (INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova);
Rob Jeffries (Astrophysics Group, Keele University);
Emilio Javier Alfaro Navarro (Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia);
Timo Prusti (European Space Agency);

Last edit: Thu Apr 22 16:45:14 CEST 2010