Tenerife will host a meeting of the International Astronomical Union with over a hundred specialists from all over the world, at which there will be discussion of the techniques which astrophysicists use to detect and observe the faintest objects in the night sky, which are much fainter than the general background brightness.
From July 8th to 12th in the Central Lecture Halls of the Guajara Campus of the University of La Laguna (ULL) the IAU Symposium 355 will take place. At this conference, organized by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias under the auspices of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) the organization which brings together astronomers from all over the world and works to promote research in astronomy, there will be talks about the techniques which are used in different fields of astrophysics to overcome the problem of the brightness of the night sky, which tends to occult structures with very low surface brightness.
“This is a conference about diffuse, light, ethereal, “ghostly”, about structures which are very difficult to observe” explains Ignacio Trujillo, a researcher at the IAC and one of the organizers of the meeting. “What will be described is the story of the different types of progress made in the last 30 years, and how new techniques have allowed us to take a major step forward”
During the five days of the conference the talks will deal with varied subjects, such as the changes caused by solar activity in the zodiacal light (a luminous band which can be seen in the night sky, and which is caused by sunlight reflected from dust particles within the solar system) to the faintest light which reaches us from the filaments which form the structure of the universe on a large scale. The discussion will include the outer parts of galaxies, with their tidal flows and stellar halos, the ultra-diffuse galaxies, and the faint light between the galaxies in galaxy clusters. To summarize, the conference will cover all the physical phenomena related to very faint and extended light sources-
Over 120 people from the US, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Chile, Brazil and India, among other countries will attend the meeting. “The fact that the IAU is holding this meeting in Tenerife is partly due to the quality of the IAC as an experienced host for this type of events” says Johan Knapen, an IAC researcher and another of the organizers of this event. “ In this type of meetings what counts is the international composition, the variety of countries of those present, astronomers are coming from Asia, from South and North America, and from Oceania, as well as from Europe, it offers an opportunity to meet up with researchers from all over the world.”
An interesting feature of this conference is that not only will there be contributions from professional astronomers using telescopes on the ground and in space, but also contributions made by amateur astronomers.