From First Stars to Life: Science with the OST

May 23, 2018, from Sian Giles

Scientific Rationale: The infrared is the key wavelength regime for understanding the formation and early evolution of galaxies, stars and planetary systems. These wavelengths probe the obscured Universe from Cosmic Dawn to proto-planetary disks tracing both the dust and the dominant atomic, ionic and molecular cooling lines. When studied together, dust continuum and lines allow us to trace the chemical enrichment of the gas in the Universe and the physical processes which determine the evolution from the primordial gas to habitable exoplanets. In particular, the infrared is host to a series of molecular bio-markers that can be used to characterize the atmospheres of exoplanets. Only in the IR can we follow the water trail in the Universe, from distant galaxies down to the solar system.

Building on the success of the previous far-IR missions (IRAS, ISO, Spitzer, Herschel and Planck) and their importance for the European astronomical community, the goal of this workshop is to bring together the community in order to home in on the most pressing questions a next-generation far-IR facility (such as the Origins Space Telescope) would be able to tackle. The Workshop will focus on the following themes:

• The rise of metals and dust
• Cosmic Dawn and the adolescent Universe
• The Starburst-AGN connection: finding the hidden supermassive black holes
• Stars and ISM: the baryonic cycle
• Astrochemistry
• The Solar System & protoplanetary disks
• Characterization of Exoplanets

The Origins Space Telescope (OST) is one of four NASA 2020 Decadal survey missions currently under study. OST will carry a suite of instruments covering the 6 to 600 microns and with its cooled telescope (down to 4K) will deliver superb imaging and spectroscopic capabilities including far infrared polarimetry. The aim of the Workshop is to bring together -primarily but not exclusively- European scientists interested in the OST to discuss potential science projects.

The format: The Workshop will consist of invited talks from the OST team introducing the capabilities of the instruments and the main OST science areas, as well as, contributed talks from the community. We ask interested participants to consult the OST webpages (accessible through the Workshop page) and come prepared to discuss their science projects, posters are also welcome. The audience is limited to 100 people.

Place of the Workshop: it will be held in the Physics Department, University of Oxford, UK, during September 4-7, 2018. There will be a small registration fee (~80 GBP) to cover coffee breaks and lunches.

Registration is now open:
Abstract submission:
Abstracts will be accepted until August 1st 2018

D. Rigopoulou (Univ. of Oxford, co-Chair), S. Aalto (Chalmers Univ. Of Technology, co-Chair), A. Cooray (UC Irvine), E. De Beck (Chalmers Univ. of Technology), M. Gerin (Paris Observatory), M. Griffin (Univ. of Cardiff), F. Helmich (SRON), M. Meixner (Space Telescope Science Institute), M. Wiedner (Paris Observatory), P. Hartogh (Max-Planck for Solar System Research)