Frontiers of Star Formation Workshop


15-17 August 2012

ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands

ESAC Faculty Logo



The link to the workshop photo is here.

Mark's photos of the workshop can be found on Flickr:


Workshop rationale:

Research into the fundamental topic of star formation has come of age in recent years, with the era of major spaced-based facilities such as the Herschel, Chandra, and Spitzer observatories. Such facilities have aided in the investigation of important questions in star formation, such as: how is the formation and evolution of stellar clusters effected by their initial conditions and environment? what are the effects of cluster environment on the processing of circumstellar material of young stars? and more recently with Herschel, what is the relation of core mass to the initial mass function and the filamentary structure observed in molecular clouds? Though we have made great headway in recent times, yet these puzzles remain unsolved.   

The future missions and telescope facilities, expected to come online in the next decade, will open new avenues of research, and help answer some of these outstanding questions while also providing new avenues of inquiry and new puzzles to pursue.
With Gaia and ALMA due to come online over the next two years, and JWST and SPICA planned to replace the current space missions in the coming decade, this workshop aims to discuss such missions and how they will impact future research on the frontiers of star formation.

The workshop will bring together young researchers at postdoctoral and PhD level with established researchers in the field to share their current work and to foster new collaborations for future projects. Overviews of currently operating and planned future missions will be provided and complimented by review talks on the major scientific questions under discussion. Ample time for open discussion will be provided in each of the sessions, with an hour given over to the discussion of ideas raised in the preceding talks.

The workshop aims to explore the unanswered questions in star formation:

  • There will be four broad sessions:
  • Filaments to Cores, including a Herschel review talk.
  • Stellar Clusters: Importance of Environment, including review talks on Gaia and JWST.
  • Circumstellar Disks: from T Tauri to Debris Disks, including review talks on ALMA and SKA.
  • Brown Dwarfs and ExoPlanets: Low Mass Frontiers, including a E-ELT review talk.
  • Each session will include relevant scientific contributed talk(s) to review the current status of our knowledge and to point the way to new avenues of research. 
  • Ample discussion time in each session will encourage healthy debate and foster an environment where young researchers can interact with both their peers and more established researchers to create and further collaborations. 


The conference poster is available in pdf format here  

Invited Speakers:

Joana Ascenso

Guido de Marchi

Michiel Hogerheijde

Kate Isaak

Vera Konyves

Pavel Kroupa

Huib Jan van Langevelde 

Michael Meyer

Mark McCaughrean

Göran Pilbratt

Timo Prusti



Registration and Important Dates:

The workshop is free.

  * July 15, 2012: Deadline for registration and abstract submission.
  * August 1, 2012: Final programme release
  * August 15-17     : Conference

Registered Participants: the current list of registered participants is available here.