1-6 March 2020
During the last decade, significant progress has been made towards probing how the first stars, galaxies and black holes have actually formed. Particular highlights include the first detections of gravitational waves as a new window into our Universe, the first detection of a signal from the reionization epoch through the EDGES experiment, as well as the continuous progress in areas such as stellar archeology or the search for the first galaxies. In addition, significant further developments will be expected in the coming years due to future missions such as JWST and the SKA.
The conference aims at discussing the current theoretical and observational status of our understanding of stellar birth throughout cosmic history, the impact of first star and galaxy formation on the subsequent evolution of the Universe, first supernova explosions and chemical enrichment, cosmic reionization, and formation of supermassive black holes. Specific focus is given to current and future space-borne and Earth-bound observational campaigns and their comparison with predictions from state-of-the-art numerical simulations. We will thereby follow up on the previous First Stars conferences (I-V) that were held in Garching in 1999, in Pennsylvania in 2003, in Santa Fe in 2007, in Kyoto in 2012 and in Heidelberg in 2016. The current conference is the first in the series to take place in South America, and aims particularly at establishing closer connections with the observational community in Chile, hosting the world´s largest telescopes and providing significant opportunities in its astronomical community. We encourage especially young researchers and students to attend the conference.
The First Stars VI conference will cover the following topics:
The venue is the nice, freely accessible campus of the Universidad de Concepción directly in the city center, with many nearby bars, restaurants, shops and coffee places. The conference itself will take place in the main Auditorium of the EmpreUdeC building.
The costs for a typical hotel in Concepción are between 60 and 80 USD per night per person. In particular, we recommend the following hotels:
After the conference, we encourage you to also visit the large telescopes in Chile, which are accessible to the general public. Information for public visits can be found on the following websites, and we encourage you strongly to make an early reservation:
Chile also offers a wide variety of tourist destinations, including the deserts in the north, the Andinian mountains in the east and Patagonia in the South, with a very nice landscape consisting of mountains, glaciers and rivers, as well as the opportunity of visiting the Easter Island. We briefly comment here on some possibilities:
1) The region of Patagonia in the South of Chile contains many beautiful landscapes, that are ideal to visit in the summer of the Southern hemisphere, particularly in February or March. A very well-known tourist destination is the national park "Torres del Paine", which includes several mountains, including the three "torres", which are tower-like mountains, very nice rivers and lakes, and also a glacier that can be seen from very close-by through a ferry. To plan a visit to Torres del Paine, we recommend booking a national flight from Santiago to Puerto Natales, and to rent a car in Puerto Natales. It is recommendable to also book the hotel or a wood cabin (cabaña) some time in advance, particularly for visits in February. It is also possible to consider an additional bus trip from Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas, from where one can visit the Isla Magdalena, which hosts many penguins, and of course there are further interesting destinations.
2) In the north of Chile, a very well-known tourist destination is San Pedro de Atacama. This city can be reached through a flight from Santiago to Calama, from where one can take a bus to San Pedro. San Pedro is on the Andinian high plateau, with a height of about 2.400 meters above sea level. It may thus require some initial adjustment to the altitude. The city lies within the Atacama desert, and we note that the sun can be very intense, and it is strongly recommended to use sun cream, carry water and to use a hat for protection. From San Pedro, one can join several tours to visit parts of the desert, salt pans, volcanoes, geysers and hot springs. In addition, this is also the starting point to visit ALMA site, see the information above. Please note that you have to register in advance to visit the telescope site. This requires a medical examination for altitude to be done before the travel.
3) The Easter Island is also part of Chile, and a very nice destination both regarding the landscape as well as the history and culture of the place. It has a distance of about 3500 kilometers from the closest continantal point in Chile, and can be reached via a flight from Santiago. On the Easter Island, it is possible to visit the famous monumental statues called moai, to enjoy the landscape as well as the nice beaches. Typical activities on the Easter Island include cycling and as well as scuba diving. In case you are interested to visit the island, we recommend to book the flight well in advance.
Some additional information can be found here and here.