Clusters of galaxies: features of the XXXII IAC Winter School

Rafae Rebolo, director of the IAC, during the inauguration of the Winter School 2021 in the multipurpose hall of IACTEC in La Laguna. Credit: Iván Jiménez (IAC)
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Today in the multiple use hall of IACTEC in La Laguna the XXXII Canary Islands Winter School of Astrophysics, organised  by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC)  and the University of La Laguna (ULL), was inaugurated. In this edition, which will take place between 23rd November and 1st December, 55 doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers from more than 15 countries will participate with their presence at a variety of lectures, practical sessions and seminars by world-leading experts. This year, due mainly to the difficulty of travelling from some countries, 10 extra students will be able to follow the school via streaming. Of the total number of participants, 50 are international. Although the previous winter school had to be cancelled as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s edition is one of the first events in astrophysics with the physical presence of the participants to take place anywhere in the world, which has caused a large number of requests to attend.

Winter School 2021
Helmut Dannerbauer, IAC researcher, at the introductory talk of the Winter School 2021. Credit: Iván Jiménez (IAC)

The title of the school is Formation and Evolution of Galaxy Clusters Across Cosmic Time, and its aim is to give the participants detailed knowledge about clusters of galaxies, huge structures formed by groups of galaxies which stay bound together by their internal gravity. Understanding the formation and the evolution of these “cities of galaxies” from the local universe back to the reionization epoch, the influence of the environment or the intracluster medium, their distribution in the cosmic web, the combined used of observational studies and numerical simulations which cover the full range of the electromagnetic spectrum, and the search for (proto)clusters of galaxies using present day or planned instruments and missions, are some of the topics which will be dealt with during the school.

At the inauguration Basilio Rujiz Cobo, coordinator of higher education at the IAC and one of the organizers of this edition of the Canary Islands Winter School of Astrophysics, bade the participants welcome, and stressed the great reception for this year’s edition, which stimulated over a hundred requests for attendance. He also gave thanks to all the personnel who are participating in the organization of the school, especially the lecturers: Andrea Biviano (INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste), Alessandro Boselli (Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille), Emanuele Daddi (CEA Saclay), Nina Hatch (School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham), Rhea-Silvia Remus (University Observatory Munich), Giulia Rodighiero (University of Padova) y Claudio Dalla Vecchia (IAC).

Winter School
Posters presented by the students of the Winter School 2021. Credit: Iván Jiménez (IAC)

After that the director of the IAC Rafael Rebolo expressed his great satisfaction for the interest which this year’s theme has aroused, and emphasized the importance of the study of galaxy clusters in current astrophysics, describing them as “fundamental laboratories” for augmenting our understanding of the universe on large scales, and for testing the current cosmological models. He also hoped that thanks to the school “some of the participants will become future world experts in this promising field of study”.

After Professor Rebolo’s welcome, Helmut Dannerbauer, an IAC researcher and another of the organizers of this edition, reminded his audience that “the spirit of the Winter School has always been to make it a meeting place where new scientific collaborations are initiated” and summarized the main thees of the different sessions to be held during he meeting. Finally the coordinator of the Instrumentation Division of the IAC and member of the organizing committee of the school, Alfonso Lopez Aguerri, talked about certain questions related to the logistics of the programme and pointed out that “because of the pandemic for many students this is the first time they have been able to attend a conference with their physical presence”.

Just as in previous years, the present edition includes visits to the IAC Headquarters and to the Observatories of Teide (Izaña, Tenerife) and, if the present volcanic eruption allows, the Roque de los Muchachos (Garafía, La Palma). Among the activites related to the school, the IAC researcher José Alberto Rubiño Martin will give a public lecture, on Friday 26th November at 18.00 h at the Museum of Science and the Cosmos of Tenerife, with the title “Formation and evolution of the large structures of our universe: the clusters of galaxies”.

Interesting links:

XXXII Canary Islands Winter School of Astrophysics 2021 web page

Contacts at the IAC:

Basilio Ruiz Cobo, brc [at]
J. Alfonso López Aguerri, jalfonso.aguerri [at]
Helmut Dannerbauer, helmut [at]

Winter School 2021
Hall of the IACTEC building where the Winter School 2021 is being held. Credit: Iván Jiménez (IAC)


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