Date & Time: September 6, 9:30 am - 2:00 pm (CEST)
Location: The National Library, Oslo
Max Planck Institute of Astrophysics, Garching, Germany
"Structure in our Universe"
White will discuss how the new and exponentially growing science of numerical simulation has led to an understanding of the detailed internal structure of the basic nonlinear units of all cosmic structure. These computer predictions have been confirmed in some detail by gravitational lensing observations, and they suggest how the nature of Dark Matter may be determined through Earth-bound experiments or other astronomical observations. (Additional information )
UCO/Lick Observatory, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA
"Emerging Principles of Galaxy Formation"
Faber will discuss how new data on galaxies are revealing not only new scaling laws but finally (thanks to lookback studies) a glimmer at last of understanding galaxy. Interestingly, mass seems to be the leading variable that determines the properties of both stars and galaxies, but the physical reasons are entirely different. (Additional information )
Observatoire de Genève, Switzerland
"Extrasolar Planets: The Quest for Earth-Twins"
In the last 15 years, some 400 planets orbiting stars similar to our Sun have been detected. Several surveys and advanced new instruments are being pursued with the goal to find Earth-like planets. What are the difficulties and chances of success? Mayor will discuss this and how the search for twins of the Earth is motivated by the ultimate prospect of finding sites with favorable conditions for the development of life. (Additional information )
Observatoire de Paris LESIA/CNRS, Meudon, France
"The Exploration of Titan and the Saturnian System"
Coustenis will discuss our current understanding of Titan's complex environment and the future exploration of Titan and the Saturnian System. In view of recent exploration, she will also discuss Titan's atmospheric structure (temperature and composition), the surface nature and how these and other elements can give us clues as to the origin and evolution of the satellite. (Additional information )
Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark
"Star and Planet Formation"
Nordlund will review recent advances in the understanding of star formation, discusses open issues in the context of planet formation, and also touch on some important new results from cosmochemistry which relate directly to the star and planet formation problems. (Additional information )
University of California, Berkeley, USA
"Evidence from Type Ia Supernovae for an Accelerating Universe and Dark Energy"
The measured distances of Type Ia supernovae as a function of redshift have shown that the expansion of the Universe is currently accelerating, probably due to the presence of dark energy having a negative pressure. Filippenko will discuss how several groups have recently measured hundreds of supernovae to determine the equation-of-state parameter of the dark energy. The best-fit value and its first derivative are consistent with the dark energy being Einstein's cosmological constant, or something nearly indistinguishable from it. Any viable theory of quantum gravity will need to be consistent with this result. (Additional information )