The EWAS2011 Plenary Sessions are focused on themes of broad interest to the European community. Talks by well known scientists as well as a report on recent developments by ESA and ESO have been scheduled during these Sessions.
In addition to the opening ceremony, we have scheduled two talks in the first Plenary Session on Monday the 4th. The first one is by G. Bisnovatyi-Kogan, (from the Space research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences) who will talk about the problem of the formation of a large-scale magnetic field in the accretion disks around black holes, the structure of advective accretion disks, and models of magnetic jet collimation. The second talk, refers to a different research area, that of Exoplanets. D. Queloz (Observatoire de Geneve) will give us an update on the current population of multiple planetary systems, and the constrains they pose on the current theories on planet formation and their composition.
On Tuesday the 5th, the morning plenary session will start with the award of the EAS's "Lodewijk Woltjer Lecture" to Prof. George Miley, for his fundamental contributions to the study of radio galaxies (for more details, please visit EAS's web page), and will continue with the "Struve award" of the Pulkovo Observatory, to R. M. Bonnet (Executive Director of ISSI in Bern, Switzerland), for his scientific achievements and his significant contributions towards the advancement of space research in Europe. The Session will continue with the talk by S. Collin-Zahn (Observatoire de Paris), who is going to give us an overview of the evolution of extragalactic astronomy throughout the 20th century. The Session will finish with a talk by A. Rajewsky, from ERC, who will talk about the funding opportunities for researchers, from anywhere in the world, within the ERC grants scheme.
The afternoon session the same day is dedicated to ESA. J. Clavel (Head of the Astrophysics Missions Division) will give a presentation on ESA's Space Science Programme with a focus on "Cosmic Visoon 2015-2025. J. de Bruijne will then give us an update on "Gaia", the next space astrometry mission of ESA, while J. Benkhoff will talk about the exploration of planet Mercury with "BepiColombo", which is a joint project between ESA and JAXA.
The fourth plenary Session is scheduled for the morning of Thursday the 7th. The EAS "Tycho Brahe Prize" for 2011 has been awarded to M. Perryman, who will talk during this session. Prof. Perryman was the mission scientist, and subsequent mission manager, of "Hipparcos" at ESA. In these roles he untiringly led the mission through many difficulties to its ultimate success. His understanding of the physics and technology involved in the satellite and its instruments as well as his intelligence of human relations contributed to a major extent to the success of the mission. The Session will end with the "Highlight talk by a young outstanding researcher". This year's talk will be given by F. Panessa (INAF-Roma), who will talk about the the high energy view of supermassive black holes.
The afternoon's Session on the same day will be devoted to ESO. T. d. Zeeuw (Director General of ESO) will be presenting a talk about ESO and the E-ELT. The talk will summarize ESO's current program, and will discuss the E-ELT project, i.e. the 40m-class European Extremely Large Telescope, with adaptive optics built-in, to be constructed on Cerro Armazones near Paranal.
The final Plenary Session will take place on Friday the 8th. M. Gilfanov (MPA-Garching and IKI, Moscow) will present a talk on X-ray observations of binaries in external galaxies, star-formation and the problem of SNIa progenitors. X. Barcons (CSIC-UC - Santander, Spain) will then talk about the central role of X-ray observations in the future of European Astrophysics, before A. Stepanov, co-chair of the SOC, wraps up most of the action in the Conference with the "concluding remarks".