Jan 30, 2002       First Announcement

          Monte Rosa International Conference
       "GAIA spectroscopy, science and technology"
       Sept. 9-12 2002, Gressoney St. Jean (Aosta)


On coming Sept 9-12 an international conference on "GAIA spectroscopy,
science and technology" will be held at La Residenza del Sole, a
full-optional congress center in Gressoney St. Jean (Aosta), at the
north-west tip of Italy, close to the border with France and Switzerland.
Gressoney is a charming and old-fashioned alpine village right in front of
Monte Rosa, the second highest mountain of whole Alps and Europe with its
4633 m. Accommodation will be provided in high quality alpine-style hotels.

The conference is aimed to bring together the large GAIA community and
interested outside scientists to review science and technical issues of its
spectroscopy, with an eye on the rest of the mission too. GAIA spectroscopy
will be obtained over the 8480-8750 Ang wavelength range, centered on the
near-IR CaII triplet and the head of the Paschen series, where also abundant
FeI, SiI, MgI, NI and TiI lines cluster. The spectral resolution is
currently foreseen to be around 20,000. The GAIA wavelength range is easily
accessible from the ground, being the only 250 Ang wide interval free from
telluric absorption longword of 6700 Ang, and as such it is attracting a
growing interest from the new generation of spectrographs right now becoming

GAIA has been selected as a coming ESA Cornerstone mission and it is
designed to obtain extremely precise astrometry (in the micro-arcsec
regime), multi-band photometry and medium/high resolution spectroscopy for
a large sample of stars.  The goals call for astrometry and broad band
photometry to be collected for all stars down to V~20 mag over the entire
sky (a billion stars), with somewhat brighter magnitude limits for
spectroscopy and intermediate band photometry. Each target star should be
measured around a hundred times during the five year mission life-time, in
a fashion similar to the highly successful Hipparcos operational mode. An
useful introduction to GAIA is the paper by Perryman et al. 2001 A&A 369,
339, as well as the ESA-GAIA web site: http://astro.estec.esa.nl/gaia/

The Conference SOC is composed by F.Castelli, C.Chiosi, M.Cropper, M.Gai,
G.Gilmore, D.Katz, M.G.Lattanzi, L.Lindegren, F.Mignard, O.Pace,
M.A.C.Perryman, C.Turon, T.Zwitter and U.Munari (Chair). A preliminary list
of confirmed speakers includes also A.Henden, E.Milone, V.Vansevicius,
Y.Pavlenko, G.Bono, R.Wilson, M.W.Feast, P.Hauschildt and B.Plez.
The Conference Proceedings will be published by ASP (Astron.Soc.Pacific)
in its Conference Series.

The Conference aims include a review of GAIA spectroscopy and its science
goals, the spectrograph design and involved technology, synergy with GAIA
photometry and astrometry, legacy to ground-based spectroscopy, review of
tools for spectral data analysis and treatment, as well as radial and
rotational velocities, astrometric radial velocities, model atmospheres,
chemical abundance analysis, spectral peculiarities, signature of mass loss
and interstellar medium, stellar pulsation, binarity and eclipsing stars,
galactic kinematics, structure and evolution, and GAIA spectroscopic
contribution to our understanding of stars.

Please visit the Conference web page for full details on accommodation,
registration process, social activities:


The most important dates are:
 * May  15 deadline for early registration (200 Euro registration fee)
 * June 15 deadline for  late registration (250 Euro registration fee)
 * July 15 submission of final abstracts/titles/authors/e-mails/
           /affiliations for the preparation of the asbtract book
 * December 1 (strict deadline) for submission of contributions to
   the Proceedings

Social activities include a hike to Cima Regina Margherita on Sunday for
those arrived on Saturday, from where to enjoy a 360deg view of the Alps,
shorter walks to nearby Castles or alpine lakes and falls during breaks in
the conference days, and the afternoon of Wednesday spent visiting
Roman-founded Aosta (principal town of the region) and one of the several
nearby medieval and perfectly-preserved Castles, with a conluding dinner at
a typical restaurant before returning to Gressoney for the last day of
the Conference.