8-11 Apr 2013 Nice (France)

Scientific Rationale :

      The Gaia-ESO Survey (GES) will obtain spectra for 10^5 stars over a period of five years. This conference will allow results from the first 8-10 months of the survey to be presented and discussed. In spite of the fact that this represents only 20% of the expected data volume, we expect a variety of scientifically interesting results that will serve as "science verification" for the project (see "Topics" below).

By the time of the meeting, the sample of solar neighbourhood stars that will have been observed at high resolution with UVES will compare favourably to the largest data sets currently available. This will give us new insight into the abundances of several key elements and the rotation of stars in the solar vicinity. The inner Galaxy observations amassed thus far will allow questions pertaining to whether the Galaxy has a "classical" Bulge or a "pseudo-bulge" to be addressed. The observations of the outer Galactic disc will allow the first detailed characterisation of its chemical abundance structure. From the radial velocities of disc stars we also expect to detect new stellar associations and moving groups. The first year of observations will also include complete datasets for several Open Clusters, already representing one of the largest homogeneous surveys of open clusters ever observed For these clusters, we will have large samples of stars with accurate stellar parameters and [Fe/H] abundances. These data will provide a much improved view of the properties and evolution of each individual cluster, but also new insights on the formation and evolution of clusters. They will also represent the first building blocks of a powerful tool to trace the formation and evolution of the thin disk . For young open clusters, data available will include lithium abundances, masses, ages, binary fraction, accretion, chromospheric activity and rotation. The GES spectra will not only provide information on stars, but also on the interstellar medium along numerous sightlines through observation of the Diffuse Interstellar Bands (DIBs) and Na I D lines. When combined with stellar distance estimates, this will enable a three-dimensional map of the interstellar medium to be constructed.

Besides the interest of the early science results, the conference will allow thorough discussions on the survey strategy and progress, data analysis methods and challenges, data distribution, etc. The conference will provide an ideal occasion for the different groups within given work-packages to meet and discuss their progress, difficulties and ways forward, but also to facilitate interfaces between work-packages, and ensure communication throughout the project. 
Topics : 
The GES science verification projects are grouped into broad categories listed below (see the GES science verification projects for details) :


P. Bonifacio (co-Chair), A. Ferguson, V. Hill (co-Chair), L. Magrini, I. Neguereula, A. Recio-Blanco, H.-W. Rix, S. Sousa, N. Walton
P. de Laverny (Chair), S. Goletto, V. Hill, A. Recio-Blanco, S. Rousset


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