This last month, Rene Oudmaijer and myself attended the IAU Symposium 330, Astrometry and Astrophysics in the Gaia sky in Nice (24-28th April). They were five days of talks from many different fields in astronomy with the Gaia project in common. It was very useful to see how the Gaia DR1 data can be used in such a variety of ways, and gave us many ideas to implement in our project. It was also very useful for getting prepared for Gaia DR2 (to be released by April 2018), as many people presented their ambitions for the future. As a general thought, it was great to see the enthusiasm Gaia is bringing to the community and the high level expectations many research groups have for future publications thanks to the new era in astrometry.
On our side, we presented a poster with the current state of our research. The poster was displayed during the whole congress and there was a special one hour long poster session in which I had the chance of explaining our work to the people interested. It was the first public presentation of the project to the community and I have to say I am very happy about the reception it had. The poster will be shown again in the Florence congress “Francesco’s Legacy – Star Formation in Space and Time” at the beginning of June and also will appear in the conference proceedings to be published about six months after the end of it.
The symposium itself was great, very well organised and with plenty of amenities, we even had the opportunity to go the the observatory of Nice, that opened in 1887 and at some point was the highest in the world (325m over the sea level). I had the chance to talk to many other researchers from my field and from other fields, explain my project and ideas and listen to theirs. Summarizing, I think it was a very productive congress, definitely was worth to go and it was a great experience that will have a very positive impact in the STARRY project. I am really looking forward to the next congress.