.Astronomy 4: Heidelberg 2012

Image: MPIA/D. Anders

Image: MPIA/D. Anders


Heidelberg, 2012

The fourth edition of .Astronomy was hosted by the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany, on 9-11 July 2012. The conference used two fantastic Heidelberg venues: the recently completed Haus der Astronomie (HdA), a centre for public engagement and education in astronomy, and the Internationales Wissenschaftsforum Heidelberg (IWH) in the heart of Heidelberg's historic centre. 

The local lead organisers were Sarah Kendrew and Thomas Robitaille of MPIA, and Markus Pössel, Director of the HdA. 



Major themes of the conference were:

  • Visualization 
  • Javascript, Python and astronomy in the browser
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Career structure and development
  • Hacking the literature
  • Education for a global audience

As usual, day 2 of the conference was a Hack Day. 


  • Prof. Bruce Berriman (California Institute for Technology, US)** Astronomy Computing Today
  • Dr. Tom Robitaille (Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Germany) Python development for Astronomy
  • Dr. Robert Simpson (University of Oxford, UK) Astronomical citizen science with The Zooniverse
  • Dr. Matthew Turk (Columbia University, US)
  • Dr. Eli Bressert (University of Exeter, UK/ESO, Germany) 
  • Geert Barentsen (Armagh Observatory, UK)
  • Dr. Matthew Graham (California Institute for Technology, US) 
  • Prof. David Hogg (New York University, US) 
  • Jonathan Fay (Microsoft Research, US)
  • Dr. Aleks Scholz (Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, Ireland) 
  • Dr. Robert Hollow (CSIRO Astronomy & Space Science, Australia) 
  • Julie Steele (O’Reilly Media, US) & Noah Iliinsky (Consultant/Author, US)
  • Dr. Arfon Smith (Adler Planetarium, Chicago, US) 


The conference was summarised in an "Unproceedings" paper, posted to the Arxiv.


The conference was supported by MPIA, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and the Haus der Astronomie.