Why? Motivation

Recent years have seen an enormous growth in the discovery of tidal streams in the Milky Way with nearly 100 known streams today. This unprecedented data set provides an avenue to study some of the first stars in the Universe and presents some of the most stringent tests of the dark-matter paradigm. To deliver on these goals, a homogeneous catalog of all known Milky Way tidal streams is needed as identified by the community during the Streams21 online workshop.

What? Workshop scope

The aim of the Streams22 workshop is to produce the first Community Atlas of Tidal Streams (CATS😺). This atlas will include detailed membership probabilities of individual stars for each known stream in the Milky Way. To achieve this goal, we are looking to bring together experts in the discovery, characterisation, and modeling of tidal streams to take part in an interactive and collaborative workshop.

This is intended to be a working meeting and not a traditional conference. At the end of the workshop we hope to release the first version of the CATS atlas on the arXiv, containing not only individual stream members, but also the methods and procedures for generating the atlas. Our plan is to also host the atlas on Flathub and thus provide to provide easy interface to access the Milky Way streams data.

How? Workshop format

The meeting will be held in-person at the Carnegie Theoretical Astrophysics Center (CTAC) at the Carnegie Observatories, Pasadena, CA. CTAC offers a collaborative and interactive workspace, including plenty of outdoor options, as well as the new VizLab, ideal for virtual reality visualisations of the newly-created streams atlas. As the aims of the workshop are very focused, the meeting will be limited to around 20 in-person participants.

We hope participants will span the required range of expertise, including in the analysis of stellar populations, astrometric data, spectroscopy, specific distance tracers, and dynamical modeling. Prior to the workshop, we anticipate identifying specific goals for each of these core components and participants can organise themselves into 4–5 person teams. Most of the in-person time at the meeting will be dedicated to collaboratively working within teams towards their individual goals. At the close of each day we will come together to report on the achievements of the day and discuss next steps across different working groups.

While the meeting will be conducted primarily in person, we want to include contributions to the CATS atlas from everyone interested. There will also be an opportunity for online participation, coordinated individually by working groups.

There are no registration fees associated with the workshop, and there is funding available for travel and lodging support.

We expect all participants to abide by the AAS Code of Ethics.

When? Schedule

The workshop will take place from Monday October 31 to Friday November 4 2022. Each day will run from 9am until 5pm PDT (UTC+9). We will announce a detailed schedule nearer the time.

Key dates:
31st July 2022: Application deadline
Mid August 2022: Invitations / team assignments
October 31 to November 4 2022: Workshop

Get involved Apply

We are currently seeking applications for the workshop. Applicants should fill out this Google Form. The deadline for application is July 31 2022.

We hope to receive applications from a diverse range of participants to ensure the necessary range of expertise is covered and the goals of the workshop can be achieved. For example, we envisage requiring expertise in the analysis of stellar populations, astrometric data, spectroscopy, specific distance tracers (e.g. RR Lyrae, BHB, RGB), data access and manipulation, and dynamical modeling. We also hope to provide remote channels for participating but this is primarily an in-person meeting.

What next? Legacy

This workshop is the second in the series after the highly-successful Streams21 online workshop. Indeed, the focus of this follow-up workshop was borne out of ideas shared at Streams21. We hope this workshop will itself lead to new ideas and research directions. During this workshop we plan to keep a written record of the discussions through a collaborative Google Doc and develop the CATS Atlas as a community-driven product.

In the longer term we would like to continue this topical meeting series, so stay tuned about future announcements, or get in touch if you would like to propose ideas for future meetings or to help coordinate these meetings.