March 2016


Every month you will find in this newsletter recent articles related to research fields relevant to asteroSTEP, announcements of conferences, jobs openings, major updates to projects and links to outreach material. If you would like to add an article to this list, you are encouraged to send me the link. This applies not only to papers, but also to projets, job openings and conferences: the usefulness of this newsletter relies heavily on your wish to actively contribute to it!

‒ Nadège Lagarde

Recent articles

For un updated list of the latest articles, search for those with the 'Most Recent' tag in the article database.

  • Stellar Open Clusters’ Membership Probabilities: an N-Dimensional Geometrical Approach
    Laura Sampedro, Emilio J. Alfaro
  • Solar and Stellar Photospheric Abundances
    Carlos Allende Prieto
  • Multi-Layered Neural Networks Infer Fundamental Stellar Parameters
    Kuldeep Verma et al.
  • The DRAGON simulations: globular cluster evolution with a million stars
    Long Wang et al.
  • Period spacings in red giants II. Automated measurement
    Vrard, M et al.
  • Suppression of quadrupole and octupole modes in red giants observed by Kepler
    Stello, D et al.
  • The Galaxy in Context: Structural, Kinematic and Integrated Properties
    J. Bland-Hawthorn and O. Gerhard
  • Magnetic variability in the young solar analog KIC 10644253: Observations from the Kepler satellite and the HERMES spectrograph
    D. Salabert et al
  • The Gaia-ESO Survey: A simple explanation for the Li-rich giant problem
    Andrew R. Casey et al.
  • Chemical abundances in the multiple sub-giant branch of 47 Tucanae: insights on its faint sub-giant branch component
    A. F. Marino et al.
  • Measuring the extent of convective cores in low-mass stars using Kepler data: towards a calibration of core overshooting
    S. Deheuvels et al.
  • Angular momentum transport efficiency in post-main sequence low-mass stars
    F. Spada et al.

Job Opportunities

  • The IAC has announced today 11 post doctoral positions in all the lines of research of the new Severo Ochoa Center of Excellence program, including 5 Advanced Fellowships of 5-years.

  • Postdoctoral Position stellar astrophysics and exoplanets with the TESS mission at the Stellar Astrophysics Centre
    The appointment is initially for a 2.5-year period with a possible extension subject to funding and performance. The start date is flexible, but preferably July 2016. Application deadline is March 31st 2016. The position is funded by the Aarhus University Research Foundation (AUFF).

  • Post-Doc research grant “Development of algorithms for the study of systems of galaxies within the Euclid survey” The INAF - Astronomical Observatory of Trieste seeks to appoint one Postdoctoral fellow to work on the study of clusters of galaxies within the Euclid mission survey. The research program includes: the coding, development, and comparison of algorithms for the identification and characterization of clusters of galaxies, and the analysis of clusters of galaxies as cosmological probes, in the photometric and spectroscopic Euclid surveys. The Postdoctoral fellow will work in close collaboration with the Italian Euclid Science Data Center and with the Euclid science group in Trieste, which include: A. Biviano, S. Borgani, G. De Lucia, M. Girardi, P. Monaco, M. Nonino, B. Sartoris, M. Viel. Financial support for this fellowship is available for 2,5 years, with a starting date by April 1, 2016.  The salary is 28,000 Euros per year, before taxes (corresponding to a net income of about 2,000 Euros per month). The deadline to receive applications is February 26, 2016. Informations

  • Two new PDRA positions available at the University of Oxford, to start as soon as possible after April 1st 2016. The projects are concerned with modelling and interpretation of: 1) exoplanetary transit spectra; and 2) Uranus and Neptune spectra. Both projects will analyse visible, near-IR and mid-IR spectral observations using our radiative transfer and retrieval tool, Nemesis. The details of the projects can be found at: here and here

  • Multiple postdoc opportunities available at the University of Antofagasta The Unidad de Astronomía at the University of Antofagasta (UAUA) in Chile is seeking enthusiastic recent PhD graduates to carry out cutting-edge research on star formation, galaxy evolution, star clusters, variable stars, binary stars, or planetary sciences. We prefer candidates with a team spirit, interested in building strong collaborations with the Chilean and international community. To support their research, successful applicants will not only have access to the 10% Chilean time but also to major surveys in which UAUA is involved, such as SDSS-IV, VVV, and MINDSTEp. The successful candidates will have obtained her or his PhD in astrophysics or a closely related field no earlier than 1 January 2013. She or he will be sponsored to apply to a generous 3-year postdoctoral grant provided by FONDECYT, the main science fund provided by Chile’s National Science Agency for individual research projects. It includes ~4250 USD for relocation costs, a salary of ~28000 USD per year, and yearly research expenses (travel, hardware, etc.) of ~6400 USD. For the first step of the selection process, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact us prior to the deadline at A CV, a list of publications, a research statement, and contact information of three referees should be sent to astro.investigacion@uam by 01 April. Selected applicants will then gain the required full sponsorship from the University to apply for the FONDECYT grant, whose deadline is expected to be in June 2016, with a start date by the end of the year. Antofagasta where UAUA is based is a large and rapidly expanding (500,000 inhabitants estimated by 2020) coastal city in Northern Chile, on the edge of the spectacular Atacama desert, close to where ALMA and VLT are located, and where several further projects are planned such as the E-ELT. UAUA is the premier professional group in Northern Chile. It is responsible for developing and managing the first Chilean observatory in the Atacama Desert, and the first Astroengineering Center in the North of Chile. Announcement

  • Two postdoctoral positions in asteroseismology
    Applications are invited for two postdoctoral positions at the Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center in Warsaw, Poland. The openings are for an initial period of two years, with a possible extension of another two. The Copernicus Center hosts a total of about 50 PhD astronomers and almost 30 PhD students and provides a high-class work environment. The asteroseismology group in Warsaw currently consists of four staff members, one tenure-track astronomer and three PhD students. The successful candidates regarding the current employment opportunity will work with Prof. Gerald Handler on asteroseismology of massive stars, based on data with the BRITE and TESS space missions, supplemented by ground-based measurements.
    Prime requirement for employment is the posession of a valid PhD degree in astronomy at the starting date, but obtained no earlier than in 2010. Previous work with a focus on asteroseismic or related research is expected. Experience with asteroseismology of massive stars is an advantage, and candidates with an observational or theoretical background, or both, will be considered.
    Candidates should submit a copy of their PhD diploma or a binding statement of its date of completion, their CV, list of publications and a statement of research plans as pdf files to Two letters of recommendation should be arranged to be sent directly by their authors to the same email address. Review of applications shall commence on 15 April 2016 and last until the positions are filled.
    The starting date of the employment is envisaged to be 1 October 2016, but is to some extent negotiable. The salary of the successful candidate will be comparable to that of Polish researchers in the same career stage. Funding for travel and research equipment is available. Additional benefits such as housing for an initial time period can be provided by the institute. Enquiries about the offered position can also be addressed to More Information

  • The Instituto de Astrofisica de Atacama (IAA) at the Universidad De Atacama (UDA) in Copiapo (Chile) invites applications for two faculty positions to join the IAA team. The successful candidates will join a group of five faculty working on a broad range of research topics and will have access to the Chilean Time in a broad array of facilities, including ALMA, VLT, Gemini, Magellan, LSST, GMT and the E-ELT.Candidates should have strong experience in one or more of these fields: Origin, structure and evolution of planets, satellites, and minor bodies in the Solar System ; Extrasolar Planets ; Formation, structure and evolution of stars ; Milky Way: stellar populations, star clusters, variable stars, galactic structure ; Terrestrial Mars analogs ; Astrobiology. The positions carry teaching duties in astronomy at the undergraduate level, with a load of 6h per week. The working language is English. While knowledge of Spanish is not required (teaching can be done in English), the successful candidates are expected to teach in Spanish within two years.  The appointment at UDA will be for three years, with a first probation year, and the position is further extendable subject to performance.  Applicants should have a PhD in astronomy or physics or related sciences completed at least 3 years prior to the starting day of the contract.  To receive full consideration, applications must be sent by Friday 18 of March 2016, although the position will remain open until filled. Start date is expected to be October 2016.

  • Job Advertisement: Unspecified Closing Date - Resort Astronomer Job in the Maldives
    Continues research and study of Astronomy to update and provide latest accurate information to the guest
    Repair and maintenance of the Telescope
    Develop and update the Astronomy presentation for private sessions with our guests
    Maintain the Astronomy Library with the latest Astronomy related books
    Promote Astronomical cruise dinners and experiences at the resort
    Always work to enhance the guest experience during the Astronomical Cruise dinner
    Make sure everything at the Observatory in is good working order and is fully prepared at least 30 minutes prior to the sessions
    Make sure the lighting around the observatory is minimal during the sessions
    If interested, please send your cv and contact details to:

Conference Announcements

  • 41st COSPAR Scientific Assembly
    Istanbul, Turkey, 30 July - 7 August 2016

  • The Milky Way and its environment: gaining insights into the drivers of galaxy formation and evolution
    19-23 September 2016 at the Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris in Paris, France
    More information.

  • Workshop "WEAVE LOFAR Survey Team Meeting"
    16 mars 2016, Oxford Chania
    The WEAVE-LOFAR Survey will be a tiered survey of low-frequency radio selected sources, conducted using the new WEAVE multi-object spectrograph on the William Herschel Telescope. Currently scheduled to begin in 2018, WEAVE-LOFAR will produce more than 10^6 spectra of radio sources, and has a wide range of science goals, ranging from studying the interplay between star formation and accretion in galaxies, to searching for radio galaxies within the epoch of reionisation. Following a very positive external review of the project in October 2015, the time is right to bring together the science team, and interested scientists from member countries and institutes, to discuss the plans for the survey and its scientific exploitation.
    More details.

  • CHEOPS Science Workshop
    21-23 juin 2016, Genève

    The CHaracterizing ExOPlanet Satellite (CHEOPS) will be dedicated to search for transits by means of ultrahigh precision photometry on bright stars already known to host planets. It is the first S-class mission from ESA. CHEOPS will have a nominal lifetime of 3.5 years, with launch-readiness targeted for end 2017. The purpose of this fourth CHEOPS science workshop is to bring together the community interested in the mission, providing information about its current status and preparing its scientific exploitation. A focus of the meeting will be the implementation of Guest Observation programmes for the 20% time opened on CHEOPS for the general scientific community. Participants are invited to propose contributed talks on all scientific aspects relevant to the mission, including synergies with other facilities. Ample time will be devoted to discussions.
    More details.

  • Python school
    From June 6 - 9, 2016, Zurich
    Application deadline is March 31, 2016.
    More Information.

  • Summer School in Statistics for Astronomers XII
    May 31 - June 4 2016, Penn State University
    Registration deadline: April 29 or when the class is full
    Web site.
    For the 12th year, Penn State's Center for Astrostatistics is offering its week-long Summer School in statistical methodology for astronomy. The School provides an intensive program in statistical inference covering topics like principles of probability and inference, Bayesian analysis, nonparametrics, regression, regression and model selection, multivariate clustering and classification, spatial statistics, and time series analysis. Extensive training in the public domain R statistical software environment is provided. 

    Lectures and R tutorials are presented by experienced educators in statistics and astrostatistics. Participants exercise the methods with astronomical datasets illustrating realistic challenges faced in contemporary research. Software and lecture notes are provided, but participants should bring laptop computers.  Participants reside and eat together with social events. Registration and lodging costs are kept as low as possible. 

    The timing of the Summer School is coordinate to precede the Statistical Challenges in Modern Astronomy VI research conference that starts on Monday June 6 in Pittsburgh PA. Transportation from Penn State to Pittsburgh will be available for individuals who want to attend both events.

  • IAU International Conference on "Search for life: from early Earth to exoplanets"
    December 11th– 16th, 2016, Quy Nhon, Vietnam
    Web site.
    The program of the conference will focus on 4 main themes:
    - Formation, evolution and habitability of planetary systems
    - Early Earth environment
    - From prebiotic chemistry to early Earth
    - Life in Universe, societal impacts and ethical issues
    A 2-days Training School on the « Basics in Astrobiology » will be organized before the conference (December 9th-11th)
    - Training school registration: June 15th
    - Application for contributed talk: June 15th
    - Early bird conference registration fee: September 15th
    - Application for poster: November 1st
    - Registration and hotel booking: November 1st
    Contact:Muriel Gargaud ( and Nikos Prantzos (, co-chairs of the conference.