Letters of Intent for 2015

LoI 2015-172
The high resolution view of star and planet formation


3 August 2015 to 14 August 2015


Honolulu, United States


Floris van der Tak (vdtak@sron.nl)

Coordinating division:

Division H Interstellar Matter and Local Universe

Co-Chairs of SOC:

Floris van der Tak (SRON)
Jonathan Williams (U Hawaii)
Yuri Aikawa (U Kobe)

Chair of LOC:

n/a (n/a)



-the life cycle of interstellar clouds
-initial conditions of star formation
-accretion & outflow around young stars
-clustered / high-mass star formation
-extragalactic star formation & the IMF
-structure of protoplanetary disks
-disk chemistry



To: IAU Secretary
Subject: Focus meeting at the 2015 IAU GA
Date: September 15, 2013

Dear Secretary

This Letter is to propose a Focus Meeting at the 2015 IAU General Assembly in Honolulu, on the topic of “The high resolution view of star and planet formation”, for which we (Floris van der Tak, Jonathan Williams, Yuri Aikawa) would act as SOC chairs and proceedings editors.

Following the resounding success of Protostars and Planets VI this summer, a Focus meeting at the 2015 IAU GA would be well timed to keep pace with the new discoveries in this exciting field. Progress is especially rapid in the far-infrared, where the Herschel space observatory has just finished observing and its full legacy will become apparent in the next 2 years. Furthermore, the ALMA telescope, which has already demonstrated its breakthrough capabilities, will be in its third observing cycle by the time of this meeting, providing opportune timing to promulgate and synthesize new advances.

We envision a three-day meeting with the following sessions:

-the life cycle of interstellar clouds
-initial conditions of star formation
-accretion & outflow around young stars
-clustered / high-mass star formation
-extragalactic star formation & the IMF
-structure of protoplanetary disks
-disk chemistry

Although the coordinating division would be H (Interstellar Matter and Local Universe), the topic of the meeting has clear connections to Divisions B, F, and J. In particular, disk chemistry has strong links to comets, interstellar and interplanetary dust are clearly related, and disk structure is connected to Kuiper Belt studies. Furthermore, while Division H considers objects out to ~15 Mpc, Division J uses modern telescopes such as ALMA to observe star formation well beyond z=1, although often galaxy-averaged. The primary goal of this meeting is to make connections between observations and theory of the ISM and star formation on galactic scales down to that of individual protostars and their protoplanetary disks. Finally, the development of high resolution instrumentation is a topic of clear interest to Division B.

We believe that this focus meeting would have a broad interest and would be well attended. By bringing together scientific and technical expertise in related fields, it will improve research methodologies and potentially open up new research avenues that can help to unify the complexities inherent in understanding the multitude of steps from the ISM to stars and planets.

Floris van der Tak (SRON, The Netherlands)
Jonathan Williams (U Hawaii, United States)
Yuri Aikawa (U Kobe, Japan)

This Letter is supported by the Presidents and/or Vice Presidents of IAU Divisions H, B, F and J.

IAU General Assembly
Honolulu, 3-14 August 2015

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