Post by Tom Kitching
In the last month several of us at MSSL have been fortunate enough to spend a week in Marseille at the annual general meeting of the Euclid Consortium.
The consortium is the largest astronomical team in history! At the meeting we were given an update of the statistics, and we now have over 1100 members from Europe and across the world. The meeting itself is becoming one of the largest events on the astronomy calendar in Europe, with over 400 people attending this year.
The meeting was held in the spectacular Palais du Pharo! According to wikipedia (translated from French) “This is a monument Marseille whose construction was ordered by Napoleon III for Empress Eugenie in the second half of the nineteenth century. It now belongs to the city of Marseille and is a venue for conferences and events.”. It was a wonderful place to spend the week, with amazing views across the harbour of Marseille. The weather was also very nice, sunny and warm the whole week.
The conference agenda was a combination of plenary sessions, which everyone attended, and then in the afternoon a series of “splinter” sessions where various smaller teams in Euclid met to discuss specific issues. For many of us this was an exciting and busy schedule, and there were lots of discussions and decisions being made, even at coffee and lunch time. In the evening we had some time to sample local delicacies like Bouillabaisse.
Next year the AGM will be in Laussane, Switzerland. At MSSL we will all be looking forward to see our Euclid friends again, and being one year closer to launch!