In May 2013, CSIRO announced that there would be a program of early science observations on the Australian SKA Pathfinder telescope (ASKAP). The astronomy community was asked for input on the design of this program.
The first step in the consultation and planning process was a community workshop, held on Monday August 5th CSIRO’s Astronomy & Space Science Division in Marsfield.
There was an overwhelming response to this workshop, with 70 registered participants from 14 institutes in 5 countries taking part.
Astronomers with a broad range of scientific interests gave talks describing some of the ground-breaking scientific questions that could be addressed using ASKAP’s 12-antenna array. These presentations were followed by group discussions on scientific and technical issues relating to survey planning, data acquisition, data access and distribution to science teams, chaired by Professor Brian Schmidt from ANU and Professor Anne Green from the University of Sydney.
ASKAP Project Scientist, Dr. Lisa Harvey-Smith said: “The response to the early science workshop proved just how excited astronomers are to get their hands on data from ASKAP. We hope that by providing high-quality data as early as possible, ASKAP early science will demonstrate the huge leap in scientific capability provided by CSIRO’s phased array feed technology.”