During May 2022, the School of Physics & Astronomy hosted two back-to-back meetings in high-energy astrophysics. Both meetings were entirely face-to-face; for many of us, this was our first opportunity to meet with colleagues outside of our own University since lockdown in 2020.
On Thursday, May 26th, we ran the “New Results in X-ray Astronomy” meeting. This meeting has run nearly every year for two decades, providing an opportunity for UK X-ray Astronomy researchers – especially PhD students and early-career researchers – to showcase their recent work and to network with others in the field. Over seventy researchers from all over the UK attended the meeting at College Court to see a programme of 18 short, contributed talks and an invited talk by Belinda Wilkes, former Director of the Chandra X-ray Center (Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory/NASA, US).
Following this, on Friday May 27th, also at College Court, we ran the “3rd Athena UK Community Science Meeting.” Athena is a major ESA mission for X-ray astronomy in the 2030s and beyond, with the UK playing a significant role, especially in the Wide-Field Imager (WFI) – one of the two science instruments. During the meeting, we heard an overview of the WFI and the Athena mission from Paul Nandra of MPE (Germany), as well as talks on the mission development and its unprecedented science potential.