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Space Telescope Science Institute
Cluster Lensing: Peering into the Past,
Planning for the Future
April 15-17 2013

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About The Event

The cluster environment offers a valuable laboratory to investigate astrophysical processes and examine the underlying cosmological model. In addition, clusters can act as powerful gravitational telescopes and magnify galaxy populations in the very distant universe. Clusters are therefore unique probes of the evolution of mass assembly on a wide range of scales.

In recent years, there has been tremendous theoretical and observational progress in deriving the mass distributions of clusters through combining weak and strong gravitational lensing data. Excellent HST and ground-based datasets are becoming increasingly available. Many powerful techniques have been developed to map the dark matter distribution from lensing data. However, to fully exploit cluster lensing and combine it with other mass-estimation techniques such as studies of kinematics, X-ray temperatures and the Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect will require understanding and characterizing the uncertainties in lensing models.

This workshop is an opportunity to discuss what we have learned from cluster lenses thus far, and discuss future directions for progress.

  • New observational results from space and ground-based surveys
  • Astrophysical implications from lensing-based mass distributions and highly-magnified objects
  • Comparisons between different cluster mass estimators and lens modeling methods
  • Comparisons between cluster lens observations and theoretical predictions from N-body simulations

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How to Attend

If you are interested in attending the workshop, send email to Please include

  • your name
  • institution
  • position (student/postdoc/faculty/research staff/civil servant)

We will have some opportunities for contributed talks and posters.If you would like to present at the meeting also tell us if you would prefer a

  • poster or talk
  • title and abstract

The deadline for abstract submission is Friday, February 15, 2013.

In order to promote discussion, we are trying to keep the size of the meeting to about 50 individuals. Therefore it is possible we will not have room for everyone who wishes to attend. We will send registration information to all those we can admit after the abstract deadline. We expect the registration fee to be no more than $200. However, we also expect to have some travel funds to help support attendance by graduate students and postdocs. Therefore, if you are in one of those categories and would like to apply for travel assistance, please include that in your email as well.

Frontier Fields Lensing Seminar April 18 2013

In HST Cycle 21, STScI will be launching the HST Frontier Fields campaign to obtain very deep ACS/WFC3 images of 4-6 high-magnification clusters and associated parallel blank fields. More information about the new Frontier Fields may be found here .

The HST Frontier Fields campaign will host a community seminar immediately following the Cluster Lensing workshop on April 18, 2013. This seminar will provide an opportunity for the lensing experts to discuss how best to model the new deep HST cluster images, and for the general extragalactic community to learn how to interpret and use lensing models.

Confirmed Speakers

  • Marusa Bradac, UC Davis
  • Larry Bradley, STScI
  • Daniel Coe, STScI
  • Brenda Frye, University of Arizona
  • Ariel Goobar, Stockholm University
  • Mathilde Jauzac, University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Eric Jullo, Observatories Astronomique de Marseille-Provence
  • Jean-Paul Kneib, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
  • Elinor Medezinski, Johns Hopkins University
  • Massimo Meneghetti, STScI
  • Julian Merten, JPL-Caltech
  • Priya Natarajan, Yale University
  • Andrew Newman, California Institute of Technology
  • Masamune Oguri, National Optical Observatory of Japan
  • Justin Read, ETH Zurich
  • Johan Richard, Observatoire de Lyon
  • Stellar Seitz, Universitäts-Sternwarte München
  • Keren Sharon, University of Michigan
  • Brian Siana, UC Riverside
  • Tommaso Treu, UC Santa Barbara
  • Liliya Williams, University of Minnesota

Organizing Committee:

  • Priya Natarajan, Yale University (Chair)
  • Andy Fruchter, STScI (LOC Chair)
  • Daniel Coe, STScI
  • Jean-Paul Kneib, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
  • Jennifer Lotz, STScI
  • Marc Postman, STScI
  • Darlene Spencer, STScI