Nordic-Baltic Optical/NIR and Radio Astronomy Summer School

Star Formation in the Milky Way and Nearby Galaxies

8th-18th June 2009; Turku, Finland

The Nordic-Baltic Research Training Course "Star formation in the Milky Way and nearby galaxies" will take place at Tuorla Observatory, Turku, Finland, during the period 8-18 June 2009. The course is organised jointly by the Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT, Spain), Onsala Space Observatory (OSO, Sweden), and Tuorla Observatory, with financial support from NORDFORSK.

Aims of the Course
The aim of the course is to give young researchers experience in the combined use of optical/NIR and mm radio observations within a focused topic, and thus prepare them for the future use of the major new European research facilities, notably the ESO VLT and, from 2010-2011, ALMA. For this years course we have chosen the topic of star formation, which is ubiquitous in galaxies, but also demands the full power of multiwavelength astronomy to reveal its secrets. The techniques learned at the course will therefore serve the students well in a wide range of other astrophysical settings.

Structure and Content of the Course
The course features, first, a series of lectures by leading Nordic and international experts on star formation in the Milky Way and other galaxies, and on optical/NIR and mm observing techniques and data reductions. Second, and as the main feature of the course, students will perform optical and NIR observations with the NOT and mm observations with the OSO 20-m radio telescope, both in remote mode from Tuorla. A preliminary schedule for the course is given here. Upon completion of the course and approval of the project reports (see below), students will receive a certificate attendance specifying that the workload of the course corresponds to a credit of 6 ECTS.

Research Projects
A number of suitable research projects have been defined, for which scientific references and appropriate tools and instruction in data reduction will be provided. These are described in the on-line application form, and students are asked to indicate their preference for at least two of these when applying for the course. Groups of up to four students will then be selected to work on each project. Each group will prepare a short written report and oral presentation on the results of its work at the end of the course.


  • Susanne Aalto, Onsala
  • John Conway, Onsala
  • Mika Juvela, Helsinki
  • Jari Kotilainen, Turku
  • Seppo Mattila, Turku
  • Bo Reipurth, Honolulu
  • Hans Zinnecker, Potsdam

Who can Apply?
The course is open to students enrolled at a recognised university at the PhD or final-year MSc level. There is no restriction on the nationality of the applicants, but since the course is sponsored by NORDFORSK, preference in filling the available positions (up to 20 students) will be given to applicants from the Nordic and Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania).

Financial Support
We expect to be able to cover the costs of participation for all Nordic and Baltic students, including travel, from the NORDFORSK grant (note, however, that NORDFORSK requires 30% co-funding of travel by Baltic participants). Students from outside this region must cover the full cost of their travel. There is no tuition fee for any students.

Students and faculty will be lodged at Tuorla Observatory (some 12 km from the centre of Turku) or in the nearby agricultural school for easy access to computers and network connections. Rooms and all meals are provided, and two excursions during the weekend are included in the program. Turku has good airline as well as ferry and train connections to the Nordic and Baltic countries.

Travel information and maps of Tuorla area

Further information can be obtained from Raine Karjalainen (rkarjala(at) or Johannes Andersen (ja(at) at NOT, or from Leo Takalo (takalo(at) at Tuorla.

Deadline for Applications: April 3, 2009