The Structure of the Milky Way

Science Rationale

This workshop focuses on the exploitation of Galactic plane surveys in an effort to link the large scale features of the Milky Way with the dense gas where star formation is taking place. Over the last decade there has been a large number of high-resolution Galactic plane continuum surveys that have covered the whole wavelength range from the optical to the radio. These are complimented by large spectral line surveys and large numbers of target observations, which provide the crucial distance, temperature and kinematic information required to determine physical properties of the gas and its Galactic distribution.

These have generated large Galactic-wide samples of pre-stellar, protostellar and evolved clumps. Studies of the larger scale structures has revealed many of these star forming clumps are embedded in filamentary structures, the largest of which are associated with the spiral arms. These data sets can be combined to produce a global picture of the current and incipient star formation and determine how mass is distributed on different size scales and evaluate the role of the spiral arms.

The aim of this workshop is to bring together people that are actively involved in these surveys and modelling to investigate ways to exploit these data and develop future projects and collaborations. We aim to bring together researchers from prominent UK institutions and experts from Europe to facilitate an exchange of knowledge and expertise on these large valuable datasets.

The structure of the workshop will be a mixture of formal talks and informal discussions. The detailed scientific programme is currently being put together and will be made available two weeks before the workshop. However, the draft programme will consist of the following sessions:

1) Wide-Field Surveys

2) Star Formation and Massive Stars

3) The Large Scale Structure of the Milky Way