The first ADeLA meeting was held in San Juan, Argentina, in the year 2001. In this, and subsequent meetings, the objectives and scope of these series of international conferences have been laid out as follows:
- To foster Latin-America astronomical research in the areas of astrometry and dynamics.
- To give an overview of the research in Astrometry and Dynamics carried out in Latin-America, as well as the state-of-the art at the world level.
- To place in a world context the state of development of this area in Latin-America.
- To promote and strengthen the development of scientific projects through international collaborations, both, among Latin-American countries, and between Latin-American countries and countries where astronomy is further developed in Asia, Europe, and North America.
- To explore common strategies and funding opportunities to stimulate academic and scientific exchanges that may facilitate the points mentioned above (including thesis topics, fellowships for students, post-doctoral opportunities for young researchers, faculty sabbaticals, and faculty exchanges).
The main scientific topics of these series of meetings (and, also, of this meeting in particular) include:
- General astrometric observational techniques: Radio-astronomy (particularly interferometry, ALMA), space-based (e.g., HST, Gaia) and ground-based (e.g., AO, VLTI) diffraction-limited astrometry, instrumentation and astro-engineering for astrometry, big upcoming survey projects with relevant astrometric component (e.g., LSST).
- General astrometric analysis techniques: Proper-motions, trigonometric parallaxes, binary and multiple stellar and sub-stellar (including exo-planet) systems, catalogues, exploitation of existing and big databases for astrometry (e.g., ALMA, DECam, LSST).
- Classical astrometry: Stellar positions, celestial reference frames, international standards of time and time-keeping.
- Stellar dynamics (e.g., Galactic Bulge, the central BH), Galactic structure (e.g., stellar streams, “near-field cosmology”), stellar associations, open & globular clusters (membership, orbits), satellite galaxies of the MW.
- Solar system dynamical studies: Hazardous and killer asteroids, NEOs, Kuiper-belt objects.
- Celestial mechanics, artificial satellites, space debris.
The field of astrometry, the precise measurement of the positions, distances and motions of astronomical objects, has been revolutionized in recent years. As we enter a new high-precision era (e.g., with Gaia), astrometry will play an increasingly important role in all areas of astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology (see, e.g., the recently published book “Astrometry for Astrophysics” by Cambridge University Press, 2013, edited by Prof. William F. van Altena, and in which several members of the SOC are co-authors). The workshop, associated with ADeLA, will be a good opportunity to educate, provide an overview, and even stimulate young researchers into this field of astronomy. This is particularly relevant now, when important astrometry-capable projects and instruments are coming on-line (Gaia, recently launched, the ALMA interferometer, LSST in the near future), which will open new and very interesting research possibilities.