The NEON Observing Schools in 2006

The Fifth NEON Observing School

Observatoire de Haute-Provence, France, July 23 - August 6, 2006


The Second NEON Archive Observing School

European Southern Observatory, Germany, August 30 - September 9, 2006


Sponsored by the European Community, Marie Curie Actions

NEON stands for the Network of European Observatories in the North. The organizing consortium is composed of Asiago Observatory (Italy), Calar Alto Observatory (Germany, Spain), European Southern Observatory (ESO, Germany; including participation from the Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility), Observatoire de Haute-Provence (OHP, France), Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris (IAP, France) and La Palma observatories (ING and NOT, UK, Netherlands, Spain and Nordic Countries). 

The NEON Observing Schools are supported by the European Astronomical Society (EAS) and by OPTICON.

The aim of the summer schools

The purpose of the summer schools is to provide the opportunity for young researchers to gain practical experience in observational techniques, data reduction and analysis and the use of virtual observatory tools. Students will carry out small research projects, centered on selected astrophysical topics, in small groups under the supervision of experienced astronomers. These practical exercises will be complemented by lectures on general observational techniques and archival research for both ground and space based astronomy.

The observing school at the telescopes in Haute-Provence will largely concentrate on the skills required to execute an observing program (imaging and spectroscopy), giving emphasis to spectroscopy and instrumental developments. An account on previous observing schools can be found on the EAS Web pages. The Archive Observing School at ESO will concentrate on the quality appraisal of existing data and the research possible with large databases combining ground and space data, with emphasis on data reduction techniques and the new tools now available within the Virtual Observatory. A record of the First NEON Archive Observing school can be found here.

The schools are principally open to astronomy PhD students and postdocs who are nationals of a Member State or an Associate State of the European Union. This includes applicants who are currently working outside the EU. Applications from non-European students will also be considered, depending on the resources available.


The Second NEON Archive Observing School at ESO

Application deadline: April 30th, 2006 -- Registration is now closed.

Scientific oversight: Michel Dennefeld (Chair), Denis Gillet, Roland Gredel, Harald Kuntschner, Bruno Leibundgut, Alessandro Pizzella, Rene Rutten

Local Organising Committee: Britt Sjoeberg, Christina Stoffer, Harald Kuntschner

For general information on the ESO headquarters see this page.

The summer school hosted 20 students from 13 different European countries. The lecture program featured talks ranging from an introduction to spectroscopy and photometry to detailed presentations on future observatories such as ALMA. The main focus, however, is on the research projects the students carry out in groups of four under the supervision of an experienced astronomer.

A visual impression of the school can be gathered from the following list of photos.

For practical questions about the NEON summer schools please email For scientific questions please send your email to Prof. Michel Dennefeld.