Southern Cross 2017: Surveying the Cosmos, The Science From Massively Multiplexed Surveys


(Image is from the ITSO 2013 Student Gemini Contest: winning image IC5332.)

5-9 June 2017

Crystal Ballroom, Luna Park, Sydney, Australia

The Southern Cross Astrophysics Conferences, which are jointly supported by the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) and the CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science (CASS), are held annually in Australia with the aim of attracting international experts with wide ranging skills to discuss a particular astrophysical topic. The 2017 conference will be on the results of massively multiplexed surveys across the electromagnetic spectrum and at all scales of the cosmos.

Large astronomical surveys have been key to many of the major advances in our understanding of the cosmos at all scales over the last two decades. This conference will focus on the scientific returns from massively multiplexed surveys: in terms of the number of targets that are observed simultaneously, and massive in the number of objects observed in totality. Australia has often been at the forefront of these types of surveys, with a key development being the start of regular scientific observations with the Two-Degree Field instrument on the Anglo-Australian Telescope in 1997. The 2017 Southern Cross Astrophysics Conference will include a retrospective on such surveys.

The next decade will see an explosion in the output from these surveys across all astronomical facilities and scales. Highlighting just a few: APOGEE, GALAH and Gaia-ESO will have observed nearly two million Milky Way stars to help to understand the fossil record of the assembly of our Galaxy; OzDES and DESI will chart the role of dark energy in the expansion history of the universe by observing over 30 million galaxies and quasars; WEAVE and 4MOST will map the kinematic and chemical substructure in the Milky Way, enhancing the scientific legacy of Gaia's census of our galaxy, study the detailed properties of intermediate-redshift galaxies, and characterise the objects found in the next-generation radio surveys; WALLABY will map HI across the entire sky measure the HI properties of about 600000 galaxies and derive their distances, HI masses, total masses and dark matter content; and EMU will increase the number of known radio sources by a factor of about 30.

This conference will bring together a wide cross-section of the international astronomical community with the aim of facilitating discussion of the scientific achievements of massively multiplexed surveys. This conference will also offer an opportunity to summarise the lessons that have been learnt in the past to help maximise the scientific return in the future.

Please make sure to read our Code of Conduct if you are planning to attend. 

Invited Speakers

  • Julia Bryant (University of Sydney): HECTOR
  • Sven Buder (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy): The GALAH survey
  • Matthew Colless (Australian National University): The MANIFEST instrument and other multiplexed spectrographs on ELTs
  • Luca Cortese (Internation Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, Australia): IFU/radio synergies
  • Scott Croom (University of Sydney): The SAMI Survey
  • Luke Davies (Internation Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, Australia): Future results from WAVES
  • Caroline Foster (Australian Astronomical Observatory): SLUGGS
  • Keith Hawkins (Columbia University): The Galactic Halo in APOGEE/Kepler/Gaia-ESO
  • Natasha Maddox (ASTRON): DINGO
  • Alessia Moretti: IFU surveys (MUSE, VIMOS, GMOS)
  • Aaron Robotham (University of Western Australia): The GAMA survey
  • Elaine Sadler (University of Sydney): The connections between past, current and future radio surveys
  • Sarah Jane Schmidt (Potsdam, AIP): Surveying the coolest stars in the Milky Way
  • Brooke Simmons (UC San Diego): Galaxy Zoo
  • Edward Taylor (Swinburne University): The GAMA survey and galaxy evolution
  • Yuan-Sen Ting (Australian National University): Chemical tagging of stars in large surveys
  • Sarah Tuttle (University of Washington): VIRUS and HETDEX
  • Benedetta Vulcani (University of Melbourne): The HST grism survey GLASS
  • Vivienne Wild (University of St Andrews): Galaxy evolution with IFU surveys

Local Organising Committee

  • Jeffrey Simpson (Chair)
  • Andrew Hopkins
  • Elaina Hyde
  • Karen Lee-Waddell
  • Chris Lidman
  • Angel Lopez-Sanchez
  • Duncan Wright
  • Tayyaba Zafar 

Scientific Organising Committee

  • Jeffrey Simpson (Chair)
  • Andrew Hopkins
  • Minh Huynh
  • Sarah Martell
  • Bianca Poggianti
  • Matt Owers
  • Nicholas Seymour
  • Jennifer Sobeck
  • Lister Staveley-Smith
  • Scott Trager
  • Martin Zwaan


The abstracts can be read here. 

Surveying The Cosmos
Monday 5 June
Start End    
09:30 09:45 Welcome  
09:45 10:15 Sven Buder The Galah Survey - Maximising Gaia's Impact on Large Stellar Surveys and Galactic Archaeology (Invited Talk)
10:15 10:30 Jeffrey Simpson The GALAH survey: Discovery of dissolving star clusters
10:30 10:45 Daniel Zucker Finding Strangers in a Crowd
10:45 11:25 Morning Tea  
11:25 11:55 Sarah Schmidt Surveying the coolest stars in the Milky Way (Invited Talk)
11:55 12:10 Gayandhi De Silva Open clusters with HERMES: clues to big puzzles
12:10 12:25 Russell Cannon The Making of 2dF on the AAT
12:25 13:55 Lunch  
13:55 14:25 Yuan-Sen Ting Chemical tagging of stars in large surveys (Invited Talk)
14:25 14:55 Keith Hawkins Piecing together the Galactic Halo with large surveys (Invited Talk)
14:55 15:10 Elaina Hyde LMC X-1: A New Spectral Analysis Of The O-star In The Binary And Surrounding Nebula
15:10 15:50 Afternoon Tea  
15:50 16:05 Nicholas Walton WEAVE and the WEAVE Galactic Archaeology Survey
16:05 16:35 Thomas Bensby Galactic Archaeology with 4MOST
16:35 17:05 Caroline Foster The SLUGGS Survey (Invited Talk)
Tuesday 6 June
Start End    
09:30 10:00 Brooke Simmons Galaxy Zoo, Past and Future (Invited Talk)
10:00 10:15 Zeeshan Yousaf Causes of Inhomogeneous Energy Density in Modified Gravity
10:15 10:55 Morning Tea  
10:55 11:10 Andrew Hopkins The Taipan Galaxy Survey
11:10 11:25 Kyler Kuehn The TAIPAN Instrument: Commissioning and First Science
11:25 11:40 Christian Wolf Using SkyMapper and Taipan to study black holes at high redshift
11:40 13:10 Lunch  
13:10 13:40 Ned Taylor GAMA survey on galaxy evolution (Invited Talk)
13:40 14:10 Aaron Robotham GAMA survey (Invited Talk)
14:10 14:25 Dan Taranu Dissecting galaxies with 6D physical models using SAMI/GAMA data
14:25 15:05 Afternoon Tea  
15:05 15:35 Sarah Tuttle HETDEX: Hunting Dark Energy with a Massively Multiplexed Spectrograph (Invited Talk)
15:35 15:50 Chris Lidman OzDES multi-object spectroscopy for the Dark Energy Survey
Wednesday 7 June
Start End    
09:30 10:00 Vivienne Wild Galaxy formation and evolution with IFU surveys (Invited Talk)
10:00 10:30 Scott Croom Uncovering galaxy individuality with SAMI (Invited Talk)
10:30 11:10 Morning Tea  
11:10 11:25 Matt Owers The SAMI Galaxy Survey: The impact of the cluster environment on the star formation of infalling galaxies
11:25 11:40 Jesse van de Sande Revisiting galaxy classification with SAMI through high-order stellar kinematics
11:40 11:55 Sarah Sweet Millions of massively multiplexed angular momenta: insights into galaxy evolution
11:55 12:10 Enrica Bellocchi 2D kinematic characterization of a representative sample of local (U)LIRGs
12:10 13:40 Lunch  
13:40 13:55 Angel Lopez-Sanchez The neutral gas content of the CALIFA galaxies
13:55 14:25 Julia Bryant Hector - A massive new Integral field spectroscopic instrument for the AAT (Invited Talk)
14:25 14:55 Alessia Moretti IFU spectroscopy of peculiar galaxies in clusters (Invited Talk)
14:55 15:35 Afternoon Tea  
15:35 16:05 Luca Cortese Synergy between HI and optical IFS surveys (Invited Talk)
16:05 16:20 Richard McDermid Fornax-3D: Surveying the Fornax galaxy cluster with MUSE
16:20 16:35 Ling Zhu The stellar orbit distribution in present-epoch galaxies
16:35 16:50 Adriano Poci The Distribution of Mass in Early-Type Galaxies
Thursday 8 June
Start End    
09:30 10:00 Elaine Sadler Radio surveys and their connection to other wavelengths (Invited Talk)
10:00 10:30 Natasha Maddox DINGO and HI at cosmological redshifts (Invited Talk)
10:30 10:45 James Allison The history of cold gas in the Universe using the SKA
10:45 10:45 Jesse Swan Combining radio and optical data to gauge the cosmic evolution of galaxies
10:45 11:25 Morning Tea  
11:25 11:55 Naomi McClure-Griffiths The Galactic ASKAP Survey (Invited Talk)
11:55 12:10 Yago Ascasibar The WEAVE-APERTIF survey
12:10 12:25 Vaishali Parkash Relationship between HI mass, stellar mass & star formation in the Local Universe
12:25 12:40 Sarah Brough Australia and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope
12:40   Lunch  
Friday 9 June
Start End    
09:30 10:00 Benedetta Vulcani Highlights from GLASS: Probing Galaxy Evolution from z = 0 to 8 with spatially resolved spectroscopy (Invited Talk)
10:00 10:15 Tayyaba Zafar Transition in dust properties at high redshifts
10:15 10:55 Morning Tea  
10:55 11:25 Luke Davies Future results from the Wide Area VISTA Extragalactic Survey (WAVES) (Invited Talk)
11:25 11:40 Andrew Hopkins Update on the 4MOST System for the Vista Telescope
11:40 11:55 Khee-Gan Lee Mapping the z>2 Cosmic Web with Spectroscopic Surveys in the 2020s and Beyond
11:55 13:35 Lunch  
13:35 13:50 Miroslav Filipovic The Cherenkov Telescope Array &€“ The Next Generation GammaRay Observatory
13:50 14:05 Richard Ellis ESO's Wide Field Spectroscopic Telescope
14:05 14:20 Janez Kos Spectroscopic analysis through image reconstruction
14:20 15:00 Afternoon Tea  
15:00 15:30 Matthew Colless Surveying the cosmos with ELTs (Invited Talk)

Accommodation near Luna Park

All attendees will need to make their own travel and accommodation bookings.

As Luna Park is in a central location there are many hotels in the area. To look for local hotels you can use Expedia or Wofif. If you are planning to attend the theme park as well there are several partner hotels that have stay and play packages, for more see Luna Park Accommodation.

Cost per night
Available transport
Other Information

Rydges North Sydney

54 McLaren Street, North Sydney NSW 2060

Ph: +61 2 9922 1311

20min walk $281 Within walking distance

Close to Milsons Point train station.

North Sydney Harbourview Hotel

17 Blue Street, North Sydney

Ph: +61 2 9955 0499

10min walk $190 - $350 Within walking distance

Close to Milsons Point train station.


Glenferrie Lodge

12A Carabella St, Kirribilli

Ph: +61 2 9955 1685

20 minute walk  $75 - $299 Within walking distance

Close to Milsons Point train station.


Radisson Blu Plaza

27 O'Connell St, Sydney

Ph: + 61 2 8214 0000

Short 5 min train ride or 30 min walk  $230 - $350 Within walking distance

Wynyard Station - 200 m

Prices above are inclusive of GST, per room per night, and are subject to change. Please call hotel to confirm costs.



First Name Surname Affiliation
Asma Akram Idrees Hospital, Sialkot.
James Allison CSIRO Astronomy & Space Science
Yago Ascasibar Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (Spain)
Waqas Bashir Institute of Space Technology
Enrica Bellocchi Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM)
Thomas Bensby Lund Observatory, Sweden
shankar bhattarai Tribhuvan University
sha bhattarai Tribhuvan University
Muhammad Zaeem-ul-Haq Bhatti Department of Mathematics, University of the Punjab, Lahore-54590, Pakistan
Sarah Brough University of New South Wales
Michael Brown Monash University
Julia Bryant Sydney Uni/ AAO
Sven Buder MPIA Heidelberg
Russell Cannon AAO (Hon. Assoc.)
Seo-Won Chang Australian National University (ANU)
Matthew Colless ANU
Matthew Colless ANU
Matthew Colless ANU
Luca Cortese ICRAR/UWA
Scott Croom University of Sydney
Luke Davies ICRAR, University of Western Australia
Gayandhi De Silva AAO / USyd
Jacinta Delhaize University of Zagreb
Simon Driver ICRAR
Richard Ellis ESO
Miroslav Filipovic Western Sydney University
Caroline Foster Australian Astronomical Observatory
Karl Glazebrook Swinburne
Yjan Gordon E.A. Milne Centre for Astrophysics/University of Hull
Keith Hawkins Columbia University
Keith Hawkins Columbia University
Andrew Hopkins AAO
Sadiq Hussain National Institute of Sciences and Technology
Elaina Hyde Western Sydney University
Janez Kos Sydney Institute for Astronomy, The University of Sydney
Kyler Kuehn Australian Astronomical Observatory
John Lattanzio Monash Centre for Astrophysics
Khee-Gan Lee Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
Chris Lidman Australian Astronomical Observatory
Angel Lopez-Sanchez AAO/MQU
Natasha Maddox ASTRON
Smriti Mahajan IISER Mohali
balimbo marc ondokuz mayis university
Naomi McClure-Griffiths Australian National University
Richard McDermid Macquarie University
Alessia Moretti INAF - Padova Astronomical Observatory
Colin Navin Macquarie University
Jeffrey Newman University of Pittsburgh
Simon O'Toole AAO
Matt Owers Macquarie University and Australian Astronomical Observatory
Vaishali Parkash Monash University
Kevin Pimbblet E.A.Milne Centre for Astrophysics
Adriano Poci Macquarie University
Chris Power ICRAR/UWA
Yuxiang Qin The University of Melbourne
Elaine Sadler University of Sydney
Sarah Schmidt Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP)
Katrina Sealey AAO
Andrew Sheinis AAO
Brooke Simmons UC San Diego
Jeffrey Simpson Australian Astronomical Observatory
Jesse Swan University of Tasmania
Sarah Sweet Swinburne
Dan Taranu ICRAR/UWA
Yuan-Sen Ting Australian National University
Sarah Tuttle University of Washington, Seattle
Jesse van de Sande Sydney Institute for Astronomy
Benedetta Vulcani University of Melbourne
Nicholas Walton Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge
John Weatherall UNSW
Vivienne Wild University of St Andrews
Christian Wolf ANU
Duncan Wright AAO
Zeeshan Yousaf Department of Mathematics, University of the Punjab, Lahore-54590, Pakistan
Tayyaba Zafar AAO
Ling Zhu MPIA
Daniel Zucker Macquarie University / AAO

How to access the Crystal Ballroom Luna Park:

Airport Shuttle bus

For visitors arriving from Kingsford Smith Sydney Airport, there are a number of Airport Shuttle buses that service the Sydney area. The shuttle service costs around $45 per trip, with cost able to be split between passengers if more than one individual is going. If you would like to book a shuttle service, please go to Airport Shuttle North's website.

Travelling by car

Approaching from the city, go over the Harbour Bridge and the Luna Park Entry to the car park is via Paul Street, just off Alfred St South, Milsons Point. More detailed driving instructions can be found by going to Luna Park Sydney.

Please note Sydney has many toll roads and they are cashless; cars passing these tolls need an electronic tag on their vehicle. Visitors to Sydney may obtain visitor passes for automatic tolls by registering for a pass on RTA's My E-Toll website or the Roam website.

For more information please visit Sydney Motorways and their tags and passes page.

By taxi

A taxi from the airport to Luna Park costs about $80.

By bus

Sydney buses run regularly and reliably. Many North Shore bus routes pass the nearby North Sydney Station and/or terminate at Milsons Point (just a five minute stroll from Luna Park) so they’re a fast, easy and picturesque way to get to Luna Park. Details of current timetables and fares can be obtained from Sydney Buses.

By train

A train from Sydney (Townhall or Wynyard) to Milsons Point station will take about 15 minutes, and it is then a short walk to Luna Park. For more information please visit Sydney Trains.

Crystal Ballroom Luna Park


The conference dinner will be on the evening of Thursday 8 June and will be held in the centre of Sydney at Doltone House - Hyde Park (Level 3, 181 Elizabeth St, Sydney), overlooking the beautiful Hyde Park.

All travellers to Australia must have a valid visa before boarding their plane.

Participants require either a eVisitor (subclass 651) or a Electronic Travel Authority (subclass 601) visa. You can use the Visit Australia website of the Australia Goverment to help you decide the visa you need for entering Australia.

The eVisitor (subclass 651) visa is free and it is available for short (up to 3 months) visits or for business visitor purposes. Participants must apply for it at least 2 weeks before traveling to Australia and must have a passport of certain countries (including Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.K.). Please check the details of your case in the eVisitor (subclass 651) visa webpage.

The a Electronic Travel Authority (ETA, subclass 601) visa costs 20 AUD and it is available for short (up to 3 months) visits or for business visitor purposes. Participants must apply for it at least 2 weeks before traveling to Australia and must have a passport of certain countries (including Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S.A.). Please check the details of your case in a the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA, subclass 601) visa webpage.

Conference participants who are not eligible to apply for an eVisitor or ETA visa need to request a "Letter of Invitation" to supplement their application.


Please send any queries to: Jeffrey.Simpson at