Hong Kong Astrobiology

  • HKU Home

News

The XIth Pacific Rim Conference on Stellar Astrophysics in Hong Kong, December 14-17, 2015

Physics and Chemistry of the Late Stages of Stellar Evolution.

History

The series of Pacific Rim Conference on Stellar Astrophysics has been successfully run for 30 years (since 1985). Prior locations that it has been held include Beijing, Seoul, Lijiang, Phuket, Ching Mai, Xian, and other cities in the Asian Pacific Rim. We are pleased to announce that the next meeting will be held in Hong Kong and we are writing to invite you to participate in this meeting.

Scientific rationale

In the last one million years of stellar evolution, from the late asymptotic giant branch to planetary nebulae to white dwarfs, we witness fascinating physical and chemical processes at work. With the nucleosynthesis of carbon, we see the rapid synthesis of molecules, first in the stellar atmosphere, and later in the stellar winds. The stellar winds completely deplete the stellar envelope and expose the hot core of the star. A change in the stellar wind mechanism leads to a fast wind, which compresses the previous ejecta into a planetary nebula. At the same time, a magical metamorphosis takes place, transforming the spherical circumstellar envelope into bipolar (and even multipolar) morphological structures through yet-unknown physical mechanisms.

Along with the rapidly increasing temperature of the central star, we see the beginning of photoionization and the emission of strong atomic lines from the nebulae. In these nebulae, we see the emergence of complex organic compounds of aromatic and aliphatic structures, as well as large molecules such as fullerene. How such complex organics are synthesized under an extremely low density environment is not understood. These complex molecules and solids are spread throughout the interstellar medium, and may have enriched our primordial Solar System.

In this conference, we will address the many unsolved mysteries in the late stages of stellar evolution. These issues have bearings on our understanding of stellar evolution, chemical synthesis, astrochemistry, and may be even the origin of life.

Conference format

We would like to promote interdisciplinary cross fertilization among different fields. We hope for a casual and spontaneous atmosphere during the meeting. In addition to invited and contributed talks and poster sessions, there will be ample time for informal discussions and interactions.

Location

The conference will be held in the new Centennial campus of the University of Hong Kong. Weather in Hong Kong in December is pleasant, usually dry with an expected temperature of around 20°C. Hong Kong has a lot to offer, in particular in culture, cuisines, shopping, and outdoor activities. An excursion will be organized on Wednesday afternoon followed by a typical Cantonese banquet in the evening. An optional semi-guided tour to Macau will be organized after the conference if there is sufficient interest. Information will be provided for those who are interested in concerts, museums, hiking, and other tourist activities.

Logistics

Hong Kong is a major international airline hub and has non-stop direct flights from many cities around the world. The airport is served by a direct rail link to the city. Travel within Hong Kong is easy with many modes of transportation: subway, trams, buses, ferries and taxis.

Block reservations have been made with a number of local hotels. Details will be available on our web site: www.scifac.hku.hk/event/PRCSA2015

Timetable

September, 2014: first announcement

January 2015: advanced registration and abstract submission opens

August 2015: deadline for advanced registration and abstract submission

Contact

If you are interested in attending this meeting, please write a note to conf2015@hku.hk and we will keep your name on the list of the 2nd announcement.

Scientific Organizing Committee

We are grateful that a number of distinguished scientists have agreed to serve on the SOC.

Kam Ching Leung (U.S.A.): co-chair

Sun Kwok (Hong Kong): co-chair

Bruce Balick (USA)

You Hua Chu (Taiwan)

Edward Guinan (USA)

John Lattanzio (Australia)

Xiao Wei Liu (China)

Alberto Lopez (Mexico)

Young Minh (Korea)

Shengbang Qian (China)

Detlef Schönberner (Germany)

Brian Warner (South Africa)

Bob Williams (U.S.A.)

Go to top