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Universität zu Köln
Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Fachgruppe Physik

I. Physikalisches Institut

SOFIA Winter School 2014

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Focus of the meeting
The first SOFIA winter school is intended to bring together young astronomers, scientists, and experienced SOFIA users from the German community at a 5 day meeting dealing with SOFIA relevant astrophysics of the interstellar medium.
The winter school is organized by the DFG Schwerpunkt-Programm Physics of the Interstellar Medium and the DFG Sonderforschungsbereich SFB 956 Conditions and Impact of Star Formation.
The workshop will include lectures on the physics of the interstellar medium (ISM), such as basics of spectroscopy, dust polarimetry, and the dynamics of the ISM, but also practical courses targeting proposal preparation soft skills and preparation/simulation of observations. Special focus will be on the German PI instruments GREAT and FIFI-LS.
There will be ample time for poster presentations and discussions, so we encourage all participants to bring a poster.
On February 13, we envisage a discussion on SOFIA future instrumentation, both in the sense of scientific topics and technological possibilities, see section below.
The meeting will be limited to 60 participants.
Special event:
Future SOFIA Science and Instrumentation
February 13, 2014
, see details on the left.
SOFIA winter school 2014 poster for download and printout: PDF

Special event: Future SOFIA Science and Instrumentation
On February 13, 2014, we will have a 1-day special event to brainstorm the ideas on future science  and instrumentation for SOFIA. This brainstorming should involve as many perspectives and opinions as possible from the community.
This is your chance to actively participate in shaping the next generation SOFIA science and instrumentation!
You are invited to both oral (~20 minutes) and poster contributions. Participants who do not want to contribute with their own presentation, but want to participate in the discussion, are of course welcome as well.
Special event program
Register for the special event here.

All sessions will take place the conference hall of the  "Seminargebäude" (PDF map), opposite of main university building (in the back on the left hand side).

Universitätsstraße 37
50931 Köln

Please view map (PDF) or read turn-by-turn directions how to get there.

From Hotel ibis-styles Koeln City:
Distance to SOFIA Winter School 2014  venue at the Seminargebäude (Albertus-Magnus-Platz): 1,4km (< 1 mile / 18min)
Once you exit the hotel, you’ll be on Babarossaplatz. From there, you turn into Kyffhäuserstraße and follow it until you reach the intersection with Zülpicherstraße. You pass the intersection and continue to walk straight ahead, down Zülpicher Straße, passing the tram station Dasselstraße/Bf. Süd along the way. You walk down Zülpicher Straße until you reach the intersection of Züpicher Straße and Universitätsstraße. Then, you turn right and walk along Universitätsstraße until you reach the main entrance of Cologne University at Albertus-Magnus-Platz. The Seminargebäude is the sandstone building on the opposite site of the main entrance, across the square.

From Hotel Mado:
Distance to SOFIA Winter School 2014  venue at the Seminargebäude (Albertus-Magnus-Platz): 1,2km (< 1 mile / 16min)
Once you exit the hotel,  you’ll walk straight ahead along Moselstraße until you reach the intersection with Zülpicherstraße. You turn left at the intersection and then walk straight ahead again, down Zülpicher Straße, passing the tram station Dasselstraße/Bf. Süd along the way. You walk down Zülpicher Straße until you reach the intersection of Züpicher Straße and Universitätsstraße. Then, you turn right and walk along Universitätsstraße until you reach the main entrance of Cologne University at Albertus-Magnus-Platz. The Seminargebäude is the sandstone building on the opposite site of the main entrance, across the square.

Lunch at the university canteen
For having lunch at the university canteen you need either a voucher or plastic money. You can get both in the canteen building, Zülpicher Straße 70. The ticket booth is located in the first floor opposite of the coffee shop. For the 'canteen card”'(plastic money) one has to deposit 5 EURO. When returning the card, you will receive the left over money and the deposit in cash. Please be aware that the card can only be returned during the very limited opening hours.
In case you prefer a voucher you need to select your meal first. Then you buy the respective voucher at the ticket booth.

The opening hours of the ticket booth are:

Monday | 13.00 – 14.00

Tuesday | 12.30 - 13.30

Wednesday | 12.30 - 13.30

Thursday | 12.30 - 13.30

Friday | 12.30 - 13.30

Program and speakers

The following list of confirmed speakers contains preliminary titles of their lectures/talks. The topics and contents will be iterated and fine tuned with the speakers.

SOFIA and its instruments
Chemistry and Spectroscopy ISM, star formation
SOFIA overview,
Hans Zinnecker, SOFIA/USRA
Chemistry in the interstellar medium,
Peter Schilke, University of Cologne
Star Formation - Observables,
Ralf Klessen, Heidelberg University
Nicola Schneider, Laboratoire d'astrophysique de Bordeaux
Rolf Güsten, MPIfR, Bonn
Key molecules: Hydrides, radicals, rotational transitions, lambda doubling,
Thomas Giesen, University Kassel
Molecular cloud formation/structure, turbulence,
Stefanie Walch, University of Cologne
Alfred Krabbe, DSI, Stuttgart
Fine structure lines, CII, OI, NII, excitation, critical densities,
Volker Ossenkopf, University of Cologne
Heating/cooling processes in the ISM,
Harold Yorke, NASA/JPL
US SOFIA instruments and instrumentation program,
Erick Young, SOFIA/USRA
Deuterated molecules, ortho/para, isotopes/isotopologues,
Stephan Schlemmer, University of Cologne
Shocks and PDRs,
Antoine Gusdorf, LERMA/ENS, Paris
Markus Röllig, University of Cologne
Galaxies, incl. LMC/SMC,
Suzanne Madden, CEA, Paris
Synergies with ground based observatories and new SOFIA science
Karl Menten, MPIfR, Bonn
Proposal preparation and submission tool/SOFIA phase II planning and scheduling
Göran Sandell, SOFIA/USRA
Dust diagnostics: The potential of imaging polarimetry,
Sebastian Wolf, Kiel University
Instrument upgrades, next generation, instruments, future southern deployments, targets of opp., etc.
Stutzki, Young, Zinnecker
GREAT: observing modes, time estimates, observing simulation, data calibration
FIFI-LS: observing modes
Alfred Krabbe, DSI, Stuttgart


Social event

On Tuesday (February 11, 2014) you will have the chance to experience Cologne's cultural heritage. First you may visit the Cologne Cathedral "Kölner Dom", which is is one of the architectural masterpieces of mankind and a declared World Cultural Heritage Site as a perfect example of Gothic construction. It is also the country's most popular architectural monument. Please feel free to discover the Cathedral on your own or to select between two guided tours for which pre-registration is mandatory.

a) onto the Cathedral roof (in German language, max. 17 persons)
b) to the Cathedral excavation (in English language, max. 20 persons).

Both guided tours will start at 5:45 pm. Meeting point for both tours is the main entrance of the Cathedral.

How to get from the venue to Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom): (about 15min)
You take tram line 9 to Neumarkt from either of the following stations: “Universität” (near the I. Physikalisches Institut) or “Dasselstraße/Bf. Süd” (close to the university refectory or Mensa). Once you arrive at Neumarkt, you change to subway line 16 or 18 moving in the direction of “Dom/Hbf”. You exit the subway at the station “Dom/Hbf”. Leave the main station building to find Cologne Cathedral in front you.

At 7:30 pm you are welcome to enjoy local food at a typical brewery "Brauhaus Sion", of which there are only a few left in Cologne. The brewery is located in the old part of the city not far from the Cathedral and the river Rhine (map).

Brauhaus Sion
Unter Taschenmacher 5-7
50667 Köln
phone: +49 (0)221 - 2578540


Meeting program

The preliminary meeting schedule can be found here.


Two hotels in walking distance to the venue will offer rooms at preferential rates.
To use this, you have to do the reservation by email or phone and indicate "SOFIA".

Hotel Mado GmbH
Moselstr. 36
50674 Köln, Germany
Phone: +49 221 924190
Fax: +49 221 92419101
Room rate: single € 75.00, double € 95.00 (plus 12% tax/levy)
Deadline for preferential room rate: December 15, 2013
Distance to venue: 1.5 km, 0.93 miles

Hotel ibis-styles Koeln City
Barbarossaplatz 4a
50674 Köln, Germany
Phone: +49 221 9215200
Fax: +49 221 9215208
Room rate: single € 81.84 (plus 12% tax/levy)
Deadline for preferential room rate: January 9, 2014
Distance to venue: 1.6 km, 0.99 miles

The rates include breakfast and WiFi. Please pay attention to the preferential price deadlines!

Earliest check-in time is 2 pm, check out time is noon. Luggage can be dropped off at the hotel before check in and after check out.

Number of participants

Due to the limited capacity and in order to provide a good atmosphere for discussions and scientific exchange, there will be a hard upper limit of 60 participants.


Registration is done via a web form.
Please go to the form and supply the information as asked in the form. You will be notified of your registration by email.
There is no registration fee.

Scientific Organizing Committee
Frank Bertoldi Argelander Institut für Astronomie Universität Bonn
Dominik Bomans Astronomisches Institut der Ruhr-Universität Bochum Bochum
Andreas Burkert Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München München
Rolf Güsten Max Planck Institut für Radioastronomie Bonn
Ralf Klessen Zentrum für Astronomie Universität Heidelberg
Alfred Krabbe Deutsches SOFIA Institut Universität Stuttgart
Jürgen Schmitt Hamburger Sternwarte Universität Hamburg
Jürgen Stutzki I. Physikalisches Institut Universität zu Köln
Sebastian Wolf Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel Kiel
Hans Zinnecker Deutsches SOFIA Institut Germany


Local Organizing Committee
Susanne Herbst SFB 956
Markus Röllig KOSMA
Marc Schartmann MPE Garching
Robert Simon KOSMA
Jürgen Stutzki KOSMA
Helmut Wiesemeyer MPIfR Bonn


Staff schedule 10.-14.02.2014 (PDF)

If you have any questions or comments regarding the meeting, please contact us via sofiaschool2014 (at)