| During the first week of September, about 100 astronomers from (almost) all over the world (see inset) gathered in Dwingeloo to attend a meeting called Life-cycle of gas in galaxies: A Local Perspective.
The aim of the meeting was to discuss the latest developments relating to studies on the atomic hydrogen gas in nearby galaxies. Gas is a crucial component of galaxies and it is impossible to understand the structure and evolution of galaxies without knowing their gas properties, how galaxies consume their gas through star formation, and how they acquire fresh gas by accretion. Only in the local Universe one can study all these processes in the highest detail.
This meeting was timely because the surveys planned for the SKA pathfinders, such as Apertif, ASKAP and MeerKat, are about to begin, and they will soon cause a breakthrough in our understanding of the cold gas properties of galaxies. They will provide, for the first time, a complete and detailed census of the HI properties of galaxies in the local Universe.
Many exciting results were presented and discussed, clearly showing that the community is getting geared up for the avalanche of new data that will come from the pathfinders and that they are eagerly waiting for the first data sets coming from Apertif.