| The ASTERICS project held its second General Assembly in Amsterdam recently. The project is making good progress with all deliverables submitted on time, and with some developments even ahead of schedule. One point of concern is that in some projects staff recruitment is lagging behind a bit (a common problem with new European projects) but hopefully we can redress this issue in the coming 6 months. The ASTERICS External Advisory Board (AEAB) also attended the GA, and were able to provide some useful feedback on how they see the project from an independent perspective. In short, the project is in good shape for the next major milestone - the 18 month project review at the end of the year.
ASTERICS brings together the large ESFRI astronomy and astro-particle physics facilities for the first time in a single EC project. It was therefore very appropriate that the meeting concluded with the live streaming of the NSF announcement of the discovery of gravitational waves. The elegancy of this profound result made a deep impression on all the participants. This followed on from the detection of neutrinos from a AGN (blazar) published on astro-ph earlier in the week, not to mention the growing expectation that fundamental progress is about to be announced on our understanding of the transient radio sky, and the nature of Fast Radio Bursts.
All-in-all, one can safely say that the era of multi-wavelength/multi-messenger astronomy has truly begun, making ASTERICS a very timely initiative indeed!
For more information on ASTERICS, see: https://www.asterics2020.eu