The new era of Astronomical exploration

Applications are now closed

Alpha-Cen meeting and Guatemalan School of Astrophysics
NEAE a-Cen/GUASA 2023

Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, July 2-8, 2023

In person conference and school, live streaming for some of the talks will be provided

The students workshops will be delivered in english, short talks and posters can be either in spanish or english 

Direct contact:


This event will offer two morning parallel sessions:

  1. School workshops for undergraduate students 
  2. Alpha-Cen strategic planning meetings for Alpha-Cen members

and short scientific talks in the afternoon

The student workshops will focus on state-of-the-art instruments and techniques in Astronomy. This includes but it is not limited to multi-messenger case studies in Astrophysics using cutting-edge radio and optical telescopes like SOFIA, VLA. The school will also include workshops on new technologies impacting the field such as  James Webb Space Telescope, Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, HAWC (High Altitude Water Cherenkov), the Roman Space Telescope, and IceCube neutrino observatory.

This event is a collaboration between Alpha-Cen and the Guatemalan School of Astrophysics (GUASA).


  • Sunday 2nd of July – Opening breakfast in Guatemala city. Travel by bus to Quetzaltenango and settle in reserved accommodation
  • Monday 3rd, Tuesday 4th, Thursday 6th, Friday 7th of July – Student workshops and short talks
  • Wednesday 5th of July – Local excursion + Professional development and inclusion workshop
  • Friday 7th of July at 3pm – Official closure
  • Saturday 8th of July – Travel from Quetzaltenango to Guatemala city by bus

Important dates and Links

Important Dates:

  • 5 of February: Applications for talks, student workshops, and attendance open
  • 5 March: Applications for students workshops and short talks close
  • 25 March: The Successful students and speakers will be notified
  • 15 April: Deadline to confirm attendance

Conference Fee:

  • e10 for undergrad students
  • e50 online, e100 in person for graduate students 
  • e100 online, e200 in person for researchers 

The fee can be waved on request.

Who can attend this event

  • Morning student workshops: These workshops are meant for undergrad students. Priority will be given to Alpha-Cen members and students from: Central America and the Caribbean, diverse groups and first nation peoples
  • Alpha-Cen strategic planning sessions: These session are meant for Alpha-Cen members only
  • Short talks and poster session: These sessions are open to any one interested in presenting Astronomy-related research. Priority will be given to Alpha-Cen members

School/GUASA speakers

Dr. Liliana Rivera Sandoval is an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) in Brownsville, Texas. She studied physics at BUAP. The master’s degree in astronomy at IA-UNAM and the PhD at the University of Amsterdam. She later did postdocs at Texas Tech University and the University of Alberta in Canada, where she was the first Latin American woman to receive the Avadh Bhatia Postdoctoral Fellowship. She has obtained awards in Mexico and abroad as student and researcher. In 2021 she was the recipient of the prestigious Gruber Postdoctoral Fellowship awarded by the International Astronomical Union. Her research areas are multifrequency observations of stellar remnants (or compact objects) and transient events. She is a frequent user of NASA space telescopes. Liliana also supports, encourages and promotes the work of women, Latin American researchers and other minorities in science through different media.

Dr Dario Carbone is a professor in Physics and Astronomy at the University of the Virgin Islands.
He obtained his Bachelor and Master degrees from the University of Milan Bicocca in Milan, IT and his PhD from the University of Amsterdam, NL. After that he became a Postdoctoral Fellow at Texas Tech University.

He specialises in understanding the transient and variable Universe. He studies compact objects such as black holes and neutron starts. He studies how these objects form during a supernova event, how they accrete mass if they have a companion star from which they steal matter, forming an X-ray binary system, and how sometime they merge in a gravitational wave event. 

He has performed most of his observations using the Very Large Array (VLA). He is a member of the JAGWAR team that will observe future neutron star-neutron star merger events in radio. He is also a member of ThunderKAT that is the team looking for radio transients using the MeerKAT radio interferometer based in South Africa. 

Dr. María Magdalena González Sánchez was born in Mexico City where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physics from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in 1998. In 2005 she obtained her Ph.D. in U.S.A., where her performance as a doctoral student was recognized through the Hirsfelder and Van Vleck awards. She began a postdoctoral position at the Institute of Astronomy (IA) of the UNAM, which she joined in 2007 as a researcher.

The scientific contributions of Dr. González have focused on the study of gamma-ray flashes and active centers of galaxies as possible ultra-energetic cosmic ray accelerators. The work of Dr. González was recognized by the Los Alamos National Laboratory, granting her the “Achievement Award” in 2003. Much of her work has been dedicated to the creation of infrastructure of very high energy gamma ray observatories in Mexico. She started the HAWC observatory located in the Sierra Negra volcano in the state of Puebla. She was awarded the “OWSD Award for Young Women Scientist” in the area of ​​Physics and Mathematics for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) in 2011. In 2013, Dr. González was recognized by the UNAM  as one of the most cited researchers in 2012 in the area of ​​Astronomy. In 2015 was awarded the Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz award for her university work. 

Dr. Antonio Marinelli, Graduated in Physics at University of Bologna and doctorate in Physics at University of Pisa, “PhD Galileo Galilei school” (2010). After several years of postdoc between UNAM, Pisa and Naples, He is currently assistant professor at University of Naples “Federico II”. In the last years his activity comprises the phenomenological analysis of astrophysical high-energy emission as well as the study of Cherenkov detectors discovery potential. In particular his focuses refer to high-energy hadronic emission from: Radio galaxies, starburst galaxies, blazars and diffuse Galactic emission; as well as their detectability through Km^3 neutrino telescopes and high altitude water Cherenkov telescopes.

Dr Skarleth Motiño is a Honduran astrophysics, she graduated of bachelor in physics from the National Autonomous University of Honduras. Posteriorly she did her Ph.D. in Astrophysics at the Catholic University of America, in Washington DC. Where she focus on the study of star formation histories and Interstellar medium (ISM) content in local Blue Compact Dwarf Galaxies, and their relation with high redshift galaxies. Currently, Skarleth is a research associate at the NASA Ames Research Center, for the SOFIA science center and USRA. Her research focuses on studies of fine structure lines in the infrared regime to characterize the ISM of Dwarf star-forming galaxies. She also contribute to the process of data reduction and quality control for the SOFIA telescope as part of the data processing team for HAWC+ instrument.