The Wetton Workshop opened today with amazing talks by Udalski and Wyrzykowski about the OGLE project and data. It is truly incredible what has been achieved in this survey, which was designed with a very forward-looking goal of detecting microlensing by compact objects in the dark sector. The project detected all kinds of other expected and unexpected time-domain phenomena. These talks were followed by Alexander Scholz (St Andrews) providing some philosophical basis for looking for and at anomalies in data streams. He gave the good advice (and OGLE is a great example of this) to look at timescales or wavelengths or precisions where no-one has looked before. Hear, hear! (He is also the lead of the WETI project, of which I am a big fan.)
There were too many things that I loved today; I can't list them all here! But one personal highlight was an exciting talk by Thomas Wevers about the Gaia alerts system, which is putting Gaia data on-line in real time when stars vary strongly, or when new sources appear on the sky. It produces a few alerts a day, and the data dump includes the epoch photometry and the raw Bp-Rp low-resolution spectra! This got me extremely excited: I haven't seen any Bp-Rp spectra yet, and there are now thousands online. I resolved to look at them asap. Wevers warned us that the spectra are not calibrated in any sense: Not in wavelength or in photometrically.