Highlights of Spanish Astrophysics V
Astronomy is a scienti?c discipline that has developed a rapid and impressive growth in Spain. Thirty years ago, Spain occupied a purely anecdotal presence in the international context, but today it occupies the eighth position in the world in publication of astronomical articles, and, among other successes, owns and op- ates ninety per cent of the world’s largest optical telescope GTC (Gran Telescopio Canarias). The Eighth Scienti?c Meeting of the Spanish Astronomical Society (Sociedad Espanol ˜ a de Astronom´ a, SEA), held in Santander in July 7–11 2008, whose p- ceedings are in your hands, clearly shows the enthusiasm, motivation and quality of the present Spanish astronomical community. The event brought together 322 participants, who represent almost 50% of Spanish professional astronomers. This percentage, together with the continuously increasing, with respect to previous SEA meetings, number of oral presentations and poster contributions (179 and 127 respectively), con?rms that the SEA conferences have become a point of reference to assess the interests and achievements of astrophysical research in Spain. The most important and current topics of modern Astrophysics were taken into accountat thepreliminarymeeting,aswell as the numberandqualityofparticipants and their contributions, to select the invited speakers and oral contributors. We took a week to enjoy the high quality contributions submitted by Spanish astronomers to the Scienti?c Organizing Committee. The selection was dif?cult. We wish to acknowledge the gentle advice and commitment of the SOC members.