Observational cosmology has traditionally focused on the outskirts of the visible universe, with an ever increasing appetite to reach deeper into space and backwards in time. Recently, cosmologists have realized that treasures are buried much closer to home. In the last decade cosmologists have turned into archeologists as they search for fossils and clues on the formation of the Milky Way in the present day structure of nearby objects: so-called Near Field Cosmology and (extra-) galactic archeology The Milky Way and Andromeda are possibly the two galaxies that are best observed compared with any other. Moreover, detailed observations of tiny nearby dwarfs have shed light on the properties of a population of galaxies which can be observed only in our local neighborhood. The sizes and emptiness of the large voids seen in the nearby universe may help to discriminate between different cosmological models. The largest cosmological structures - clusters of galaxies and superclusters can be observed on very large distances however the most detailed observations are available in our cosmic neighborhood.
In order to make full use of the potential of all the excellent observational data of nearby objects it is important to study the formation of the local universe from a theoretical point of view as well. Over the last two decades numerous attempts have been made to use observational data to reconstruct the initial conditions from which the structure of the local universe formed, and to study its evolution.
Topics to be discussed:
- Redshift surveys and peculiar velocity based reconstructions of the LSS
- Objects, observed and simulated, in the Local Group
- Nearby groups, clusters and voids
- Impact of reionization on observed structures
- Observed and simulated velocity fields in the nearby universe
- Galaxies and dwarfs in the local universe
- The cosmic web