We’re very pleased to present the Unproceedings of the Fourth .Astronomy Conference (.Astronomy 4), which was held in Heidelberg, Germany, July 9-11 2012. The goal of the .Astronomy conference series is to bring together astronomers, educators, developers and others interested in using the Internet as a medium for astronomy. Attendance at the event is limited to approximately 50 participants, and days are split into mornings of scheduled talks, followed by ‘unconference’ afternoons, where sessions are defined by participants during the course of the event. Participants in unconference sessions are discouraged from formal presentations, with discussion, workshop-style formats or informal practical tutorials encouraged. The conference also designates one day as a ‘hack day’, in which attendees collaborate in groups on day-long projects for presentation the following morning. These hacks are often a way of concentrating effort, learning new skills, and exploring ideas in a practical fashion.
The emphasis on informal, focused interaction makes recording proceedings more difficult than for a normal meeting. While the first .Astronomy conference is preserved formally in a book, more recent iterations are not documented. We therefore, in the spirit of .Astronomy, report ‘unproceedings’ from .Astronomy 4, which was held in Heidelberg in July 2012.
These Unproceedings were primarily written by the following .Astronomy 4 participants: Robert J. Simpson (1), Chris Lintott (1), Amanda Bauer (2), Bruce Berriman (3,4), Edward Gomez (5), Sarah Kendrew (6), Thomas Kitching (7), August Muench (8), Demitri Muna (9), Thomas Robitaille (6), Megan E. Schwamb (10), Brooke Simmons (1). Institutions: (1) Oxford University, (2) Australian Astronomical Observatory, (3) IPAC, (4) Caltech, (5) LCOGT, (6) MPIA, (7) MSSL/UCL, (8) Harvard CfA, (9) New York University, (10) Yale University.