I administrative meetings, deadlines

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Principal topics

  • communicating astronomy to the public

  • astronomy education

  • cooperation and development

  • IYA global projects (Cornerstones and Special Projects)

  • IYA national activities

  • astronomy and new media

  • the impact and legacy of IYA

Preliminary program

Welcome on behalf of the IAU (I) C.J. Cesarsky

Welcome on behalf of the UNESCO (I) Y. Berenguer

Coordinating IYA2009 (I) P. Russo, L. Lindberg Christensen

National activities: status reports from 15 countries

Organisational Node activities: status reports

- European Southern Observatory

- Astronomical Society of the Pacific

- International Education and Resource Network

- Space Generation Advisory Council

- International Planetarium Society

Cornerstones: status reports

- 100 Hours of Astronomy

- The Galileoscope

- Cosmic Diary

- The Portal to the Universe

- She is an Astronomer

- Dark Skies Awareness

- Astro & World Heritage

- Galileo Teacher Training Program

- Universe Awareness

- From Earth to the Universe

- Developing Astronomy Globally

Special projects: status reports (I) M. Barrosa

IYA2009 evaluation (I) P. Russo, L. Lindberg Christensen, M. Barrosa

IYA2009 legacy: expectations (I) C.J. Cesarsky

General discussion (chair: S. Deustua)

IYA2009 legacy towards IAU Strategic Plan on Astronomy

for the developing world (I) G.K. Miley

Astronomy and media: rewards and problems (I) A. Brahic

The International Year of Planet Earth (I) Ed de Mulder

Lessons learnt (tbd)

SpS3 Astronomy in Antarctica

6 - 7 August 2009

Coordinating Division: IX

SOC chair: Michael G. Burton (Australia).

SOC members: Carlos A. Abia (Spain), John E. Carlstrom (USA), Vincent Coudé du Foresto (France), Xiangqun Cui (China), Sebastián Gurovich (Argentina), Takashi Ichikawa (Japan), James P. Lloyd (USA), Mark J. McCaughrean (UK), Gino Tosti (Italy), and Hans Zinnecker (Germany).

Editor: Michael G. Burton

Contact: Michael G. Burton


Principal topics

  • the current state of Antarctic astronomy, with winter-time facilities now operating at both South Pole and Dome C on the high plateau,

  • plans for astronomical facilities at Domes A and F

  • review of status of these facilities

  • new science results, including results from the International Polar Year of 2007/08.

  • grand design observatories, facilities that might be built in the future, once the new high plateau bases are well established.

Preliminary program

Outline Program (* denotes confirmed speaker)

I. Overview of Antarctic Astronomy

Introduction & Overview (I) M.G. Burton

The SCAR Scientific Research Program: Astronomy and

Astrophysics from Antarctica (I) J.W.V. Storey

II. The South Pole

The South Pole Telescope (I) J.E. Carlstrom (tbc)

IceCube (I) K. Filimonov

Future plans (I) V. Papatishvili

III. Dome C

ARENA, a roadmap for astronomy in Antarctica at

Concordia Station (Dome C) (I) N. Epchtein

The IRAIT telescope project (I) (tbd)

Future plans (I) V. Coudé du Foresto

IV. Dome A

The CSTAR telescope (I) X.-Q. Cui

The PLATO site testing observatory (I) M. Ashley

Future plans (I) L. Wang

V. Dome F

Plans for Dome F (I) T. Ichikawa

VI. McMurdo Long Duration Balloon Facility

The Stratospheric Terahertz Observatory (I) Member of the STO consortium

VII. Visions for Antarctic Astronomy

Science for the Antarctic Plateau: what should we do? (I) H. Zinnecker

SpS4 Astronomy Education between Past and Future

6 - 10 August 2009

Coordinating Division: XII

SOC chairs: Rajesh Kochhar (India), Jean-Pierre de Greve (Belgium), and Edward F. Guinan (USA).

SOC members: John B. Hearnshaw (New Zealand), George K. Miley (Netherlands), Ian E. Robson (UK), Rosa M. Ros (Spain), Il Seong Nha (Rep. of Korea), Malcolm G. Smith (USA), and Antonio Videra (Brasil).

Editors: Rajesh Kochhar, Jean-Pierre de Greve, Magda G. Stavinschi & Edward F. Guinan

Contacts: Rajesh Kochhar

Jean-Pierre de Greve


Principal topics

  • research and best practices in teaching and learning methodologies in sciences, specifically in physics

  • astronomy as a trigger towards science education (including best practices in innovative astronomy teaching)

  • cultural and historical astronomy: the importance of non-western views of the skies for astronomy teaching in both developing and developed countries

  • teaching astronomy in developing countries

  • innovative learning and training initiatives other than teaching

  • the role of astronomy education at specific phases and ages, from age 4 to university/PhD

  • the use of educational telescopes

  • IAU sponsored education and development programs

  • networking activities enhancing connectivity among young people in the International Astronomical Year

  • the IAU decadal plan for world astronomy.

Preliminary program


SpS5 Accelerating the Rate of Astronomical Discovery

11 - 14 August 2009

Coordinating Division: XII

SOC chairs: Raymond P. Norris (Australia) and Clive L.N. Ruggles (UK).

SOC members: David H. DeVorkin (USA), Françoise Genova (France), Bambang Hidayat (Indonesia), Norio Kaifu (Japan), Rajesh Kochhar (India), Vicent J. Martinez-Gracia (Spain), Malcolm Smith (Chile), Robert Smith (Canada), Magdalena G. Stavinschi (Romania), Virginia L. Trimble (USA), Sueli M.M. Viegas (Brasil), Patricia A. Whitelock (South Africa), and Shi Yunli (China)

Principal topics

  • the impact of concentrating resources on big instruments rather than small ones

  • the impact of electronic access to data and publications - could we do it better?

  • have we achieved the best way to allocate time on major telescopes?

  • is astronomical progress limited by discrimination or by the ‘Digital Divide’?

  • what will be the impact of enormously large data sets?

  • are our telescopes and their instrumentation approaching fundamental physical limits?

  • how do we balance popular “bandwagons” against innovative but less popular ideas?

  • do we have the optimal system for training young astronomers?

  • do we need more cross-fertilisation between disciplines and fields?

  • how should we optimize international collaboration, particularly on major missions?

Editors: Raymond P. Norris & Clive L.N. Ruggles

Contact: Raymond P. Norris


Preliminary program

I. Back to the future

What has worked well in the past? What can we learn from case studies in 20th century astronomy that might inform astronomical progress in the 21st century,

II. Creativity and innovation

Do we understand the process of creativity and innovation and are we providing the right environment for them to flourish? Or do we crowd out innovative thinking? Have we struck the right balance between popular “bandwagons” and innovative but less popular ideas?

III. Big or small?

Is progress enhanced or limited by concentrating resources on big instruments (e.g. National Facilities) rather than small ones (e.g. University Department instruments)?

IV. Data and information

What has been the impact of our growing ease of electronic access to data and publications? How could it be better?

V. Resource allocation

How effective are decadal plans? Have we achieved the best way to allocate time on major telescopes? Do peer-reviewed proposals necessarily produce better science than projects allocated time outside the peer-review system?

VI. Discrimination

Is astronomy’s ability to tap into the brightest minds being limited by discrimination (age, gender, nationality, religion, ethnicity, wavelength, handicaps, etc.), by the Digital Divide, or by the gap in astronomy support between rich and poor countries?

VII. Limits to growth

Are there limits to the growth of the astronomical community? Are we approaching fundamental limits of our telescopes and their instrumentation, such as quantum and statistical limits?

VIII. Education

Do we have the optimal system for training young astronomers in developed countries? How do we educate scientists in less developed countries?

IX. Cross-fertilisation and collaboration

Do we need more cross-fertilisation between astronomy and other disciplines?

X. Astronomy in culture

How is the progress of modern western astronomical research influenced by wider perceptions of astronomy, and of science in general?

Confirmed invited speakers:
Roger M. Bonnet (France), David H. DeVorkin (USA), Françoise Genova
(France), Virginia L. Trimble (USA), Simon D.M. White (Germany),
Patricia A. Whitelock (South Africa), Robert Williams (USA).

SpS6 Planetary Systems as Potential Sites for Life

10 - 11 August 2009

Coordinating Division: III

SOC chair: Régis Courtin (France)

SOC members: Carlo Blanco (Italy), Alan P. Boss (USA), Guy J. Consolmagno (Vatican City), Cristiano B. Cosmovici (Italy), Pascale Foing Ehrenfreund (Netherlands), Leonid V. Ksanfomality (Russia), Luisa M. Lara (Spain), David W. Latham (USA), Michel Mayor (Switzerland), Melissa A. McGrath (USA), Karen J. Meech (USA), David Morrison (USA), John R. Spencer (USA), Viktor G. Tejfel (Kazakhstan), and Stephane Udry (Switzerland).

Editors: Régis Courtin, Alan P. Boss & Michel Mayor

Contact: Régis Courtin

URL: < www.iaa.es/IAUComm16/IAU%20XXVIIth%20GA%20SPS6.pdf >

Principal topics

  • recent advances in Solar System sciences, Bioastronomy, and Extrasolar Planetology in connection with studying the conditions for the emergence of life on other worlds

  • results from recent space missions investigating Mars and the satellites of the giant planets for environments potentially suitable for life

  • the search for and characterization of extrasolar planets, and the search for life outside the Solar System

  • space-based and/or laboratory experiments and simulations, as well as the analysis of extraterrestrial samples

  • projects under development for the next decade

  • outstanding figures in the development of Bioastronomy.

Preliminary program

I. Sites for life in the Solar System

Life in the deep subsurfaces of Earth and Mars (I) L.M. Pratt

Methods for detection of life forms in Martian materials (I) A. Steele

Europa, Enceladus, and Titan as possible sites for life (I) R. Courtin

Comets and the origin and evolution of life (I) A. Lazcano

II. Laboratory and space experiments

Gas-phase prebiotic chemistry in extraterrestrial

environments (I) N. Balucani

The SETUP and SEMAPHORE experiments (I) M.-C. Gazeau

The EXPOSE/ISS and BIOPAN/Foton experiments (I) H. Cottin

The O/OREO mission (I) P.F. Ehrenfreund

III. The Search for low-mass extrasolar planets

The search for low-mass exoplanets (I) M. Mayor

CoRoT and the search for big Earths (I) M. Deleuil

Microlensing detection of quasi-Earths (I) D.P. Bennett

Infrared transit spectroscopy (I) G. Tinetti

IV. Habitability of extrasolar planets

Modelling extrasolar planetary atmospheres (I) F. Allard

Remote-sensing of habitability and life (I) V.S. Meadows

Defining the envelope for the search for life

in the Universe (I) L.J. Rothschild

Earthshine observations and the detection of vegetation on

extrasolar planets (I) D. Briot

V. Missions and surveys under development

Mars Science Laboratory and future Mars missions (I) M. Cabane

The Kepler Mission (I) N. Batalha

The Gaia Astrometric Survey (I) A. Sozzetti

The SEE-COAST concept (I) A. Boccaletti

VI. Remembering pioneers in bioastronomy

Gavriil Adrianovich Tikhov (1875-1960), a pioneer in

astrobiology (I) V.G. Tejfel

Leslie Orgel (1920-2007) and the RNA world (I) P.F. Ehrenfreund

Jean Heidmann (1923-2000) and SETI (I) R. Courtin

George Wetherill (1925-2006), geochemist, planetary

scientist, and astrobiologist (I) A.P. Boss

Stanley Miller (1930-2007) and the origins of life (I) A. Lazcano

SpS7 Young Stars, Brown Dwarfs, and Protoplanetary Disks

11 - 14 August 2009

Coordinating Division: VI

SOC chairs: Jane C. Gregório-Hetem (Brasil) and Silvia H.P. Alencar (Brasil).

SOC members: Francesca D’Antona (Italy), Nuria Calvet (USA), Gilles Chabrier (France), Eric D. Feigelson (USA), Sergei A. Lamzin (Russia), Susana Lizano (Mexico), Robert D. Mathieu (USA), Thierry Montmerle (France), Antonella Natta (Italy), Bo Reipurth (USA), Hsien Shang (China Taiwan), Michael Sterzik (Chile), Ewine F. van Dishoeck (Netherlands), and Hans Zinnecker (Germany).

Editors: Jane C. Gregório-Hetem & Silvia H.P. Alencar

Contact: Jane C. Gregório-Hetem


Principal topics

  • properties of circumstellar disks

  • accretion in brown dwarfs, T Tauri and Herbig Ae/Be stars

  • jets and outflows from young stars

  • angular momentum transport (throughout pre-main sequence evolution)

  • planet formation and evolution

  • brown dwarf and star formation and early evolution

  • the role of magnetic fields in pre-main sequence evolution

  • high-energy and eruptive phenomena in young stellar objects

  • the role of binary and multiple systems in PMS evolution and planet formation/evolution

  • young stars and their birthplaces in the solar neighborhood.

Preliminary program

Tuesday 11 August

I. Properties of circumstellar disks; Accretion in brown dwarfs, T Tauri stars and Herbig Ae/Be stars.

11:00 Opening

11:20 Accretion disks in the sub-stellar realm: properties

and evolution (I) R. Jayawardhana

11:50 2 contributed talks

12:30 lunch

14:00 (I, tbd) J. Muzerolle

14:30 2 contributed talks

15:10 poster session

15:30 coffee break

16:00 Structure and evolution of protoplanetary disks (I) C.P. Dullemond

and their dust content

16:30 3 contributed talks

Wednesday 12 August

II. The role of magnetic fields and high-energy phenomena in young stellar objects, and their effects on protoplanetary disks

11:00 (I, tbd)

11:30 3 contributed talks

12:30 lunch

III. Jets and outflows from young stars. The angular momentum transport throughout pre-main sequence evolution

14:00 Observational tests of jet models in T Tauri stars (I) S. Cabrit

14:30 2 contributed talks

15:10 poster session

15:30 coffee break

16:00 (I, tbd) S. Mohanty

16:30 3 contributed talks

Thursday 13 August

IV. Planet formation and evolution; Brown dwarf and star formation and early evolution. The role of binary and multiple systems in PMS evolution and planet evolution

09:00 The early evolution of low mass stars and brown dwarfs (I) I. Baraffe

09:30 3 contributed talks

10:30 coffee break

11:00 poster session

11:20 (I, tbd)

11:50 2 contributed talks

12:30 lunch

Friday 14 August

09:00 Stellar multiplicity and the prospects for planet

formation (I) G. Duchêne

09:30 3 contributed talks

10:30 coffee break

11:00 poster session

11:20 Stellar and brown dwarf properties from numerical

simulations (I) M.R. Bate

11:50 contributed talk

12:10 Summary and concluding remarks (tbd)

SpS8 The Galactic Plane – in Depth and Across the Spectrum

11 - 14 August 2009

Coordinating Division: VI

SOC chairs: Nicholas A. Walton (UK) and Augusto Damineli Neto(Brasil).

SOC members: Janet Drew (UK), Paul J. Groot (Netherlands), Myung Gyoon Lee (Rep. of Korea), Melvin Hoare (UK), Xiao-Wei Liu (China Nanjing), Eugene A. Magnier (USA), Naomi M. McClure-Griffiths (Australia), Dante Minniti (Chile), Sergio Molinari (Italy), Josep M. Paredes Poy (Spain), Rene Plume (Canada), Annie C.R. Robin (France), Patricia A. Whitelock (South Africa), and Barbara A. Whitney (USA).

Editors: Janet E. Drew & Melvin G. Hoare

Contact: Nicholas A. Walton


Principal topics

  • Galactic plane surveys: past, present and future

  • getting the measure of the Milky Way

  • the structure of the inner Galaxy

  • the disk inside and outside the Solar Circle

  • tracing chemical properties and gradients in the Galactic Plane

  • disentangling the star formation process from disk substructure

  • mapping star formation across the Galactic Plane

  • the demography and life cycle of star clusters

  • red giants and other evolved stars as tracers

  • sampling the extreme phases and end-states of stellar evolution.

Preliminary program

Tuesday 11 August

I. The new generation surveys - setting the scene: the state of the art in the following wavelength domains: high energy; optical broadband, H-alpha, near+mid infrared, far infrared, submm, radio CO, radio HI

11:00 The gamma-ray Galaxy: high-energy surveys (I) S. Wagner

11:30 Optical Surveys of the Galactic Plane (I, tbc) M.S. Bessell

12:00 The UKIDSS Galactic Plane Survey" (I) P.W. Lucas

12:30 lunch

II. Getting the measure of the Milky Way, understanding the stellar, gas and dust distribution, extinction laws

14:00 Extinction in the Galactic Plane (I, tbc) D.J. Marshall

15:30 coffee break

IIIa. The inner galactic plane (bulge, bar and inner disk): results from micro-lensing; mid-IR view of stellar populations in the inner Galaxy

16:00 The many bars of the Milky Way Galaxy (I) R.A. Benjamin

IIIb. The disk, inside and outside the Solar: spiral structure from HI; the nature and extent of the outer disk

The disk of our Galaxy: spiral structure from star-forming

complexes; the nature and extent of the outer disk (I) D. Russeil

Wednesday 12 August

IV. Tracing chemical properties and gradients particularly focusing on abundance gradients from nebulae, stars and star clusters

11:00 Tracing abundance gradients in the Plane (I) T.L. Bensby

Abundance gradients: tracing the chemical properties R.D.D. Costa

of the disk (I)

12:30 lunch

V. Disentangling the star forming process and structure in the disk the how and why of molecular cloud collapse; distinguishing different modes of star formation, clusters and their mass function

14:00 Modelling star formation (I, tbc) S.P. Goodwin

Statistical properties of massive stars as a product of

the star formation process(I) M.S. Oey

15:30 coffee

VI. Mapping star formation in the Galactic disk a global perspective; tracing massive star formation

16:00 Massive star formation across the plane (I) S.E. Kurtz

Thursday 13 August

VII. Luminous evolved stars: a key tracer population variable stars as tracers; absolute magnitudes of clump giants

09:00 Luminous variable stars as distance tracers (I) M.W. Feast

Red clump giant stars as tracers of Galactic

structure (I) M. Lopez-Corredoira

10:30 coffee

VIIIa. End-states of low-mass stellar evolution (to include: the global distribution of PNe, decoding the local white dwarf population)

11:00 Mapping Planetary Nebulae in the Galaxy (I, tbc) R.L.M. Corradi

VIIIb. End-states of massive-star evolution (to include: the pulsar distribution; the astrophysics of extreme objects)

The Galactic distribution and evolution of pulsars (I) D. Loriner

12:30 lunch

Friday 14 August

IX. Multi-object multi-wavelength Galactic plane studies in the VO era show casing studies that combine data from more than one survey in new ways

09:00 Multi-wavelength surveys in the era of the Virtual

Observatory, a critical assessment (I) G.F. Gilmore

10:30 coffee break

X. Closure: perspective on the future the path ahead to GAIA, JASMINE, and LSST

11:00 Gaia, a Galactic Census (I) T. Prusti

Dissecting the Milky Way with LSST Z. Ivezic

12:30 lunch

SpS9 Marking the 400th Anniversary of Kepler’s “Astronomia Nova”

11 - 14 August 2009

Coordinating Division: XII

SOC chair: Terence J. Mahoney (Tenerife, Spain).

SOC members: Stanislaw Bajtlik (Poland), Allan Chapman (UK), Judith V. Field (UK), Michael Geffert (Germany), Petr Hadravâ (Czech Republic), David G. Koch (USA), Rhonda Martens (Canada), Jay M. Pasachoff (USA), Thomas Posch (Austria), Bruce Stephenson (USA), Jill C. Tarter (USA), Jan Vondrâk (Czech Republic), and Jaroslaw Wlodarczyk (Poland).

Editor: Terence J. Mahoney

Contact: Terence J. Mahoney ,


Principal topics

Kepler and astronomical thought in transition:

  • Kepler and the philosophy of science

  • the relation between Kepler’s astrology and astronomy

  • comparison of Kepler’s and Pico’s critiques of astrology

  • Kepler and Galileo

The great synthesis, Kepler’s multifaceted new astronomy:

  • Kepler as the father of modern astronomy

  • Kepler and Tycho

  • Kepler’s major works

  • Kepler’s revolutionizing of optics

  • Kepler’s mathematical astronomy

The laws of planetary motion:

  • “Astronomia nova”: Kepler at work

  • Kepler’s magnetic theory of planetary dynamics

  • Kepler’s cosmology, the 3rd law and cosmic harmony

  • Kepler’s journey to the moon

Preliminary program

Kepler’s cosmology (I) J.V. Field

Kepler and the philosophy of science (I) R. Maartens

Kepler’s astrology (I) S.J. Rabin

Was There a Keplerian Revolution? (I) G. Hon

Observational Background to Kepler’s Laws (I) A. Chapman (tbc)

Kepler’s Laws: Some Myths Dispelled (I) E.L. Davis

Kepler and the Birth of Celestial Physics (I) B. Stephenson

Kepler’s Optics (I) (tbd)

The Work of the Kepler Commission (I) (tbd)

Kepler’s Books (I) J.M. Pasachoff

Kepler’s Somnium (I) J. Wlodarczyk

The Kepler Mission’s Search for Earth-sized Planets (I) (tbd)

SpS10 Next Generation Large Astronomical Facilities

14 August 2009

Coordinating Division: XII

SOC chairs: Gerard F. Gilmore and Richard T. Schilizzi

SOC members: tbd.

Editor: Gerard F. Gilmore & Richard T. Schilizzi

Contact: Gerard F. Gilmore


Principal topics

The international astronomy community is planning and developing an exciting and powerful range of new facilities. This Special Session will present the status and scientific program of those facilities which are under development and/or definition, and so (probably) will become real in the near future to the medium term. The program will provide an overview of those projects which will become naturally complementary facilities in both implementation data and wavelength (or non-electromagnetic) coverage, and in which there is currently significant effort and new developments. Funding and strategy agencies (ASTRONET, ESFRI, US Decadal Survey, ...) will present their plans and status. Space missions are under develop­ment by all the many agencies; ground-based facilities include particularly the large survey facilities, linked to the community through the Interna­tional Virtual Observatory; new large inherently international radio facilities, especially SKA and its precursors; the several Extremely Large optical/­infrared Telescopes; developing Cosmic Ray Facilities, and the non-electro­magnetic newest developments, gravitational wave and neutrino astronomy. The style of this Special Session will follow the successful Special Session 1 at the IAU XXVI General Assembly in Prague, 2006 Ref: IAU Highlights of Astronomy Volume 14, ed. K.A. van der Hucht (CUP), p.519.

Preliminary program


* * *

PART  II IAU Information Bulletin No. 103


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Proposals for IAU Symposia in 2011

should reach the Assistant General Secretary

via the IAU Proposal Web Server

before 1 December 2009
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I administrative meetings, deadlines iconMeetings are listed in the following order: Technical Committee Meetings, Technical and Professional Training Courses

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I administrative meetings, deadlines iconAdministrative History

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