Interview with the IAU General Secretary: "A view from the Observatory"

3 July 2013

Read the interview with IAU General Secretary Thierry Montmerle titled "A view from the Observatory" in Science Omega Review Europe #2:

A full page-turning version with images is available at:

IB 111 is online

12 March 2013

The Information Bulletin 111 (February 2013) is online. Download the PDF file (1 MB) on this link.

Proceedings IAU Symposium No. 288

4 February 2013

Proceedings IAU Symposium No. 288
"Astrophysics from Antarctica"
Eds: Michael G. Burton, Xiangqun Cui, Nicholas F. H. Tothill
Cambridge University Press

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Jorge Sahade (1915-2012), Past President of the IAU (1985-1988)

11 January 2013

Dr. Jorge Sahade, one of the most relevant Argentinean astronomers, passed away on 18 December, 2012, at the age of 97. He earned the first title as Surveyor at the University of Córdoba in 1937. In 1943 he received his PhD in Astronomy and Related Sciences at the University of La Plata. From 1943 to 1946 he was granted a scholarship in the Yerkes Observatory of the University of Chicago, where he worked under the supervision of Prof. Otto Struve. The well known Struve-Sahade effect in double-lined spectroscopic binary stars resulted from his research at those times. In 1955 he won a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in the Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley. He was university professor in Argentina, England, Belgium, France, and Germany, and academician at the National Academies of Sciences of Buenos Aires and Córdoba and the Royal Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences of Madrid, among others.

He was Vice-President of the IAU Executive Committee in two opportunities from 1967 to 1970 and from 1970 to 1973, becoming IAU President from 1985 to 1988. His activity at IAU was within Commissions 29 (Stellar Spectra), 42 (Close Binaries), 44 (Space and High Energy Astrophysics, and 46 (Astronomy Education and Development).

After being director of observatories and astronomy institutes in Argentina, he became the first President of the National Commission for Space Activities (Comisión Nacional de Actividades Espaciales, CONAE) in 1991. He published around 200 papers and two books in subjects related to interacting binary systems and massive stars, among others. Argentina owes its largest optical telescope, which now bears his name, to his decision, effort, and perseverance.

Joining the New Divisions

6 December 2012

On 6 December 2012, a mass e-mail has been sent to the 10,886 individual members of the IAU, giving instructions on how to register for the new Divisions.

If you are an IAU member and did not receive this e-mail, it means that our database does not have the adequate information for you (wrong, outdated or missing e-mail address etc.). In this case, please contact urgently the IAU Secretariat by sending an e-mail with all the relevant details to

The Secretariat will then arrange to have the instructions sent to you.


Notes about possible spam problems

Following our first mass e-mail about joining the new Divisions, we have been made aware that our message was being rejected as spam by some institutes, even major ones. So please help us by contacting colleagues from other institutes to make sure they received our first message, and/or this reminder.

If a spam problem occurs, we're sorry we cannot solve it. The only way to proceed for you or your colleagues is to urgently take two actions:

  • Contact your system manager, to remove the sender address "" from your black list, otherwise any future message from the IAU will be rejected;
  • Check your own spam box (and/or that of your institute): our preceding message may still be there, so that you can remove it and answer.

Please do NOT contact the IAU Secretariat in this case!

IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach is Open

24 September 2012

Last week, the IAU’s Office for Astronomy Outreach (OAO) began its operations under the leadership of the organisation’s new International Outreach Coordinator, Sarah Reed. The office is hosted by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, based in its headquarters in Mitaka, Tokyo.

Sarah was formerly Executive Director of the World Space Week Association and a science writer and editor for several organisations, including BBC Sky at Night magazine, the European Southern Observatory, EU Universe Awareness and AAAS Science. In her new role, she is tasked with coordinating the global astronomy outreach activities of the IAU in order to sustain the momentum of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA 2009). Sarah has also been appointed as the new Editor-in-Chief of the IAU’s peer-reviewed journal, Communicating Astronomy with the Public.

One of the first areas where I will be focussing my efforts for OAO is to build on the database of amateur astronomy associations that was started during IYA2009 and use it to create a web community,” says Sarah. “This will be much more than a list: it will be a global network to bring established and newly formed associations together, featuring user-generated content. It will provide an excellent channel for disseminating news to the amateur astronomy community and promote the sharing of best practices and resources amongst the associations around the world.

Clearly, there will be synergy between OAO and the IAU’s Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD), based in Cape Town, South Africa. Indeed, Sarah is also a member of the OAD’s Task Force 3, Astronomy for the Public.

For more information, please email

Proceedings IAU Symposium No. 279 online

12 September 2012

Proceedings IAU Symposium No. 279
"Death of Massive Stars: Supernovae and Gamma-Ray Bursts"
Eds: Peter Roaming, Nobuyuki Tanaka, Elena Pian
Cambridge University Press

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Proceedings IAU Symposium No. 283 online

31 August 2012

Proceedings IAU Symposium No. 283
"Planetary Nebulae: An Eye to the Future"
Eds: Arturo Manchado, Letizia Stanghellini, Detlef Schoenberner
Cambridge University Press

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Proceedings IAU Symposium No. 284 online

22 August 2012

Proceedings IAU Symposium No. 284
"The spectral energy distribution of galaxies (SED2011)"
Eds: Richard J. Tuffs Max, Cristina C. Popescu
Cambridge University Press

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Revised Statutes and Bye-Laws approved at the GA

22 August 2012

Revised Statutes and Bye-Laws approved on 21 August at 28th General Assembly. Read more on:

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