Three new National Members

22 August 2012

Three new National Members admitted on 21 August at 28th General Assembly: Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Ethiopia and Kazakhstan.

Proceedings IAU Symposium No. 287 online

30 July 2012

Proceedings IAU Symposium No. 287
"Cosmic Masers - from OH to H0"
Eds: V. Vlemmings, E. Humphreys, R. Booth
Cambridge University Press
ISSN: 1743-9213

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IB 110 is online

16 July 2012

The Information Bulletin 110 (July 2012) is online. Download the PDF file (5.6 MB) on this link.
This issue is devoted mainly to the upcoming XXVIII General Assembly, 20-31 August in Beijing. Please note that the schedule of the GA scientific sessions and business meetings is subject to change. Please check the relevant website for up-to-date information.

C54 announces the award of the Michelson and Fizeau prizes

13 July 2012

The International Astronomical Union Commission 54, Optical and Infrared Interferometry, is pleased to announce the award of the Michelson and Fizeau prizes.

The Fizeau Prize for 2012 is awarded for lifetime achievement to Professor Charles Hard Townes for his long-term commitment to and support of optical interferometry, especially in the mid-infrared, as evidenced by his work on the McMath prototype and Berkeley Infrared Spatial Interferometers. Professor Townes' development of heterodyne techniques, high-spectral resolution and closure phases at the ISI has produced dozens of highly cited and transformative papers in the studies of dust production and time-evolution of evolved stars. Further, Professor Townes' support and mentoring of 27 doctoral students and dozens of postdoctoral and junior colleagues, many of whom are well-established interferometrists and active researchers today, will leave an enduring legacy for the field of optical/infrared interferometry.

The Michelson Investigator Prize for 2012 is awarded to Doctor Olivier Chesneau for his recent contributions to stellar astrophysics. In the 10 years since his PhD, Olivier has vigorously exploited optical interferometry for the study of stellar environments - disks, winds, and nebulae - in young, early type and evolved stars through the latest stages of stellar evolution.

In particular, he used a variety of interferometric data at very high resolution to model the close and dusty environment of the eta Car nebula, and recurrent novae RS Oph and T Pyx. Olivier has contributed as first author and as collaborator in more then 70 refereed publications in 10 years.

The Fizeau prize is sponsored by the Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur.  The Michelson prize is sponsored by the Mount Wilson Institute.  Both prizes are administered jointly by the sponsors and the Commission, and are offered in order to provide recognition within the community and to encourage contributors to the rapidly growing field of optical interferometry.  The prizes were announced on July 5, 2012 in Amsterdam at the SPIE conference "Optical and Infrared Interferometry".

For additional information, please contact Stephen Ridgway (

Proceedings IAU Symposium No. 286 online

6 July 2012

Proceedings IAU Symposium No. 286
"Comparative Magnetic Minima: Characterizing quiet times in the Sun and Stars"
Eds: David Webb and Cristina Mandrini
Cambridge University Press

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Winners of 2012 Kavli Prize

31 May 2012

The 2012 Kavli Prize in Astrophysics is shared between David C. Jewitt (University of California, USA), Jane X. Luu (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA) and Michael E. Brown (California Institute of Technology, USA). They received the prize "for discovering and characterizing the Kuiper Belt and its largest members, work that led to a major advance in the understanding of the history of our planetary system."

More information is available on the Kavli website and on the IAU, NASL and the Kavli Prize page.

The Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) establishes three Task Forces

15 May 2012

Astronomy for Development: Establishment of Task Forces to drive forward its global activities


The International Astronomical Union (IAU), through its Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD), has established the three Task Forces which will drive global activities using astronomy as a tool to stimulate development. These Task Forces are (i) Astronomy for Universities and Research, (ii) Astronomy for Children and Schools, and (iii) Astronomy for the Public.

This milestone forms part of the IAU Strategic Plan which aims to build on the momentum of the successful International Year of Astronomy 2009. The plan recognises and seeks to realise the impact ...

IAU Symposia selected for 2013

4 May 2012

Dates Number Title City Country
Jan. 6-11 IAUS 296 Supernova environmental impacts Kolkata (Calcutta) India
May 20-24 IAUS 297 The diffuse interstellar bands Haarlem Netherlands
May 20-24 IAUS 298

Setting the scene for Gaia and LAMOST — the current and next generations of surveys and models

Lijiang China Nanjing
Jun. 2-7 IAUS 299

Exploring the formation and evolution of planetary systems

Victoria, BC Canada
Jun. 10-16 IAUS 300

Nature of prominences and their role in space weather

Paris France
Aug. 19-23 IAUS 301 Precision asteroseismology Wroclaw Poland
Aug. 25-30 IAUS 302 Magnetic fields throughout stellar evolution Biarritz France
Sep. 30-Oct. 4 ...

IAU Vacancy Announcement: Head of Administration

4 May 2012

The IAU is looking for a talented, self motivated, energetic, enthusiastic and organized individual to fill the full-time position of Head of Administration reporting to the General Secretary of the IAU with overall responsibility for managing the IAU Secretariat.

More information is available here (PDF format, 60KB)

IAU SOFA software that deals with the Leap Second at the end of June

27 April 2012

A new release of the SOFA software was issued on 2012 March 1. This includes an update to the Fortran and ANSI C routines DAT and Dat, respectively, to include the leap second that will be applied on 2012 June 30th. The Web address of the SOFA home page is

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