ann21064 — Announcement

Star Party in the South
13 December 2021
Calling all Amateur Astronomers World-wide
The IAU is reaching out to engage with amateur astronomers

The International Astronomical Union, as part of its Strategic Plan 2020–30, is reaching out to engage with amateur astronomers around the world, and invites all amateur astronomers worldwide to fill out this survey to respond with their views on how best amateurs can engage with the IAU professional community.

For the first century of its existence, the IAU has had very few formal contacts with the much larger body of amateur astronomers around the world. This changed in 2019 with a successful one-day workshop for amateurs in Brussels, followed by the formation of the new Working Group IAU Executive Committee Professional—Amateur Relations in Astronomy in April 2021. 

At the present time, no-one has a clear idea of how many amateurs there are in the world, but it is likely to be of the order of a million individuals, some two orders of magnitude greater than the number of active professionals in the IAU. The new Professional–Amateur Relations in Astronomy Working Group wants to reach out to the amateur community, with the aim of promoting research collaborations with some of the most active amateurs. Further workshops are also envisaged, following on from the Brussels meeting in 2019, and the IAU program Meet the IAU Astronomers!, in which professionals give talks to amateur societies, will be further promoted.

As a first step, the IAU has collected a database of the principal amateur societies, associations and groups in different countries, and with the survey that runs from mid-December 2021 to February 2022 the Working Group wants to reach as many amateurs as possible, so that a statistical analysis of the interests and research of amateurs can be undertaken. Professional astronomers with an interest in pro-am relations are also encouraged to complete the survey, and some professionals may wish to join the new WG. 

It is hoped that the survey will encourage future professional–amateur research collaborations.

More information

The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together more than 12 000 active professional astronomers from more than 100 countries worldwide. Its mission is to promote and safeguard astronomy in all its aspects, including research, communication, education and development, through international cooperation. The IAU also serves as the internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and the surface features on them. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world's largest professional body for astronomers.



Yuko Kakazu
Secretary of Working Group IAU Executive Committee Professional–Amateur Relations in Astronomy

Lars Lindberg Christensen
IAU Press Officer
Cell: +1 520 461 0433/+49 173 38 72 621

About the Announcement



Star Party in the South