Hel.A.S. Newsletter 117 - November 2007

  1. Short News
  2. Online Credit Card Payments Accepted by Hel.A.S.
  3. News from Astronet
  4. Cosmic Vision Candidate Missions Selected by ESA
  5. Tenure Track Position Opening
  6. Postdoctoral Job Openings in Crete
  7. Postdoctoral Job Opening at NASA/JPL
  8. Summer Internships at STScI
  9. Upcoming Astronomy meetings in Greece
  10. About this Newsletter

We would like to congratulate Prof. Vicky Kalogera of Northwestern University (USA) who has been awarded the 2008 Maria Goeppert Mayer Award of the American Physical Society. The citation of the award is "For her fundamental contributions to the study of the evolution and fate of compact objects in binary systems, focusing on their observations via X-rays and on their importance for gravitational wave detectors."

Ms. Ioanna Arka recently moved from the graduate program of the Univ. of Athens to commence her PhD studies at the Max Planck Institute for Kernphysik in Heidelberg (Germany)

Ms. Sophia Lianou recently moved from the graduate program of the Univ. of Athens to commence her PhD studies at the Astronomisches Rechen-Institut of the University of Heidelberg (Germany)

Dr. Panayiotis Tzanavaris recently moved from the National Observatory of Athens, to an Assistant Research Scientist position with the Department of Physics and Astronomy, at The Johns Hopkins University, and the Laboratory for X-ray Astrophysics of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (USA).


The Treasurer of Hel.A.S. is happy to announce that the Society is finally able to receive online payments using a credit card via the secure web server "WinBank/easypay" of the Bank of Piraeus. This was an outstanding request from many members of the Society, in particular those who live outside Greece. Unfortunately the non-profit nature of Hel.A.S. made accomplishing this task an extremely complicated and slow process. Now though, it is no longer necessary to spend time visiting a branch of a bank to pay your Hel.A.S. membership fees, and often be subject to substantial electronic transfer fees. If you have a major credit card (VISA, Mastercard) simply visit the web page:


select the option to Continue without registration and complete the information requested in the following page.

Individuals who already have an account in the Bank of Piraeus and use "Winbank" for the online management of their account have an extra option. Instead of using a credit card, they can also directly transfer an amount they wish from their account to the one of Hel.A.S. at no charge.

Note that the secure online payment system has been tested successfully under Unix/Linux, Windows, and Mac OSX using as browsers the latest versions of MS Internet Explorer, Firefox, Mozilla, and Opera. It appears that Safari under Mac OS is not fully compliant. If you have any difficulties with your online payment please contact the Treasurer at treasurer@helas.gr.


ASTRONET was created by a group of European funding agencies in order to establish a comprehensive long-term planning for the development of European astronomy. The objective of this effort is to consolidate and reinforce the world-leading position that European astronomy has attained at the beginning of this 21st century. The final report of this Science Vision is now available. For more information read the article of the President of GNCA, Prof. P. Laskaridis, who is the greek representative to ASTRONET:



At its meeting held on 17-18 October 2007 in Paris, ESA’s Space Science Advisory Committee (SSAC) selected the new candidates for possible future scientific missions. From a list of 50 proposals submitted by the scientific community last summer, the candidates which have made it to the next phase of selection are:

Solar System Category - Laplace: a study of the Jovian system, Tandem: A new mission to Saturn Titan and Enceladus, Cross-scale: a mission to study the near-earth space, Marco Polo: an asteroid sample-return mission

Astronomy/Fundamental Physics Category - Dune and Space: two missions to study the dark energy, Plato: a new planet finder mission, Spica: a next generation infrared observatory, XEUS: An X-Ray space observatory.

For more information visit the ESA web page at:



A new tenure-track position at the level of "Assistant Professor" or "Lecturer" in the field of "Observational Astrophysics" has been opened at the Department of Physics of the University of Athens (FEK 619, 17-8-2007). The deadline for submission of applications is November 13, 2007. Interested applicants may contact for more information the secretary of the Physics Department at Tel. 210-727 6807 (Mrs Eleni Tsalka).


The Astrophysics Group at the Foundation for Research & Technology - Hellas (FORTH) and the Physics Department at the University of Crete (Greece) has been recently awarded a four-year Marie Curie Transfer of Knowledge (ToC) grant from the European Union as well as an FP7 grant for the "Development of Space Astrophysics in Crete". The scope of both grants is to improve upon the existing research capabilities of the group, which will act as host for a number of senior researchers. Two postdoctoral fellows have already joined the group under the ToC grant.

Currently there are openings for two more postdoctoral positions. One is in the area of "Infrared studies of local AGN and starburst galaxies - IR Diagnostics for the Herschel Space Telescope" and one in the area of "Infrared studies of luminous infrared galaxies and their cosmological implications". The successful candidates are expected to be self motivated and have experience in infrared data analysis (in particular Spitzer). There will collaborate with members of the group in Crete, as well as with colleagues at Cornell University (USA), Caltech (USA), and CEA/Saclay (France). They will have access to a wealth of imaging and spectroscopy extragalactic data already obtained with Spitzer Space Telescope. Experience with data acquisition and analysis using optical telescopes will be a plus. For more details regarding the positions you may contact Prof. V. Charmandaris at vassilis@physics.uoc.gr. The duration of each position is for a period of 2 years and the net monthly salary is ~2000 Euros. The starting date is negotiable but should not later than early fall 2008.

Interested applicants are requested to send a cover letter with a CV, publication record, and description of research interests along with the names of three individuals who could write letters of recommendation to Prof. Nick Kylafis, Dept. of Physics, Univ. of Crete, P.O. Box 2208, GR-71003 Heraklion, Greece. Applications by e-mail to kylafis@physics.uoc.gr are strongly encouraged. Applications received before March 1st 2008 will be given full consideration.


A postdoctoral fellowship opportunity through the NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP), to work with Dr. Leonidas Moustakas at JPL/Caltech (USA) on strong-lensing / galaxy evolution topics is available. It is possible to apply for either a Postdoctoral or a Senior Fellow appointment; the latter is for individuals who have held a PhD for five or more years. The postdoc-level stipend starts at $50K. The deadline for receipt of applications and supporting material (which is to be sent directly to the NPP program) is 1 November. It is important thought that interested applicants discuss the application before-hand with Dr. Moustakas (leonidas@jpl.nasa.gov). For more information please visit:



The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) announces an opportunity for highly motivated college undergraduates to participate in a Summer Student Program. The program will run ten weeks, from June 16 to August 22, 2008, although exact start and end dates can have some flexibility, depending on the needs of the student and his or her supervisor. We expect to have twelve or more participants, from the Baltimore area and elsewhere, with a special focus on students' interaction with one another and with their mentors. Foreign students are welcome to apply. Students will be paid a stipend of approximately $500 per week. STScI is located on the Johns Hopkins University Homewood campus in Baltimore, Maryland, and is responsible for the scientific operations of the Hubble Space Telescope for NASA. For more information please visit:



The following meetings will take place in Greece. Please check the corresponding web page or contact the organizers by e-mail for more information.


This Newsletter was sent to all members of Hel.A.S. who have e-mail access. The next edition of the Newsletter will be mailed around December 1st 2007. Please send your announcements (e.g. appointments/departures, job openings, research opportunities, awards, conferences in Greece) or comments before November 25, 2007. If you do not wish to receive future issues of this Newsletter or the e-mail address to which it was sent is not your preferred one, please inform the Secretary of Hel.A.S.


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