Hel.A.S. Newsletter 118 - December 2007

  1. Short News
  2. Aristarchos Call for Proposals
  3. A New Astrophysics Institute of FORTH in Crete
  4. Members in New Positions
  5. Hel.A.S. Membership Fee Deadline
  6. Announcement of Opportunity for the Solar Orbiter Payload
  7. ESA Research Fellowships in Space Science
  8. ESA Young Graduate Trainee Opportunities
  9. Upcoming Astronomy meetings in Greece
  10. About this Newsletter

We would like to congratulate Dr. Eleni Dara who was recently elected as the Director of the Research Center for Astronomy and Applied Mathematics of the Academy of Athens.

We would like to congratulate Dr. Antonis Georgakakis who was recently elected to the position of Researcher C' (Associate Researcher) in the Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics of the National Observatory of Athens.

We would like to congratulate Dr. Ioannis Georgantopoulos who was recently promoted to the position of Researcher A' (Research Director) in the Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics of the National Observatory of Athens.


The Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics has issued a call for proposals for observations with the 2.3m Aristarchos telescope. Due to time constraints this call is for the months of June and July 2008. The proposal deadline is December 15th 2007 (12:00 UTC). All relevant details regarding application forms and available instruments can be found in the Helmos observatory web-page at:


and in particular at:



A few months ago, the Astrophysics Group of the University of Crete and the Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH) submitted a proposal to the General Secretariat for Research and Technology for the creation of a new FORTH Institute in Crete entitled "Institute of Space and Ground-Based Astrophysics" ("I.D.E.A." in greek). The National Council for Research and Technology of Greece (E.S.E.T.) evaluated the science merits of the proposal and in its meeting on Thursday, November 29, 2007 unanimously recommended to the Ministry of Development the creation of the new Institute.

The Astrophysics Group in Crete would like to formally thank all individuals who have supported this effort, as well as the President of Hel.A.S. in his role as an E.S.E.T. member. We all look forward to the realization of the new Institute and the positive impact it will have to the further advancement of research in Astrophysics in Greece.


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

Mr. Nikos Fanidakis recently moved from the graduate program of the Univ. of Utrecht (The Netherlands) to commence his PhD studies at the Department of Physics of Durham University (UK).

Dr. Stella Kafka recently moved from CTIO (Chile) to a research associate position at the Spitzer Science Center of the California Institute of Technology (USA).

Dr. Zaharenia Romeou has recently moved to a permanent position in the Department of Metrology of the Ministry of Development, Athens.

Ms. Olga Zacharopoulou recently moved from the graduate program of the Univ. of Athens to commence her PhD studies at the Max-Planck-Institut fur Kernphysik in Heidelberg (Germany).


On November 7th 2007, nearly 80 members of Hel.A.S. were contacted via an e-mail reminder that they had outstanding annual membership dues. This is a semi-automated procedure which will take place on an annual basis as is dictated by the Constitution of the Society. Some members were taken by surprise and requested clarifications on the exact formal date that the annual membership fee is due.

The Governing Council (GC) of Hel.A.S., during its June 12 2007 Meeting, has set the due date of the annual fee of a given calendar year to be the 31st of August of the same calendar year. The minutes of the meeting (see Item #5) are available online at:


This change was mentioned in Item #4 of the July 2007 e-newsletter of the Society, and was also discussed during the General Assembly which took place in Thassos on September 14th 2007. The due dates are always indicated in the payment form available at the end of the web page:


Consequently, the due date for the membership fee for the year 2007 was the 31st of August 2007, and the due date for the membership fee for the year 2008 will be the 31st of August 2008.

A slight misunderstanding to some members may have occurred because in the past when one was paying her/his membership fees on a given date she/he was actually paying the dues not for the running calendar year but for the previous year. This was always indicated on the receipt provided by the Treasurer. The GC provides this clarification once more, since it is aware that some members who possibly missed the previous announcements on this issue may have inadvertently placed themselves in this situation. It is expected that all the steps taken by the current GC to automate and facilitate all financial transactions with the Society will further improve the service provided to the members in the future.

For more information on this issue please contact the Secretary of the Society at secretary@helas.gr.


ESA has published the announcement of opportunity (AO) for the Solar Orbiter Payload with a closing date for receipt of the proposals Tuesday 15 January 2008. For full details and contact information you may refer to :



The European Space Agency awards several postdoctoral fellowships each year. The aim of these fellowships is to provide young scientists, holding a PhD or the equivalent degree, with the means of performing space science research in fields related to the ESA Science Programme. Areas of research include planetary science, astronomy and astrophysics, solar and solar-terrestrial science, plasma physics and fundamental physics. The fellowships are tenable at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, Netherlands, or at the European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) in Villafranca del Castillo, near Madrid, Spain.

Applications are now solicited for fellowships in space science to begin in the summer or fall of 2008. Preference will be given to applications submitted by candidates within five years of receiving their PhD. Candidates not holding a PhD yet are encouraged to apply, but they must provide evidence of receiving their degree before starting the fellowship. The deadline for applications is 21 January 2008.

More information on the ESA Research Fellowship programme in Space Science, on the conditions and eligibility, as well as the application form can be found on the world-wide web at this address:


Questions on the scientific aspects of the ESA Fellowship Programme in Space Science not answered in the above pages can be sent by e-mail to the fellowship coordinator, Guido De Marchi, at the address fellowship@rssd.esa.int


ESA’s Young Graduate Trainee (YGT) programme offers recently graduated men and women, a one-year non-renewable training contract designed to give valuable work experience and to prepare for future employment in the space industry and/or research.

The YGT Programme is open to recently graduated young men and women, nationals of ESA Member States and its Cooperating States. Applicants should have just completed, or be in their final year, of a higher education course typically at Masters level and probably in a technical or scientific discipline at a university or equivalent institute. They should be fluent in either English or French, which are the official languages of the Agency. The deadline for applications is 14 December 2007.

More information on the ESA YGT programme as well as on the available opportunities can be found at:



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 January 1st 2008. Please send your announcements (e.g. appointments/departures, job openings, research opportunities, awards, conferences in Greece) or comments before December 20, 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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