Hel.A.S. Newsletter 120 - February 2008

  1. Short News
  2. Obituary: Angelos Misiriotis
  3. Job Oppening
  4. The 2008 NEON Observing Schools
  5. News from ESA
  6. Astronomy in Europe: An evolving Collaboration
  7. STScI 2008 Summer Student Program
  8. IKY Scholarships
  9. Upcoming Elections of Hel.A.S.
  10. JENAM 2008 in Vienna
  11. Upcoming Astronomy meetings in Greece
  12. About this Newsletter

We would like to congratulate Prof. Romylo Korakiti who was recently promoted to the position of Full Professor at the Department of Rural and Surveying Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens.

We would like to congratulate Dr. Andreas Zezas (CfA/Harvard, USA) who has recently been awarded a 4-year Marie Curie Reintegration grant of 100K Euros to support his research activities when he commences his appointment as an Assistant Professor at the University of Crete.


It is with great sorrow that we have to inform the members of Hel.A.S. that Angelos Misiriotis, a Research Associate at the Department of Physics of the University of Crete and member of our Society, passed away on January 4, 2008 at the age of 37. Angelos was born in Athens. He obtained his B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Patras in 1995 and his Ph.D. in Theoretical Astrophysics from the University of Crete in 2001 under the supervision of Prof. N. Kylafis. His scientific interests included the morphology and dynamics of spiral galaxies.

He is survived by his wife Anastasia, a 4 years old son and a 1 year old daughter. Our thoughts are with them and his immediate family. The Physics Department of the University of Crete is organizing an effort to provide some support to the family of Angelos. If you wish to learn more about this, you may contact Prof. N. Kylafis at (kylafis@physics.uoc.gr)


There is an opening for a position of Assosiate Professor in the Department of Physics of the University of Athens (proposed by the Section of Astrophysics, Astronomy & Mechanics) in the area of "Applied Optics". The application deadline is March 2, 2008. For more information please contact the Secretary of the Department of Physics, Mrs Eleni Tsalka, at +30-210-7276807.


The tradition of the observing schools organized by the Network of European Observatories in the North (NEON) continues this year with two schools. One Observing School at La Palma Observaatory between 23 June and 4 July 2008, and one Archival Observing School at ESO, Garching between 27 August and 6 September 2008. The application deadline is March 31 2008. For more information on both schools visit:


A third school which is focused on the use of Integral Field Specrogtraphs will also take place at the Astrophysics Institute of Posdam between 19 and 24 March 2008. The registration deadline for this school 24 February 2008. For more information on both schools visit:



- XEUS (see http://www.xray.mpe.mpg.de/~xeus for details) is the potential successor to XMM-Newton, ESA’s current flagship X-ray observatory. Following ESA’s Cosmic Vision call for missions in the 2015-2025 timeframe, XEUS has been selected as a candidate Large mission for further study. ESA is organizing a workshop on March 5 and 6 2008, to discuss recent developments in the field of X-ray astrophysics and the design of future instrumentation relevant to the XEUS mission. For more information on the workshop visit:


- The Herschel Space Observatory, the fourth of the original Cornerstone missions in the ESA Horizon 2000 plan, is scheduled to be launched on October 31st 2008 (see http://herschel.esac.esa.int/ for details). A total of 21 of Key Programmes have been recently approved, for early science to be performed with Herschel. Information on the programs approved can be found at:



[News provided by the EAS] Between January 21-23 2008, the European Astronomical Society (EAS) invited representatives from all affiliated national societies to a workshop entitled "Astronomy in Europe: An Evolving Collaboration". The workshop tool place in the Lorentz Center at Leiden (The Netherlands). The aims of this meeting were to: i) exchange information of what role the Affiliated Societies currently play at a national and European level, ii) discuss the role of the EAS, now and in the future, iii) promote collaboration between National Societies, on a regional as well as European basis, iv) design a model of cooperation between the EAS and Affiliated Societies which optimises the interaction and information flow between astronomers in the member states on the one hand, and pan-European institutes on the other, v) work towards a Memorandum of Understanding which defines how the EAS and Affiliated Societies by working together can increase their effectiveness and visibility. After a decision of the Governing Council of Hel.A.S., our Society was represented by the Secretary, V. Charmandaris.

For more information on the meeting, the participants, and the program visit:


The electronic versions of all presentations of this meeting will become available soon in the web page of EAS.


Each summer the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) brings college undergraduates and beginning graduate students to Baltimore, Maryland (USA) to work with the local staff. The program runs for ten weeks, with a focus on one-on-one interactions between the students and their supervisors. STScI supports the science operations of the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope, as well as other smaller missions. Summer interns have participated in many of our areas of work, including astrophysical research, the presentation of science results to the public, and support of space missions. The program is aimed at college undergraduates between their junior and senior years (3rd and 4th year). However, exceptional students in earlier years and beginning graduate students are also accepted. The program is open to students from the US and from other countries. There are no restrictions on who may apply.

For the summer 2008 program, the application deadline is February 20, 2008. All materials must be received at STScI on or before that date. It is the responsibility of applicants to ensure all materials have been provided. For more information visit the corresponding web site of STScI:



The Greek National Institute of Fellowships (IKY) has announced its graduate and post graduate fellowship program for 2008-2009. The application deadline is February 11, 2008. This year there are four (4) positions for graduate studies in Greece. Two (2) are in the area of Astronomy, and two (2) in Physics. There is also funding for graduate studies abroad, with one (1) position in Astrophysics, and one (1) in Space Physics. For more information on the requirements and application forms visit:



The nomination forms for the upcoming elections of Hel.A.S. have been sent by post to all members of the Society. Check your mailboxes! The forms are also available online at the "News & Events" section of our web server. All Ordinary members are encouraged to use these forms and nominate their colleagues, or themselves, as candidates for President, the Governing Council or the Auditors of the Society. Your nominations have to be returned to the Secretary of the Society by February 29th 2008.


[News provided by the EAS] JENAM 2008 (the Joint European and National Astronomy Meeting) will take place this autumn from Monday, September 8th to Friday, September 12th, in Vienna, Austria, as the joint annual meeting of the Austrian Society of Astronomy and Astrophysics (OeGAA), the Astronomische Gesellschaft (AG), and the European Astronomical Society (EAS). It also includes the general assemblies of the societies (the 81st GA of the AG), board and council meetings. The JENAM 2008 consists of 5 plenary review talks by invited speakers and 5 highlight talks by young researchers on current research topics. In addition, during the opening session, the AG and EAS will award the Karl Schwarzschild Medal, the Tycho Brahe Prize and the Ludwig Biermann Prize to outstanding scientists.

There will be 6 half-day time slots reserved for the 9 symposia organized in 4 parallel sessions so that the symposia are typically extended over 2-3 days. Posters will be accepted both for the symposia and on other topics. Poster viewings take place during the coffee and lunch breaks.

A number of events will be organized, so e.g. a Job Market for young scientists, social events, like e.g. an informal welcome gathering on Sunday, September 7th, at the historic observatory building, a reception by the Mayor of the City of Vienna on Monday night, a boat trip on the Danube River including the conference dinner on Wednesday afternoon-to-night, and further more.

The proceedings of the plenary sessions of JENAM 2008 and a few review talks from the symposia will be published by the AG within its review series “Reviews in Modern Astronomy” at Wiley Publ. Proceedings of the Symposia can be independently arranged by the symposium organizers.

For more information on the meeting 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 March 1st 2008. Please send your announcements (e.g. appointments/departures, job openings, research opportunities, awards, conferences in Greece) or comments before February 25, 2008. 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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