Hel.A.S. Newsletter 124 - June 2008

  1. Short News
  2. Upcoming Elections of Hel.A.S.
  3. New Members at the General Assembly of Hel.A.S.
  4. Job Openings
  5. Astronomy School at NOA
  6. A Worldwide Telescope on your computer
  7. Fellowships under the ELIXIR European Network
  8. Upcoming Astronomy meetings in Greece
  9. About this Newsletter

We would like to congratulate Dr. Vallia Antoniou who has recently obtained her PhD from the Dept. of Physics of the Univ. of Crete under the supervision of Prof. Despina Hatzidimitriou. The title of her dissertation was "The X-ray Source Population of the Small Magellanic Cloud". Dr. Antoniou is moving to a postdoctoral position at the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard University (USA).

We would like to congratulate Dr. Christos Papadimitriou who has recently obtained his PhD from the Dept. of Physics of the Univ. of Athens under the supervision of the late Dr. E. Harlaftis and Prof. Paul Laskaridis. The title of his dissertation was "Accretion Flows in Close Binary Systems". Dr. Papadimitriou is a permanent member of the scientific technical staff of the National Observatory of Athens.

We would like to congratulate Dr. Mitiadis Vavoulidis who has recently obtained his PhD from the Dept. of Physics of the Univ. of Thessaloniki under the supervision of Prof. Kostas Kokkotas. The title of his dissertation was "Rotating Relativistic Stars". Dr. Vavoulidis is currently serving his military service.

We would like to congratulate Dr. Vassiliki Pavlidou, for being awarded a GLAST fellowship at Caltech (USA). Dr. Pavlidou will commence her 3 year fellowship appointment in the fall of 2008.

We would like to congratulate Dr. Kostas Tassis, for being awarded the NASA fellowship at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech (USA). Dr. Tassis will commence his 3 year fellowship appointment in the fall of 2008.

We would like to congratulate Prof. Dimitris Psaltis (Univ. of Arizona, USA) who was recently awarded a Faculty Early Career Development Award by the NSF. The award of $560,000 will found the research of Prof. Psaltis for 5 years for the program "Exploring the Warped Spacetimes of Astrophysical Black Holes"


We would like to remind all Ordinary and Junior members of Hel.A.S. who will not be able to be in Athens on Friday the 20th of June, but wish to vote for the upcoming elections of the Society by mail, to complete and mail their ballots. It is the responsibility of the members to ensure that their ballots will have reached the Secretary well before the date of the elections.

Following the tradition of the Society at 12:00pm during the day of the elections there will be a special colloquium for the members of the Society. This year the plenary speaker is Dr. Thanasis Economou (Univ. of Chicago, USA), who will present a talk entitled "Why such an interest in Mars exploration -- an opinion from an active participant". The abstract of the talk is: "I have been involved in Mars exploration since the early 70's of the last century and have provided instruments for some of the missions that landed on its surface. There is a tremendous interest to find out if life in any form was ever present on the surface of Mars. I will go over the effort to explore Mars by the international space community and bring you up to date on the status of this exploration. At the end of the talk I will make a brief announcement about our effort to build a new Astronomy Observatory in the mountains of the Western Macedonia and describe briefly its status."

Also, please note that the next issue of Hipparchos is already in press. By the end of next week it will have been sent by post to all members of Hel.A.S., and it will also be included as a PDF file in the web page of the Society. We would like to remind you that if you have not received it by the day of the elections, verify your address in the online directory of Hel.A.S. and contact the editor Prof. K. Kokkotas.


As it was indicated in the Agenda of the 26th General Assembly (GA) of Hel.A.S. on June 20th 2008, during the GA the applications of individuals who wish to join the Society will be presented and the new members of the will be elected. Since the elections of new members takes place only once a year a year during a GA, the Governing Council of the Society would like to request that all interested individuals send their applications forms to the Secretary of the Society well before June 20th. Applicants are strongly encouraged to also contact the Secretary by e-mail at secretary@helas.gr.


Two new positions, each at the level of "Professor or Associate Professor" in the field of "Observational Astronomy" have opened at the Department of Physics of the University of Thessaloniki (F.E.K. 424/13-05-2008, F.E.K. 425/13-05-2008). The deadline for the applications is 21 July 2008. For more information contact the Secretary, Dept. of Physics, Univ. of Thessaloniki, tel: +30 2310 998120

A new position at the level "Assistant Professor" in the field of "Dynamics" has opened at the Department of Physics of the University of Thessaloniki. The deadline for the applications is 21 July 2008 (F.E.K. 425/13-05-2008). For more information contact the Secretary, Dept. of Physics, Univ. of Thessaloniki, tel: +30 2310 998120


The second Astronomy school, organized by the Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics of the National Observatory of Athens, will take place in 22-24 September 2008 on the grounds of the National Observatory of Athens in Pendeli. The School is entitled "The many faces of AGN" and it consists of basic lectures on the theoretical and the observational aspects of AGN. Attendance will be limited to approximately 20 graduate students, with a preference to those pursuing research in the Astronomy fields in which X-ray radiation is expected to play a significant role. The School is jointly sponsored by the National Observatory of Athens in Greece, and the General Secretary of Research and Technology. The lectures will be presented by professors and scientists from Greek and foreign Universities and Research Institutes. For more information please visit the web page of the School at:



Microsoft Research announced the WorldWide Telescope (WWT), a Web 2.0 visualization software environment, that enables a computer to function as a virtual telescope—bringing together imagery from the best ground and space-based telescopes in the world for a seamless exploration of the universe. WorldWide Telescope is created with the Microsoft® high performance Visual Experience Engine™ and allows seamless panning and zooming around the night sky, planets, and image environments. It is currently available only for PCs running Microsoft® XP SP2 (minimum) or Windows® Vista® (recommended). For more information visit:



As part of its current Initial Training Network (ITN) programme, the European Commission has provided four year funding for a new Research Network whose main objective is to develop expertise in the exploration of the first generations of galaxies, as well as their evolution through the cosmic epochs, to prepare the scientific exploitation of the European instrument NIRSpec on board the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) that will be launched in 2013. The network links the following seven astronomical institutions with expertise in the construction and analysis of deep galaxy surveys, detailed observational investigation of individual high-z galaxies and AGNs and related astronomical instrumentation, stellar population synthesis and the modeling of galactic spectra, and the modelling of galaxy formation in its full cosmological context:

--Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, France.
--Centre de Recherche Astronomique de Lyon, France,
--Departamento de Astrofisica Molecular e Infrarroja, Madrid, Spain.
--Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, Italy.
--Max-Planck Institut fuer Astronomie, Heidelberg, Germany.
--Leiden Observatory, Leiden, The Netherlands.
--University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.

The accomplishment of the network objectives will be achieved in close interaction with the associated industrial partners of the project, with expertise in space instrumentation:

--The European Space Agency, ESA/ESTEC

As part of this programme, an initial pool of seven fully funded (3-year) PhD fellowships and a 2-year graduate fellowship for a software scientist with interest in astrophysics will be funded from Autumn 2008. These positions are open to nationals of any country (even outside Europe) other than that in which the post is held. Applicants should not have had more than 4 years research experience from the date of obtaining the degree entitling them to embark on a doctorate, and they should not have been resident in the country where they propose to work for more than 12 months in the three years before the start of the post. For more information 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 July 1st 2008. Please send your announcements (e.g. appointments/departures, job openings, research opportunities, awards, conferences in Greece) or comments before June 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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