Hel.A.S. Newsletter 134 - April 2009

  1. Short News
  2. The 9th Hellenic Astronomical Conference
  3. Public Astronomy Lectures at the City of Heraklion
  4. April Activities for the IYA2009
  5. Publications in the Greek Media for the IYA2009
  6. ESA First Lunar Lander: Request for Information
  7. ESA Call: Declarations of Interest in Science Instrumentation
  8. The 2009 Heidelberg Summer School
  9. Spitzer Science Center Graduate Fellowship Program
  10. European Radio Interferometry School 2009
  11. Upcoming Astronomy Meetings in Greece
  12. About this Newsletter

As mentioned in the previous newsletter (#133, March 2009) the deadline for new contributions and updates to the 2009 Greek Astronomers Yearbook, prepared by Prof. P. Laskarides, was yesterday. The Editor of the Hel.A.S. Electronic Newsletter would like to thank in advance all recipients of this newsletter, for their assistance to this effort. The Editor trusts that all are about to review for 5min their record in the - by now old - 2005 version of the Yearbook and send to Prof. Laskarides (at plaskar@phys.uoa.gr) their contribution including, if possible, a passport-style electronic picture of them taken sometime in the 21st century, before they move on to read their next e-mail in their mailbox...

Forty years ago, on March 25th 1969, La Silla, the first observing site of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile, was inaugurated commencing its long and very successful scientific contribution to the international astronomy research. ESO has issued a press release to celebrate this anniversary. Hopefully, the greek astronomical community will be able to convince our government to take all steps necessary so that Greece will also join the ESO family in the near future.

We would like to congratulate Titos Matsakos who has recently obtained his PhD from the Department of General Physics, University of Turin (Italy), under the co-supervision of Prof. Silvano Massaglia and Prof. Kanaris Tsinganos (Univ. of Athens). The title of his dissertation was: "Two-component Protostellar Jet Simulations: Combining Analytical and Numerical Approaches".

We would like to congratulate Dr. A. Polatidis who recently moved to a tenure track position as Head of Science Support at the Radio Observatory of the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON).


Registration and abstract submission for the 9th Hellenic Astronomical Conference, which will take place on September 20-24 2009, is now open. The scientific sessions of the conference will take place in the amphitheater "Aristoteles" of the Department of Physics of the University of Athens. A number of parallel activities and evening public outreach talks are scheduled at various locations around the city of Athens, such as the Academy of Athens and the National Observatory of Athens. Everyone is invited to visit the conference web site, register online, and submit an abstract for an oral or poster contribution. Please note that the abstract submission deadline is June 1st 2009. More information is available at:



In the light of 2009 being the International Year of Astronomy, the Astronomy Group of the University of Crete and FORTH is organizing a series of monthly astronomy lectures for the general public of the city of Heraklion, presented by well known astronomers of greek descent who live and work abroad. The series will commence with a talk of Prof. Y. Terzian (Cornell Univ., USA) on April 8th 2009. The list of the speakers also include Dr. A. Coustenis (Obs. de Paris, France), Dr. C. Kouveliotou (NASA/MSFC, USA), Prof. T. Mouschovias (Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA), Dr. N. Prantzos (IAP, France), and Dr. P. Kalas (Univ. of California-Berkeley, USA). The last talk of the series will be given in October 2009 by Prof. Y. Papamastorakis (Univ. of Crete), Director of Skinakas Observatory, who is retiring this coming year. More details on each talk will be included in future newsletters.


In this news-item we present all activities related to the International Year of Astronomy which, to our knowledge, are scheduled in Greece this coming month. If you wish to have your planned activities included in this mailing please inform the Editor of the e-newsletter.

For April 2009 the following events are planned:

  • 2-5th of April - 100 hours of Astronomy. Numerous events across the country - check the IAY2009 calendar. More specifically:
    - Events of the Univ. of Athens [PDF file]
    - Events of the Univ. of Thessaloniki [link]
    - Events of the National Observatory of Athens [link]
    - Events of the Univ. of Crete [PDF file]
    - Events of the Univ. of Patras [PDF file]
    - Events of the Hellenic Amateur Astronomy Association of Athens [link]
  • 5th of April - Talk of Prof. J. Seiradakis (Univ. of Thessaloniki) entitled "The Atntikythera Mechanism: An ancient astronomical computer", at the city of Patras
  • 8th of April - Talk of Prof. Y. Terzian (Cornell Univ.) entitled "The Magnificent Universe" at the city of Heraklion.
  • 8th of April - Talk of Dr. E. Vagenas (Academy of Athens) entitled "Black Holes: From the Universe to the Laboratory" at the Megaron of the Academy of Athens.
  • 9th of April - Talk of Prof. S. Theodossiou (Univ. of Athens) entitled "Astronomy in Ancient Egypt" at the Planetarium of Thessaloniki.
  • 11th of April - Talk of Prof. J. Seiradakis (Univ. of Thessaloniki) entitled "The Atntikythera Mechanism: An ancient astronomical computer", at the city of Larissa
  • 29th of April - Open night at the Observatory located at the campus of the Univ. of Thessonaloniki. A public talk by a faculty member will be followed by observations of the night sky and the planets.
  • 29th of April - Talk of Dr. K. Kalapotharakos (Academy of Athens) entitled "The Theory of Chaos in Astronomy" at the Megaron of the Academy of Athens.

More details about the events mentioned above, as well as all upcoming activities for the IYA 2009 which will take place in Greece under the auspices of Hel.A.S., are available at:



We would like to inform all members of Hel.A.S. of a dedicated web page with links to articles related to Astronomy that have been published in the greek mass media with the opportunity of the International Year of Astronomy. The web page is accessible via the greek IAY2009 activities page at:


If your article is not listed in the above web page, please sent an e-mail to the Secretary of Hel.A.S. to have it included.


ESA's Directorate of Human Spaceflight has invited industrial, technology, and scientific communities to provide inputs for experiments and payload elements for accommodation on its first lunar lander. Concepts for payloads, experiments or technology demonstrations should be submitted by completing a template, and sending to explorationcall@esa.int by 14 April 2009. The top level objectives of a European Lunar Lander mission address both technological preparation for future human exploration of the Moon, and advance the understanding of the Moon. For more information review the details of the call at:



On 26 March ESA issued a "Call for Declarations of Interest in Science Instrumentation" for the L-class Cosmic Vision mission study EJSM/Laplace. Prospective Instrument Study Teams are invited to submit proposals outlining the composition of nationally funded consortia to carry out assessment level studies. Responses to this call are due by 11 May 2009. For more information review the details of the call at:



The International Max Planck Research School for Astronomy and Cosmic Physics at the University of Heidelberg (IMPRS-HD) organizes for the fourth time this summer the Heidelberg Summer School. The subject of the school is "Statistical Inferences from Astrophysical Data" and it will take place in August 10-14, 2009 at the Max Planck House in Heidelberg, Germany. The invited lecturers of the school are David W. Hogg (New York Univ., USA), Ian McHardy (Univ. of Southampton, UK), and William H. Press (Univ. of Texas - Austin, USA). Limited funds are available for partial travel support of participants. The application deadline is June 15, 2009. For more information review the details of the call at:



The Spitzer Science Center (SSC) announces the availability of six-month graduate student fellowships beginning in summer 2009. These are designed to allow students from other institutions throughout the world to visit the SSC and perform astronomical research in close association with a SSC staff member during 2009 and early 2010. The aim of the program is to provide a graduate student from another institution with the opportunity of working at the SSC during the Spitzer mission, and to share in the excitement of a NASA Great Observatory. Applicants would normally be expected to have completed preliminary course work in their graduate program and be available for research during the period of the award. Funding from the SSC will be provided for a 6-month period via monthly stipends, airfare to the SSC from the home institution, and some start-up expenses. Typically 3-4 students will be accepted into the program. Students would normally begin work at the SSC in mid-July 2009 and leave in late January/early February 2010. The deadline for applications is Friday, May 1st, 2009. The information about the program, the projects and the application process can be found in the VGSP web site:



The European Radio Interferometry School (ERIS) is organizing a week of lectures and hands-on tutorials on how to get scientific results from radio interferometry. The school will take place at Oxford University (UK) on 7-11 September 2009. The topics to be covered include - Choosing the right instrument, configuration and observing plan for your project - Calibration and imaging continuum, spectral line and polarization data - Extracting and interpreting measurements - Example data drawn from observations of Galactic and extragalactic sources, the Sun, transient and variable objects. Students will be helped to use their own laptops to install and use the most widely-used packages such as AIPS, CASA and Parseltongue. Most examples will be drawn from cm-wave instruments such as MERLIN and the EVN but experts will be available on arrays from LOFAR to ALMA. Limited financial support is available from RadioNet. The deadline for applications is July 1st, 2009. 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 May 1st 2009. Please send your announcements (e.g. appointments/departures, job openings, research opportunities, awards, conferences in Greece) or comments before April 25, 2009. 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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