Hel.A.S. Newsletter 137 - July 2009

  1. Short News
  2. The 9th Hellenic Astronomical Conference
  3. July Activities for the IYA2009
  4. EuroVO-AIDA Research Initiative
  5. The ASTRONET/OPTICON European Telescope Strategy Review
  6. Astronomy & Astrophysics - 40 years
  7. JAXA Fellowships
  8. XXI Canary Islands Winter School of Astrophysics
  9. Upcoming Astronomy Meetings in Greece
  10. About this Newsletter

We would like to congratulate Dr. Iannis Dandouras (Centre dÂ’'Etude Spatiale des Rayonnements, France) who was recently promoted to Directeur de Recherche.

We would like to congratulate Elias Koulouridis who has recently obtained his PhD from the Department of Physics of the University of Patras under the co-supervision of Dr. M. Plionis (NOA/IAA) and Prof. Ch. Goudis. The title of his dissertation was "An evolutionary sequence of AGN as a result of galaxy interactions".

We would like to congratulate Dr. M. Plionis (NOA/IAA) who was recently elected Professor of Observational Astronomy at the Department of Physics of the University of Thessaloniki.


The deadline for submission of abstracts for the 9th Hellenic Astronomical Conference is today July 1st 2009. More information is available at:


The final program of the conference will be announced on July 15, 2009.


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 IYA2009 planned activities included in this mailing please inform the Editor of the e-newsletter.

For July 2009 the following events are planned:

  • 11th of July - Talk of Dr. C. Kouveliotou (NASA/MSFC, USA) entitled "Gamma Ray Bursts: The greatest Explosions in the Universe" at the city of Heraklion.
  • 22nd of July - Talk of Dr. N. Prantzos (Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, France) entitled "40 years from the first lunar landing: the human prospects in space" at the city of Heraklion.

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:



Within the framework of AIDA (Astronomical Infrastructure for Data Access), the European Virtual Observatory (EURO-VO) project is seeking proposals from teams carrying out archival astronomical research or projects that could benefit from the Virtual Observatory concept. The Virtual Observatory tools and applications allow seamless access to most of the world's large data archives such as ESO, ESA or HST. They also allow users to access a huge variety of reduced multiwavelength data and catalogues and to perform high-level analysis of images, spectra and large tabular datasets. Successful applicants will receive support from EURO-VO astronomers in using the VO facilities and software to complete their projects. No direct funding is awarded in this programme, but support for travel to VO centres may be available if justified by the project. The application deadline is July 15, 2009. For more information on the wokshop format and topics covered visit:



The ASTRONET Science Vision and Infrastructure Roadmap concluded that there is an urgent need to define a strategy for 2-4m telescopes at the European Level. Accordingly a panel has been set up to identify how Europe's medium sized telescopes can best contribute to the delivery of the Science Vision and to propose how a suite of existing telescopes can do so cost effectively. This panel, the European Telescopes Strategic Review Committee (ETSRC) is co-chaired by Janet Drew (University of Hertfordshire, UK) and Jacqueline Bergeron (IAP, Paris). ETSRC will deliver a report at around the end of 2009.

Vital community input is now sought via a web based tool created for the purpose available at:


The main consultation period continues until the end of July. The panel sees it as crucial to identifying a viable way forward that it receives input from right across Europe and from an equally broad spectrum of scientific interests in the mid-sized telescopes. The website indicated above outlines the panel's task, identifies the telescopes under consideration, presents some early ideas, and sketches the kind of input the panel is looking for at this stage.


The European Journal Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A) celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2009. On the second week of June 2009, A&A released a special issue that reprints 40 influential articles published in the past 40 years. Each of the selected articles is published together with a commentary highlighting the context of its publication and the advances it has continued bringing to astrophysics.

A&A was created in 1969 as the merging of several European national journals in the general spirit that had led to the foundation of the European Union, followed by several scientific European institutes in the 1960's. The first European astronomical institution, now a leading actor in the global field, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) was founded in 1964. In the wake of ESO's birth, discussions started among European astronomers about creating an international journal to publish the results of their research. At that time, they were frustrated by how little impact their work had outside their own countries, where several national journals were devoted to publishing national research in each country's own language. In contrast, their American colleagues already had at their disposal two journals, the Astrophysical Journal (ApJ) and the Astronomical Journal (AJ), for communicating their research to the entire US community. Dutch astronomer Stuart Pottasch and Frenchman Jean-Louis Steinberg were the leading advocates for establishing the new journal. A&A was closely associated to the young ESO that brought (and still provides) administrative support and owns its copyright.

Being created as the merging of national journals has meant that A&A has a unique organization among research publications. It is handled by astronomers of the countries that sponsor the journal's operations and form the A&A consortium. In 1969, the original consortium included six European countries (France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands), so that as Europe expanded, so also the number of sponsoring countries. Forty years later, the A&A consortium is no longer restricted to Europe, because Brazil, Chile, and Argentina have become members and joined the A&A Board of Directors, making a total of 23 sponsoring countries. In forty years, A&A has grown to become the second-largest astronomy journal in terms of volume (with 18,000 published pages per year). It presents the work of researchers from 60 countries from Albania to Venezuela, with Germany and France the largest contributors. For more information on A&A visit:



The Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), part of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is one of the leading space science centres. As part of its on-going commitment to remain at the forefront of space science, ISAS/JAXA has established a prestigious new fellowship program, the JAXA International Top Young Fellowship. This is designed to attract outstanding, highly motivated, young researchers in any of the space science fields covered by ISAS/JAXA to work in Japan for 3 (extendable to 5) years. Applicants must have a PhD (or equivalent doctoral level degree) and postdoctoral experience for maximum of 8 years The application deadline is July 15, 2009. For more information read:



The XXI Canary Islands Winter School of Astrophysics (WS), organized by the Instituto de AstrofĂ­sica de Canarias (IAC), is dedicated to the study of accretion processes in Astrophysics. it will take place Puerto de la Cruz (Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain) frm November 2nd to 13th, 2009. The WS welcomes a maximum of 70 PhD students and young Post-Docs, and provides each year a unique opportunity for the participants to broaden their knowledge in a key field of Astronomy.

The primary aim of the WS is to provide a wide-ranging and up-to-date overview of the theoretical, experimental and analytical tools necessary for carrying out front-line research in the study of accretion processes. The School is particularly designed to offer young researchers tips and guidelines to help them direct their future research towards these themes, which are among the most important in modern astrophysics. The school will include an introduction to the theory of accretion, observational signatures and tests of current models in close binaries and active galactic nuclei, as well as relativistic accretion flows around black holes. The following lecturers and topics have been scheduled: H. Spruit : Accretion Theory, B. Warner & R. Hynes: Accretion in Binary Systems, P. Podsiadlowski: Accretion and the Evolution of Binary Systems, G. Fabianno: Accretion-powered Binaries in other Galaxies, R. Fender & C. Done: Observational Characteristics of Accretion onto Black Holes, J. Hawley: Theory of Relativistic Accretion Flow. The application deadline is July 24, 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 August 1st 2009. Please send your announcements (e.g. appointments/departures, job openings, research opportunities, awards, conferences in Greece) or comments before July 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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