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Latest International Astronomical Union Stories

UNESCO–IAU Astronomical Heritage Web Portal Launch
2012-08-24 08:39:07

Buildings and monuments relating to astronomy throughout the ages stand as a tribute to the diverse and often complex ways in which people have rationalized the cosmos and framed their actions in accordance with their understanding of it. This includes, but is by no means restricted to, the development of modern science. The importance of the sky in human heritage was recognized by UNESCO when it established its Astronomy and World Heritage Initiative in 2003, and in 2008 it signed a...

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2010-03-16 10:55:00

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) recently approved a proposal from the MESSENGER Science Team to confer names on 10 impact craters on Mercury. The newly named craters were imaged during the mission's three flybys of Mercury in January and October 2008 and September 2009. The IAU has been the arbiter of planetary and satellite nomenclature since its inception in 1919. In keeping with the established naming theme for craters on Mercury, all of the craters are named after famous...

2009-08-14 11:25:55

The IAU XXVIIth General Assembly in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil had its Closing Ceremony today, Thursday 13 August 2009, after two busy weeks. The General Assembly was, as anticipated, a great success, with 2109 registered attendees from all around the world, including more than 80 members of the press. The participants attended six Symposia, sixteen Joint Discussions and ten Special Sessions and heard a balanced mix of review talks and cutting-edge presentations given by astronomers.The General...

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2009-08-10 13:25:00

One of the hottest topics at this year's XXVIIth General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil involves the study of the astrophysical conditions favourable for the development and survival of primordial life. New research shows that compared to middle-aged stars like the Sun, newly formed stars spin faster generating strong magnetic fields that result in emission of more intense levels of X-rays, ultraviolet rays and charged particles "• all...

2009-08-02 20:08:31

Pluto's lowered celestial status will probably stick at an upcoming meeting of astronomers in Rio de Janeiro, an American astronomer predicted Sunday. Pluto was reduced from a full-fledged planet -- the ninth in the Earth's solar system -- to dwarf planet at a meeting of the International Astronomical Union three years ago in Prague, Czech Republic. The Houston Chronicle reported Stephen Maran, co-author of the recent book Pluto Confidential, says politics may keep the only planet discovered...

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2009-06-03 14:55:00

Swiss astronomer Jose De Queiroz on Wednesday announced the discovery of two new asteroids between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. According to the Mirasteilas Observatory, De Queiroz has located two new asteroids with a diameter of between 1 kilometer and 2 kilometers. According to the Associated Press, the discovery of 2009FM1 and 2009FA1 was confirmed by the Minor Planet Center of the International Astronomical Union in Cambridge, Massachusetts in March. "They're perfectly ordinary objects...

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2009-04-21 13:35:00

Gender equality is a priority concern for the whole scientific community, regardless of its field, cultural background or geographic location. This is also the case for astronomy, where only approximately one quarter of all professionals are women. In some countries there are no female astronomers, whilst in others more than half the professional astronomers are female. These numbers drop towards more senior levels, suggesting that scientific careers are heavily affected by social and...

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2009-04-02 13:25:00

Astronomers around the world are taking part in a marathon in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Galileo's first use of a telescope in 1609.Organized by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) the "100 Hours of Astronomy" event is expected to bring a large audience to events across the globe as well as a massive online audience of participants. "It is a sense of discovery and awe that astronomers wish to share with our fellow citizens all over the world," said IAU president Catherine...

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2009-03-02 10:10:00

To mark UNESCO's International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009), six leading astronomers from the UK, the US, Europe and Asia write in March's Physics World about the biggest challenges and opportunities facing international astronomers over the next couple of decades. Many of those challenges are purely scientific, including the quest to clarify the true nature of dark matter and dark energy; the search for extra-terrestrial life among the myriad of extrasolar planets that are set to be...

2009-01-15 15:30:31

Astronomers from around the world have gathered in Paris for the start of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009), the largest network ever for sharing the wonders of the Universe with the public.The official Opening Ceremony for the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009) began today. It is taking place at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Headquarters, and features not only government representatives, diplomats, scientists from...


Word of the Day
sough
  • A murmuring sound; a rushing or whistling sound, like that of the wind; a deep sigh.
  • A gentle breeze; a waft; a breath.
  • Any rumor that engages general attention.
  • A cant or whining mode of speaking, especially in preaching or praying; the chant or recitative characteristic of the old Presbyterians in Scotland.
  • To make a rushing, whistling, or sighing sound; emit a hollow murmur; murmur or sigh like the wind.
  • To breathe in or as in sleep.
  • To utter in a whining or monotonous tone.
According to the OED, from the 16th century, this word is 'almost exclusively Scots and northern dialect until adopted in general literary use in the 19th.'
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