The world’s largest meeting of professional astronomers is coming to the Hawaii Convention Center in 2015. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) will hold its triennial General Assembly August 3-14, 2015, in Honolulu, on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, USA. A vote at this year’s General Assembly in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, selected Hawaii as the location of the 2015 meeting against very strong competition from two other sites.
The announcement of the IAU's General Assembly 2015 host was made jointly by the IAU, the American Astronomical Society (AAS), the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy (IfA), and the Hawaii Convention Center (HCC). Staff members of the IfA, AAS, and HCC worked hard to convince the IAU Executive Committee that Honolulu was the best choice for the 2015 meeting. "The selection of Honolulu is a reflection of Hawaii's importance in the astronomical world," said IfA Director Rolf Kudritzki. Hawaii is home to two collections of state-of-the-art astronomical observatories, one on the summit of Mauna Kea on the Big Island and the other atop Haleakala on Maui
The AAS organizes four large and several small astronomy meetings every year. "Our team is familiar with the particular logistical needs and demands of the astronomical community," says Dr. Kevin B. Marvel, AAS Executive Officer, "and we have a deep appreciation of the role that large international meetings play in advancing astronomy research and education."
"The Pacific Rim has had an explosion of astronomical activity in the past two decades with the focus of a great deal of that activity on the observatories in Hawaii. With its excellent infrastructure Honolulu is a natural for an international meeting like ours", said IAU President Robert Williams.
IAU General Assemblies are held every three years. The XXVII General Assembly held last month in Rio de Janeiro attracted more than 2,200 registered participants, exhibitors, and science journalists as well as additional accompanying family members. The next one will take place in August 2012 in Beijing, China. The August 2015 meeting in Hawaii is expected to attract some 4,000 attendees and will likely include the largest astronomy-related exhibition ever held at an IAU General Assembly.
The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together almost 10 000 distinguished astronomers from all nations of the world. Its mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation. The IAU also serves as the internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and the surface features on them. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world's largest professional body for astronomers.
For more information please contact
Dr. Rick Fienberg
Press Officer, American Astronomical Society
Tel: +1-202-328-2020 x116
Lars Lindberg Christensen
Press Officer, International Astronomical Union
Tel: +49 89-3200-6761
Dr. David Sanders
Institute for Astronomy
Communications executive, The Limtiaco Company (for the Hawaii Convention Center)