September 1, 2014
September 6, 2014
Division XII Union-Wide Activities
Roger Hajjar firstname.lastname@example.org
Task Force Astronomy & Astrophysics
59, Zahia Salmane Street
Department of Physics & Astronomy
Notre Dame University - Louaize
PoBox 72 Zouk Mikael
Telephone or fax: 961-9-208726 & 961-3-269405
Chairs of SOC
Edward Sion (Villanova University, USA) and George Helou* (California Institute of Technology, USA)
Chairs of LOC
Task Force Astronomy & Astrophysics** (L-CNRS, Lebanon)
- Galaxies & Cosmolgy
- Stars and Environments
- Sun, Heliosphere, and Space Weather
- Solar System & Exoplanets
- Astronomical Projects with small telescopes
- Archives and Virtual Observatories
- Telescopes & Instrumentation
- Astronomy for Development
Following on the success of the first two meeting, all participants expressed the need to meet on a regular basis to assess the development of astronomy and astrophysics in the region, increase regional and international networking and collaboration, and provide opportunities to take stock of the international development of astronomy and astrophysics.
The region witnessed exciting developments in astronomy and astrophysics since MEARIM II in April 2011. The Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) was officially launched, and the first call for proposals announced a few weeks ago. A number of Regional Offices of Astronomy for Development (ROAD) is expected to be created in the region in the next few years, providing added development opportunities.
Furthermore, the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) was officially attributed to South Africa and will be developed in the southern part of the continent. An important number of Middle-Eastern and African countries have burgeoning astronomy and astrophysics programs and are working on establishing national observatories.
Lebanon is graduating astronomy and astrophysics masters degree holders and PhD will soon follow. The number of PhD holding astronomers and astrophysicists in Lebanon increased to 9. An observatory is soon to be completed in the country and is already scheduled to contribute to an international campaign to monitor Wolf-Rayet stars in 2013. In 2014, the planned year of the meeting, Lebanon will have been an interim member of the IAU for 8 years, with the requirement to ask for full membership the following year.
A third MEARIM in 2014 will be at the right time to discuss research and observational facilities that are and will become available, propose science that would benefit from these facilities, and network with international, cutting-edge research and facilities around the world. It will also be an opportunity to learn from the first few years of the operation of the OAD by reviewing impact on the development of astronomy and astrophysics in the region, and enhance the operation of its ROADs.
MEARIM III in the Middle-East will also provide an important boost to the participation of MENA region astronomers and astrophysicists to the meeting while maintaining and enhancing the strong participation of African astronomers and astrophysicists to it.
* Currently awaiting confirmation from Dr. George Helou
** The Chair of the LOC will be selected from among the Task Force members who are Lebanese astronomers, astrophysicists and scientists.