Submit Press Release or Announcement Proposals

Shortly put, news can be defined as any important development in the Union that ought to be communicated to a wider audience than just one of the Scientific Bodies. It is also a means of communication not only about astronomy, but also between astronomers.

We can only publish announcements directly related to the IAU and its members. Progress reports, meeting reports and non-IAU related scientific results, events, external jobs, personal research results, etc. unfortunately cannot be published.

A set of (general) newsworthiness criteria are below:

  • Timing: The story is ‘news’ (the event has just taken place), like the start of a new substantial project.
  • Implications: A result that has profound consequences.
  • Conflict: Settles a controversial debate or a much-debated topic that contains intrigues.
  • Human interest: For instance "Astronomer visits a remote country to give lectures and feels immersed in a different culture."
  • Mystery: A mysterious phenomenon, quirky details, an unexpected result or a chance discovery.
  • Major discovery: Represents a major discovery of a new phenomenon or class of object, or an incremental gain in knowledge about a principal field of research.
  • New interesting angle: Twisting an old result in a new way, such as a new, better image that confirms a known result.
  • A record: First, largest, most distant, fastest, oldest ….
  • A sexy topic: Some topics almost always capture the attention of the public (despite not necessarily being great science) and therefore have a fast track to the headlines. Some examples from astronomy are: Solar System topics, space weather, black holes, extrasolar planets, extraterrestrial life, the future of the Earth and Sun and human spaceflight.
  • Aesthetics: E.g. an exceptionally beautiful image.
  • Publication in a distinguished journal: Results published in, for example, Nature or Science tend to get more interest from journalists.
  • Crosslinking: Letting a result piggyback on another news story in a related, parallel or remotely related field.

If you have a proposal for a news item for the IAU to be published as a press release or announcement, please send an email to the IAU Press Officer, Guido Schwarz ( containing the following information:

  • Your name (you must be an IAU member).
  • A text proposal in English (no more than 500 words).
  • One or more images in TIFF format, in good quality, with resolution of at least 3000 pixels (either wide or high). Please state the credits for them and make sure we are allowed to publish them under the Creative Commons license.

Please allow us 2 weeks to evaluate your proposal. In exceptional cases, we can shorten this time.









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