Date sent: 1 April 2014, 11:48

From: Elena Pian (

Subject: IAU Division D On-line Bulletin N. 1 - April 1st, 2014

*** IAU Division D Bulletin N. 1: April 1st, 2014 ***


* Opening Message from IAU Division D President
* NIFTY: Numerical information field theory for everyone
* The HAWC gamma-ray observatory
* Australian Astronomy Decadal Plan
* Belinda Wilkes Appointed as Director of the CXC
* Launch of the Journal of High Energy Astrophysics
* Conference advertisement on The Astronomer's Telegram
* Upcoming Conferences, Workshops, Meetings and Schools
* Deceased IAU Members


Opening Message from IAU Division D President

I send my greetings in this the first of our Div D e-mail bulletins, and here are a few words about some of the things your Division Steering Committee (DSC) has been up to recently.

The response to the last call for proposals for IAU meetings has been strong, with Focus Meetings at the General Assembly (GA) proving particularly popular. Your DSC has reviewed all the proposals, and the Assistant General Secretary is merging results from the Divisions and members of the Executive Committee (EC). Arriving at the final program for Hawaii in 2015 will not be easy --- we can look forward to a stimulating GA, including time set aside for each Division to hold its own science meeting.

Your Division President has been actively engaged with those from other Divisions in considering the role of Commissions within the IAU, and how best to take them forward following the major IAU restructuring which came into effect following the Beijing 2012 GA. Decisions will be made when the EC meets in the first week of May, but I expect there to be a call for proposals for Commissions within a few months. I know some of you are already thinking hard about this. Do continue to discuss your ideas with your international colleagues. Commissions can be fully within the science areas of Div D or cross-Divisional. Remember also that IAU Working Groups can be formed at any time with agreement of the DSC.

The IAU etablished an Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) in 2011 (see DSC member Anna Wolter is Div D's point of contact with this body.

With Best Regards
Diana Worrall, IAU Division D President


NIFTY: Numerical information field theory for everyone - Astronomers present a software package for all types of imaging

by Torsten Ensslin (MPA, Garching, Germany)

Signal reconstruction algorithms can now be developed more elegantly because scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics released a new software package for data analysis and imaging, NIFTY (A&A 554A, 26 (2013),arXiv:1301.4499), that is useful for mapping in any number of dimensions or spherical projections without encoding the dimensional information in the algorithm itself. The advantage is that once a special method for image reconstruction has been programmed with NIFTY it can easily be applied to many other applications.

The publicly available NIFTY framework has already enabled the development of two new astronomical imaging algorithms: D3PO, a code for Denoising, Deconvolving, and Decomposing Photon Observations, which is designed for X-ray and gamma-ray imaging (arXiv:1311.1888), and RESOLVE, a code for radio interferometric imaging of diffuse emission (arXiv:1311.5282) and its spectral index (arXiv:1401.4711). D3PO and RESOLVE are planned to become publicly available in the future.


NIFTY press release:

NIFTY home page & download:

D3PO press release:

Page on information field theory:


The HAWC gamma-ray observatory

by Alberto Carraminana (INAOE, Mexico)

The High Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) observatory is a wide field gamma-ray detector currently in installation at the Northern base of volcan Sierra Negra, in central Mexico. The site has an altitude of 4100m and a latitude of 19 deg N, which allows partial coverage of the Southern hemisphere under tolerable conditions given its high elevation. By the end of 2014 HAWC will consist of an array of 300 water Cherenkov detectors, each one of 7.2m diameter and 5m height instrumented with four photomultiplier tubes, with the whole array due to cover 22,000 sq.meters. HAWC is a transit instrument with an instantaneous field of view of 2sr, surveying 2/3 of the celestial sphere and the Galactic plane every sidereal day in the 100 GeV - 100 TeV range. Its design and location will allow HAWC to detect the Crab nebula at a
5-sigma level in a single transit, and reach below 50mCrab in a year, being ideally suited for the monitoring of high energy transients and the study of extended sources. HAWC started continuous operations with 111 WCDs in August 2013 and is in track to be completed by the end of 2014. HAWC is a Mexico - US collaboration involving more than 25 institutions and supported financially by CONACYT in Mexico, NSF and DoE in the US.

More information:


Australian Astronomy Decadal Plan

by Duncan K. Galloway (Monash Center for Astrophysics, Australia)

The Australian Astronomy community is currently preparing a strategic plan covering the next decade (2016-25). A broad group of researchers with interests in high-energy astrophysics are contributing to this plan via a working group inspired by Division D, with myself as the chair.

There are a number of groups in Australia with research interests in areas also covered by Division D, including ground-based high energy astronomy (very high-energy gamma-rays and cosmic rays), neutrino astronomy, explosive nucleosynthesis, compact objects including pulsars, and gravitational waves. The initial working groups proposed by the organising body, the National Committee for Astronomy (NCA), did not really represent our research (we felt), and so we proposed successfully for an additional group, with scope adopted faithfully from that of Division D.

The plan is currently in a community consultation phase, with 28 "town-hall"-style meetings to be held around the country over the next (and last) few months. The draft working group reports will be released publicly at the Astronomical Society of Australia's Annual Scientific Meeting in July, in Sydney, and the plan itself will be launched in mid-2015. More information on the plan and the schedule can be found at
the NCA's website,


Belinda Wilkes Appointed as Director of the CXC

[from HEAD Bulletin of March 24th, 2014]

In consultation with NASA, CfA Director Charles Alcock has appointed Belinda Wilkes to succeed Harvey Tananbaum as the director of the Chandra X-ray Center. She assumes the directorship on April 20, 2014.

Belinda has served as the CXC Assistant Director for the past 12 years. She is well known to Chandra's international user community particularly through her leadership of the annual Chandra Peer Review. Belinda maintains strong and effective working relationships at the CXC, with NASA Headquarters and the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), which manages Chandra.

Prior to her current position, Dr. Wilkes served as Deputy Group Leader of the Chandra User Support Group. From 1990 to 1995 she was Lead Data Verification Scientist for the ROSAT Science Data Center at SAO, and before that she supported validation and verification of the Einstein X-ray Observatory data reprocessing. She is a distinguished and highly cited research scientist with 145 papers in refereed journals.

Dr. Wilkes's primary science interests are X-ray and multi-wavelength studies of quasars along with lower luminosity active galactic nuclei. She has successfully competed for observing time on three of NASA’s Great Observatories - Chandra, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the Spitzer Space Telescope - as well as many other space-based and ground-based facilities.

As an active member of the science community, she has served on a wide range of committees including the AAS HEAD Executive Committee, the Astrophysics Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council, the NRC/SSB Review Panel on NASA's SMD Science Plan, and various user and advisory committees and review panels for space and ground-based telescopes.

Dr. Wilkes received her B. Sc. (Hons.) from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and her Ph. D. from Cambridge University, England. Before coming to SAO she held a NATO Post-doctoral Fellowship at Steward Observatory, University of Arizona. She is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and the Cambridge Philosophical Society, and a member of the American Astronomical Society and the International Astronomical Union. She has received several NASA Group Achievement awards, the NASA MSFC Director's Commendation, and many Smithsonian Institution awards including the Exceptional Accomplishment Award.

The Chandra team welcomes Belinda enthusiastically to her new role as director and we look forward to working together to support many more years of spectacular Chandra science!

Roger Brissenden
Manager, Chandra X-ray Center


Launch of the Journal of High Energy Astrophysics (JHEAp)

Elsevier have launched a new journal related to Div D field. Theoretical, observational, and numerical papers are welcomed. The journal has no page charges and has an open access / delayed open access policy. See:


Conference advertisement on The Astronomer's Telegram

The Astronomer's Telegram offers conference advertising for free, under their "This Space For Free" program. With over 10,000 monthly average visitors to their website, advertising will find the audience you wish to attract, as well as raise visibility of your conference within the astronomical community.


Upcoming Conferences:

Workshop on Gravitational Waves Astrophysics, 3rd Session of the Sant Cugat Forum on Astrophysics: April 22-25, 2014, Sant Cugat. The Forum on Astrophysics is a framework designed to host international meetings. Proposals for new sessions are open to all members in the community. Details can be found in the Forum website:



An international symposium organized by the XMM-Newton Science Operations Centre, in Trinity College, Dublin (Ireland), 16th-19th June 2014

The symposium is the fourth international meeting in the series "The X-ray Universe". The intention is to gather a general collection of research in high energy astrophysics. The symposium will provide a showcase for results, discoveries and expectations from current and future X-ray missions.

Key topics include all astrophysics topics addressed by X-ray observations. Hot Topics include:

Accretion Physics
Physics of Magnetised Objects
General Relativity: Compact Objects & Reverberation
Extrasolar Planets and their Hosts
Galactic Centre
Transients of the Multi-Band Sky
Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Effect: Recent Results
The Sky at High Energies

Early registration is possible until April 28, 2014.



Boston, MA
July 9 - 11, 2014

The Summer 2014 Chandra-sponsored Science Workshop will take place at the DoubleTree Guest Suites in Boston, MA.
Please check the website at
for information.

Friday, April 25, 2014: Final deadline for contributed talk abstract submission

Friday, May 23, 2014: Final deadline for general registration and poster abstract submission

Saturday, June 14, 2014: Final deadline for hotel reservations at group rate, and for all requests for letters of invitation


5-th Gamow International Conference in Odessa: "Astrophysics and Cosmology after Gamow: progress and perspectives" , 16-24 August, 2014, Odessa, Ukraine. The first announcement can be found in:


14th meeting of the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) Chicago, IL
17-21 August 2014
abstract submission is open (Abstracts are due May 15th)

The 14th AAS High Energy Astrophysics Division meeting be held at the beautiful Westin on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, and will cover all
topics relevant to high energy astrophysics, including observational, theoretical, and instrumental areas of X-rays, gravity waves, cosmic and gamma-rays, including of course multiwavelength work. Special topic seminars will be included on

* Bridging Laboratory and High Energy Astrophysics
* Science and Technology for a Successor to the Chandra X-ray Observatory
* The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR)
* The Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER)
* Stellar clusters and star formation
* The Gravitational Universe
as well as a first-ever public session on "The Art in Science".

As always, the main sessions are all plenary, allowing everyone to attend them, and all posters will remain up for the entire meeting.
There will also be an option to publish your poster on ADS, and to advertise it electronically on screens placed throughout the meeting.


"3rd Workshop on Active Galactic Nuclei and Gravitational Lensing", to be held in Serbia from 7th to 11th October of 2014. Information on the Workshop is available at:


Ecole Internationale d'Astrophysique Daniel Chalonge: programme 2014

Welcome to the Chalonge School. A Laboratory of Ideas. Research, Training and Scientific Culture. 23 Years of Activity-Calling for Understanding. Science with great intellectual endeavour and a Human Face.

The Chalonge School Programme 2014 : The Programme is open to researchers in different disciplines in the field, both theorists, experimentalists and observers, as as well as to post-docs and advanced PhD students.

Scientific Programme and Context: The new Dark Matter situation today, Warm Dark Matter and the WDM candidates keV sterile eutrions. The detection of the keV X-ray line in clusters of galaxies. The crisis of CDM + (baryonic cures), the crisis of Wimps and their decline. The BICEP2 CMB polarisation results: primordial gravitons and the effective theory of inflation.

Recently, Warm (keV scale) Dark Matter emerged impressively over CDM (Cold Dark Matter) as the leading Dark Matter candidate. Astronomical evidence that Cold Dark Matter (CDM) and its proposed tailored baryonic cures do not work at galactic and small scales is staggering. WDM solves naturally the problems of DM and agrees remarkably well with the observations at all scales: CMB, large and cosmological scales as well as galactic and small scales.

In the context of this new Dark Matter situation, which implies novelties in the astrophysical, cosmological, particle and nuclear physics context, the Programme 2014 is devoted to the Latest News from the Universe and galaxies, as well as to the theoretical and experimental search for the leading WDM particle candidate: keV sterile neutrinos.

The list of acivities with the topics and dates of the Chalonge Programme 2014, Open Sessions and meetings is available here:

Registration is open to the following two Meetings. Early Registration is strongly encouredged:

-The Chalonge Meudon Workshop 2014 :

"From Large to Small scale structures in Agreement with Observations: CMB, WDM, Galaxies, Black holes, Neutrinos and Sterile Neutrinos". Web site available here :

-The 18th Paris Cosmology Colloquium Chalonge 2014

"Latest News from the Universe: LambdaWDM, CMB,Warm Dark Matter, Dark Energy, Neutrinos and Sterile Neutrinos". Web site available here :

School Courses, Lectures and Lecturers, Album of Pictures are available at this URL :

With compliments and kind regards

The Chalonge School Team


Registration is open to the following two Meetings. Early Registration is strongly encouraged:

-The Chalonge Meudon Workshop 2014 :
"From Large to Small scale structures in Agreement with Observations: CMB, WDM, Galaxies, Black holes, Neutrinos and Sterile Neutrinos". Web site available here :

-The 18th Paris Cosmology Colloquium Chalonge 2014
"Latest News from the Universe: LambdaWDM, CMB,Warm Dark Matter, Dark Energy, Neutrinos and Sterile Neutrinos". Web site available here :


Deceased IAU Members:

IAU has sadly informed us about the passing of the following IAU Members (not all of
these are recent):

- Antoliy Minakov
- Stephan Price
- David de Young
- Jaylee Mead
- Fang Li-Zhi
- Chubb Talbot
- Hakki Ogelman
- William Rense
- Maurice Shapiro
- Frank Jones
- James E. Felten

We regard upon their memory with respect and our thoughts are with their families.


If you wish to share with IAU Div D any information about matters that may be relevant to the activities of Div D Members, please send e-mail to by *** June 21st, 2014 ***. This will appear in the next Bulletin issue, due July 1st, 2014.
Thank you in advance for your inputs and best regards.
Elena Pian
Secretary of IAU Div D Steering Committee
Associate Astronomer - INAF-IASF Bologna, Italy


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