B2 – Commission B2 Data and Documentation


As an empirical science, astronomy depends critically upon observational data and its interpretation. Extracting the full scientific potential of astronomical data is a process that often occurs over the course of many years and through the combined efforts of generations of researchers. As modern astronomy has become increasingly multi-wavelength, and even multi messenger, the ability to combine data from multiple epochs and multiple instruments has also become increasingly crucial. Such long-term scientific exploitation and data synthesis is only possible through the establishment and management of well-defined and well-curated astronomical data collections. IAU Commission B2 acknowledges this central role of data in field of astronomy and focuses specifically on the manifold aspects of defining, managing, archiving, and sharing astronomical data and documentation.

With the advent of facilities such as ALMA, the JVLA, LOFAR, CTA, Pan-STARRS, JWST and the E-ELT, among others, the challenges facing large-scale astronomical data management are both real and immediate. New facilities such as the LSST and SKA will increase the scale of these data challenges by orders of magnitude and require us to confront issues of not only of data quantity but also data complexity and, perhaps more fundamentally, how scientists will need to interact with their data. At the same time the need to preserve our heritage data through digitization and other means is becoming increasingly urgent and raises other issues about data access and sharing. IAU Commission B2 is intended to serve as the community forum for supporting these myriad activities, and to be the IAU's vehicle for communication and collaboration with other international data organizations such as CODATA and the Research Data Alliance.

Commission Web Page

Commission Members (258)

Under Division

Division B Facilities, Technologies and Data Science

Commission Working Groups

Commission B2 WG Designations & Nomenclature
Commission B2 WG FITS
Commission B2 WG Preservation and Digitization of Photographic Plates
Inter-Commission B2-B5 WG Laboratory Astrophysics Data Compilation, Validation and Standardization: from the Laboratory to FAIR Usage in the Astronomical Community

Chenzhou CUI

National Astronomical Observatories, CAS
Astroinformatics Research Group
20A Datun Road, Chaoyang District
Beijing 100101
China, Nanjing

Phone: +86 010-64872500
Personal website: http://www.lamost.org/~cb
Organization website: http://www.nao.cas.cn

NCA adherence: China, Nanjing

Last updated:
November 20, 2023

Alberto Accomazzi

Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian
High Energy Astrophysics Division
60 Garden St.
Cambridge 02138
Massachusetts (MA)
United States

Phone: +1 617-495-7076
Personal website: https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/about/team/team/aaccomazzi.html
Organization website: http://ads.harvard.edu

NCA adherence: United States

Last updated:
November 20, 2023

Arpad Szomoru

Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC (JIVE)
Grevingaheerd 187
9737SL Groningen

Organization website: http://www.jive.eu

NCA adherence: Netherlands

Last updated:
November 20, 2023

Anja C. Schroeder

South African Astronomical Observatory
Observatory Road
P O Box 9
7935 Cape Town
South Africa

NCA adherence: South Africa

Last updated:
January 9, 2024

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