Around the GA

PLOAD Bringing the Portuguese-speaking Astronomy Community Together

The Portuguese Language Office of Astronomy for Development (PLOAD) works towards supporting the IAU Strategic Plan 2020-2030 to strength the connections between Portuguese speaking communities to further the astronomy in the locality.

15 Years of the Spitzer Space Telescope

This year’s GA coincided with the 15th anniversary of the launch of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. Take a look back at the impressive history of this infrared eye into the secrets of our Universe, which was originally built to last for a minimum of 2.5 years.

Red Nova: A New Violent Event

A cool but violent event has made its debut in stellar astronomy, the Red Novae, the final coalescence a contact binary into fast rotating, blue straggler-like single star.

Around Vienna

Famous Austrian Astronomers

Although Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo all have roads named after them in Vienna, none of them have actually worked here. There are, however, several famous Austrian astronomers that you might (or might not) have heard of.

Drink in the Culture: 5 Best Coffee Houses

“The coffee house is for people who want to be alone but need company for it,” said Alfred Polgar, a famous Viennese coffee house poet. Whether you need a break from colleagues or, going against Polgar, want to socialise with them, check out the best in Viennese cafe culture.

A Dilemma on Where to Eat in Vienna?

Top tips for restaurants near and far, so you don’t starve during the conference.


Best (non-astro) Souvenirs from Vienna (& where to get them)

Still have space in your luggage? Have significant others, children, staff or students you owe a a gift of thanks? Just want something for yourself? We’ve got options for you!

A Prelude to the GA in Busan, 2021

Although the GA in Vienna is still in full-swing, it’s not too soon to start thinking ahead to Busan in 2021. Find out more about the next host city and the Korean Astronomical Society’s plans to encourage more young students and junior postdocs to attend.

Night at the Museum

Fitting in a bit of sightseeing around the GA’s busy programme can be difficult; by the time you’ve reached downtown Vienna, the museum you’re eager to visit has already closed its doors. But did you know that some of the venues will be open late on Thursday and Friday?

UNESCO–IAU Astronomy and World Heritage Initiative

Thanks to the UNESCO–IAU Astronomy & World Heritage Initiative, the number of astronomical World Heritage Sites is growing. The IAU, via Commission C4, is now initiating its own list of Outstanding Astronomical Heritage sites, which will be viewable on the UNESCO-IAU Heritage of Astronomy portal.

10 Lesser-Known Celestial Gems in Vienna

Vienna has many places of astronomical significance. Many, like the Kuffner Observatory and the planetarium in the Natural History Museum, are featured in popular guide books. Take a look at our guide to some lesser-known astronomical highlights from a Vienna native.

Soak Up Vienna On A Rainy Day

You’ll finally have some free time for sightseeing in Vienna this weekend, but rain is in the forecast. Don’t let the bad weather stop you from exploring — take a look at this round-up of the best indoor activities and venues to visit.

Focus Meetings

FM04: Magnetic Fields Along the Star-Formation Sequence

Focus Meeting 4 will bring together communities working with polarimetric observations of the various stages and objects along the star-formation sequence, from the structure of star-forming molecular clouds to the arrival of young stars on the zero-age main sequence.

FM08: New Insights in Extragalactic Magnetic Fields

Magnetic fields are key ingredients of the extragalactic Universe but remain poorly understood. The next generation of radio observatories and advances in numerical simulations will lead to dramatic increases in our understanding of extragalactic magnetic fields in the coming years.

FM15: Astronomy for Development

Focus Meeting 15 aims to stimulate conversation about the impact of our field on global development. It centres around the work of the IAU’s Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD), which will reach out for input from the IAU community.

Symposia & Invited Discourses

S348: 21st Century Astrometry – Crossing the Dark & Habitable Frontiers

With increased levels of precision and accuracy, astrometry is enabling the detection of ultra-faint dwarf galaxies resulting in groundbreaking advances in the search for dark matter.

ID03: Planet Formation

The distribution of disk material on spatial scales of only a few AU has implications for the assembly & early evolution of planetary systems.

S347: Early Science with ELTs (EASE)

IAU Symposium 347 will review the current status of the three 25- to 39-metre telescopes now under construction, along with their instrumentation and planned early science, as well as the key role that state-of-the-art adaptive optics systems will play in their operations.