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Collected Dispatches from the International Astronomical Union’s 29th General Assembly in Honolulu, HI – August 2015

27 Aug 2015, 22:34 UTC
Collected Dispatches from the International Astronomical Union’s 29th General Assembly in Honolulu, HI – August 2015
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Hawaii is special to astronomers, as its highest mountains play host to the most important optical and infrared telescopes in the northern hemisphere. These volcanic summits are also sacred to native Hawaiians, and so there is always the potential for controversy whenever a new telescope is being planned or built. Currently, the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) is receiving lots of attention, as it is about to transition from the planning stages to the building stages. Despite demonstrations outside the Hawaii Convention Center and profuse coverage by the press, the IAU did not take any particular stand. Instead, it recognized the legitimate concerns of both parties and encouraged an amicable resolution.






Of course, a whole lot more occurred during the two-week gathering – including 6 symposia designed to cover a wide range of astronomical topics, 22 focus meetings that were more specialized, meetings of the IAU’s 9 key divisions, sundry other business and splinter meetings, exhibits and poster sessions, educational workshops, public talks, and star parties. Each day, a newspaper was published that was rich with feature stories and other astronomy-related information (see http://astronomy2015.org/newspaper). The collected ...

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