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European Astronomical Society
e-Newsletter  1

EAS News
Launch of the EAS e-Newsletter
Editorial

The EAS is happy to announce the launch of a new medium. For many years, EAS news was communicated either through the paper Newsletter (which appeared twice per year) or via the short electronic e-News. EAS Council has considered the continuation of the paper Newsletter and has decided to move to another more flexible, modern and attractive way of communication with its members and beyond. Hence the birth of a new medium: an e-Newsletter that combines and replaces the short electronic e-News and the paper Newsletter. Read more


EAS News
Message from the President
Report to the General Assembly

Council, Staff and our supporting company Kuoni spent a considerable amount of time and effort on the EWASS front. First came the preparation of the meeting we are having in Athens. This exercise was delicate at the beginning for a number of reasons, all having to do with the political and economic situation of Greece in the Summer of 2015. This, contrary to my expectations, created tensions between the in Greece and out of Greece partners. The lack of confidence of the economical establishment outside Greece went as far as imposing that EAS carries alone the risks of the prepayments to organise the event. When one knows that the budget of an EWASS meeting is 3-4 times the EAS annual budget this led to difficult decisions. Having had a very successful EWASS15, the EAS was in a position to take this risk and decided to go ahead. With time going the tensions eased one after the other, leading to a very constructive collaboration. All is well, the decision was right, many thanks to all involved. Read more


EAS News
New EAS Council members
Sofia Feltzing, Lex Kaper and Georges Meylan

The President welcomes three new Council members: Sofia Feltzing, Lex Kaper and Georges Meylan. Their roles within the EAS Council will be the following: Sofia will liaise with the European Astronomical bodies such as ESO and ESA, Lex will be overseeing the EWASS organization and Georges will be in charge of the EAS prizes committee. We would also like to report that our President, Thierry Courvoisier, will be stepping down in July 2017 and will be replaced by Roger Davies (present vice-president of the EAS).


EAS News
EAS policy regarding diversity and non-discrimination

The Council reminds all EAS members about the EAS policy on diversity and non-discrimination. In this policy, the EAS recognizes that diversity among astronomers brings diversity of ideas, methods and sensitivity, which is beneficial to astronomy. In addition, it is critical for the future of astronomy, and science in general, that young people can see evidence that scientists can succeed regardless of, e.g., gender, nationality, ethnic origin, or social origin. The full text of this document is available here.


EAS News
European Week of Astronomy and Space Science 2016

This year's EWASS meeting was held in Athens, Greece, from 4 to 8 July, and was attended by 882 participants from all over the world. The EWASS hosting committee was chaired by Vassilis Charmandaris, supported by Alceste Bonanos, Manolis Georgoulis, Despina Hatzidimitriou, Nick Kylafis, Apostolos Mastichiadis, Panos Patsis and Nektarios Vlahakis. The logistics were in hands of Kuoni Congress, official partner of EWASS. The EAS strives at making the EWASS the yearly scientific meeting of European astronomy, with emphasis on a strong scientific program, on broadening the connections between individual astronomers, and on tightening the links with the national communities. Read more


EAS News
Preparing EWASS 2017 in Prague

EWASS 2017 is getting organised by the EHC (EWASS Hosting Committee) and SOC (Scientific Organising Committee) to be held on 26-30 June 2017 in Prague. The SOC received 50 proposals for organising EWASS sessions: 31 for Symposia and 19 for Special Sessions. Read more


EAS News
EWASS 2018 venue chosen
EWASS 2018 to be hosted in Liverpool

The council is happy to report that a venue for EWASS 2018 has been chosen. EWASS 2018 will be hosted in Liverpool, UK. The dates are 3-6 April 2018. The professional conference organizing company KUONI will again support the organization and will liaise with the national hosting committee, chaired by Mike Bode.


EAS News
Call for nominations for the Tycho Brahe Prize 2017

The EAS Council now invites EAS members to nominate suitable candidates for The Tycho Brahe Prize 2017. The prize is awarded annually in recognition of the development or exploitation of European instruments, or major discoveries based largely on such instruments. Read more


EAS News
Tycho Brahe Prize 2016 to Joachim Trümper
Tycho Brahe Prize awarded during the EWASS meeting in Athens

The 2016 Tycho Brahe Prize was awarded to Prof. Joachim Trümper in recognition of his visionary development of X-ray instrumentation, from balloon experiments and the discovery of cyclotron lines probing the magnetic field of neutron stars to his leadership and strong scientific involvement in the ROSAT mission. Read more


EAS News
Lodewijk Woltjer Lecture 2016 to Thibault Damour
Lodewijk Woltjer Lecture awarded during the EWASS meeting in Athens

The 2016 Lodewijk Woltjer Lecture was awarded to Prof. Thibault Damour for his outstanding career on theoretical implications of General Relativity and in particular on the prediction of the newly-observed gravitational wave signal of coalescing binary black holes. Read more


EAS News
MERAC Prizes 2016 to Maria Petropoulou, Yingjie Peng and Oliver Pfuhl
MERAC Prizes for the Best Doctoral Thesis awarded during the EWASS meeting in Athens

At the EWASS 2016 meeting in Athens, the 2016 MERAC Prizes for the Best Doctoral Thesis were awarded. The winner in the category Theoretical Astrophysics was Dr Maria Petropoulou for her thesis on radiative instabilities and particle acceleration in high-energy plasmas with applications to relativistic jets of active galactic nuclei and gamma-ray bursts. The prize in Observational Astrophysics was awarded to Dr Yingjie Peng for his thesis on the simplicity of the evolving galaxy population and the origin of the Schechter form of the galaxy stellar mass function. Finally, the laureate in the category New Technologies was Dr Oliver Pfuhl for his thesis on an innovative design of two subsystems for the VLTI instrument GRAVITY: the fibre coupler and the guiding system. Read more


EAS News
Milestone for EAS Facebook page
EAS Facebook page has reached 1000 followers

The EAS Facebook page has reached 1000 followers! We would like to thank those of you who already follow there our news about astronomy in Europe and the information we publish about the European Astronomical Society, EWASS, the EAS prizes, etc. The EAS facebook page is a great way to get immediate access to information. Stay connected and join us on Facebook !


Contributed News
On the threshold of 1st Gaia data: the GREAT Network Science Symposium
EWASS symposium 1

The GREAT (Gaia Research for European Astronomy Training) initiative is a pan-European research network involving over 500 researchers in 20+ countries with a common interest in aiming to maximise the science potential of Gaia. This 9th GREAT network annual plenary meeting was co-located at the EAS 2016 EWASS, constituted as Science Symposium 1. Read more


Contributed News
Future prospects for far-infrared space astrophysics
EWASS symposium 4

The far-infrared (FIR) spectral region enables studies of the thermal dust continuum emission and key atomic and molecular cooling lines, revealing the cold universe, hidden from view at UV or optical wavelengths. Over the past two decades, space missions such as the Infrared Space Observatory, Spitzer, Herschel, Planck, and Akari have revealed the intricate interactions between stars and the interstellar medium of the Milky Way and external galaxies. They have refined our understanding of star formation as a function of cosmic time and of the role of AGNs in galaxy evolution. The new ground-based and airborne submillimeter/FIR facilities, notably ALMA and SOFIA, will allow to continue these studies. However, it is now imperative to start planning the FIR space missions of the future. Read more


Contributed News
Exploring the outskirts of galaxy clusters
EWASS symposium 6

One of the major scientific goal for Athena, the next-generation European X-ray telescope recently selected by ESA as second Large Mission of the Cosmic Vision program, is to determine how baryons assemble and dynamically evolve into galaxy clusters. The outskirts of galaxy clusters are the place where the connection between the highest peaks in the comic matter density and the large-scale structure is established. Read more


Contributed News
X-rays from AGN: looking into the central engine
EWASS symposium 7

Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are powered by accretion onto supermassive black holes. X-rays are produced in the innermost region of the flow provide a unique probe of the black hole environment all the way into the event horizon. The X-ray spectral and timing properties carry vital information regarding the space-time, the emission mechanisms for continuum and reprocessed radiation, the nature and dynamics of absorbing gas, and the geometry of the central source and accretion disc. Read more


Contributed News
Interstellar dust and gas coupling: linking observations, models and laboratory astrophysics
EWASS symposium 8

In regions where stars are forming, about one percent of the mass is in the form of sub-micrometer sized dust particles. However small and insignificant these dust grains may seem, they are now recognised as powerful interstellar catalysts and are responsible for most of the production of the simplest (H2) to the most complex (pre-biotic) molecules observed in the Universe. In addition, since dust particles are interacting with the gas, the chemical composition and thermodynamics of a gas cloud forming stars depends on gas-dust interactions. Read more


Contributed News
Gamma-ray bursts: recent theoretical models and observations
EWASS symposium 11

With over 10 years of observations the NASA Swift satellite has revolutionised the study of Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs), some of the most energetic events ever detected. However 40 years after their discovery their origin remains elusive. Research has focused on the emission mechanisms in an effort to understand all the characteristics of the light curves and the spectra of these bursts. Read more


Contributed News
Stellar and AGN feedback in galaxies: a multi-wavelength perspective of outflows
EWASS symposium 12

Evidence for an intimate connection between the fuelling and growth of supermassive black holes (SMBH) and the evolution of galaxies is now compelling. Not only have SMBHs been found in many galaxies with significant bulge components, but correlations also exist between the black hole mass and bulge properties such as stellar mass and velocity dispersion. Even beyond that, there is now evidence of massive black holes in low mass galaxies. The physical processes underpinning this relationship are known collectively as feedback. Outflows induced by the nuclear activity might play a critical role as a feedback mechanism, since their energy output might regulate the growth of the black holes and their hosts at least for massive galaxies. Read more


Contributed News
High and very-high-energy gamma-ray astronomy: status and future
EWASS symposium 13

This symposium was intended as the first of a series of EWASS meetings aimed at increasing the level of awareness within the astronomy and astrophysics community about the activities and scientific achievements in the relatively young field of high- and very-high-energy gamma-ray astronomy, trigger new multi-wavelength collaborations and foster the usage of new facilities such as CTA. Read more


Contributed News
New classes and unique events in time domain astronomy
EWASS symposium 14

Modern time-domain optical surveys are discovering new types of transient phenomena that defy the traditional supernova (SN) classes: superluminous SNe (SLSNe) are very luminous explosions that, despite concentrated effort, remain mostly unexplained; rapidly evolving SNe pose serious challenges to traditional models; a newly discovered class of tidal disruption events (TDEs) has sparked a flurry of theoretical work to try and explain the observed properties. Read more


Contributed News
Exploring pulsar formation, evolution and magnetic field: from low mass X-ray binaries to magnetars
EWASS symposium 15

Recent observations of neutron stars in multiple wavelengths, both from space and ground-based observatories combined with ongoing monitoring have revealed their rich and diverse behaviour, ranging from the explosive magnetars to the steady rotation-powered pulsars and the accreting millisecond pulsars. It is now widely recognised that a key parameter behind this broad phenomenology is their magnetic field and a lot of effort has been put into modelling and simulating these systems. Read more


Contributed News
Magnetic helicity in Sun and stars: from dynamo action to eruptive phenomena
EWASS symposium 17

The intriguing topic of magnetic helicity in the Sun and magnetically active stars was the overarching theme of this two-day Symposium. The sheer energy of magnetic fields in the atmospheres of stellar objects was once thought to be solely responsible for major stellar eruptions, from solar flares to orders-of-magnitude stronger gamma-ray bursts in flare stars, pulsars, and magnetars. Read more


Contributed News
Solar-terrestrial coupling and space weather: state-of-the-art and future prospects
EWASS special session 2

The Sun-Earth Connection (SEC) is a fundamental research topic and its understanding represents a major challenge of space physics, with significant socio-economic implications via the impact of space weather. The Sun influences the terrestrial and other planetary magnetospheres with continuous as well as transient magnetised plasma flows, in the form of solar wind and Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) respectively, and with radiations, transient in terms of solar flares, and otherwise. Read more


Contributed News
The life and times of the Milky Way bulge
EWASS special session 6

The Galactic bulge is key to understanding the structure, evolution and birth of our galaxy. From an initial overdensity of gas and dark matter, our infant galaxy grew into what we see around us today. By analysing the Galactic bulge we can probe the origins of our galaxy, but also the important role it plays in shaping the state of the Milky Way today. Read more


Contributed News
The effects of solar and stellar magnetic activity on planets
EWASS special session 7

This Special Session brought together observers/theoreticians whose diverse research interests are linked with solar and stellar activity and its effect on orbiting planets. The magnetic activity of cool stars (flares, winds and coronal mass ejections) have a direct impact on planets. This activity varies with the mass, age and rotation rate of the star and can be damaging for life, even in the case of a fairly inactive star like the Sun. Read more


Contributed News
Episodic accretion in star formation
EWASS special session 9

The EWASS 2016 special session 9 took place on Monday, July 4th 2016 to address the topic of episodic accretion, which has gained significant interest in the star formation community. Episodic accretion is now viewed as a common, though still poorly understood, phenomenon in low-mass star formation. Read more


Contributed News
Nanoradians on the sky: VLBI across the Mediterranean and beyond
EWASS special session 10

The main goal of the special session was to highlight some of the science areas that benefit from the very high angular resolution of very long baseline interferometry (VLBI), especially those topics that may be the focus of Key Science Programmes for VLBI studies with the Square Kilometre Array (SKA-VLBI). Read more


Contributed News
The interplay between turbulence and micro-physical processes
EWASS special session 11

The topic of turbulence was chosen for a special session at EWASS because turbulence is omnipresent in the interstellar medium. With the advent of large spectroscopic mapping capabilities probing the kinematics of the neutral and ionised phases, it is now possible to probe the gas turbulence over a broad range of densities and temperature. Read more


About the EAS and the e-Newsletter

The European Astronomical Society (EAS) is a society of professional astronomers founded in 1990 and aiming at promoting and advancing astronomy in Europe.

Started in 2016, the e-Newsletter is a prime communication tool between the society and its members. It supersedes the short e-News and the paper Newsletter and is foreseen to be issued three to four times per year.

You prefer paper? Please, print the e-Newsletter from the PDF icon at the top-right.

If you would like to contribute, please contact Maarten Baes (Ghent University, Belgium), the EAS e-Newsletter editor.

Composition of the EAS Council

President:
Thierry Courvoisier, Switzerland
Vice-Presidents:
Emmanouil Angelakis, Germany
Roger Davies, UK (President Elect)
Secretary:
Serena Viti, UK
Treasurer:
Johan Knapen, Spain
Councillors:
Sofia Felting, Sweden
Lex Kaper, The Netherlands
Georges Meylan, Switzerland
Coralie Neiner, France
Olga Sil'chenko, Russia