Division B - Abstracts


The Commensal Radio Astronomy FAST Survey (CRAFTS)

Li, Di

The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) is the largest single-dish radio facility in the world. The commissioning progresses have been excellent, as demonstrated by discoveries already being made during the test observations. I will discuss here our survey plan, namely, a Commensal Radio Astronomy FasT Survey (CRAFTS), which aims to deliver pulsars, ISM, galaxies, and FRB data stream simultaneously in drift-scan mode, covering 57% of the whole sky. The commensality required here is unprecedented and thus presents substantial chanllenges. CRAFTS is to be carried out in 3 to 5 years, with >220 24-hour scans, and an expectation of discovering ~1000 new pulsars, 300K galaxies, 10 billion voxels HI images, and 50 to 200 FRBs.

A next-generation Very Large Array

Murphy, Eric

Inspired by dramatic discoveries from the Jansky VLA and ALMA, a plan to pursue a large collecting area radio interferometer that will open new discovery space from proto-planetary disks to distant galaxies is being developed by NRAO and the science community. Building on the superb cm observing conditions and existing infrastructure of the VLA site in the U.S. Southwest, the current vision of the ngVLA will be an interferometric array with more than 10 times the sensitivity and spatial resolution of the current VLA and ALMA, operating at frequencies spanning ~1.2. – 116 GHz. The ngVLA will be optimized for observations at wavelengths between the exquisite performance of ALMA at submm wavelengths, and the future SKA-1 at decimeter to meter wavelengths, thus lending itself to be highly complementary with these facilities. As such, the ngVLA will open a new window on the universe through ultra-sensitive imaging of thermal line and continuum emission down to milliarcecond resolution, as well as deliver unprecedented broad band continuum polarimetric imaging of non-thermal processes. The ngVLA will be the only facility in the world that can tackle a broad range of outstanding scientific questions in modern astronomy by simultaneously delivering the capability to: unveil the formation of Solar System analogues; probe the initial conditions for planetary systems and life with astrochemistry; characterize the assembly, structure, and evolution of galaxies from the first billion years to the present; use pulsars in the Galactic center as fundamental tests of gravity; and understand the formation and evolution of stellar and supermassive blackholes in the era of multi-messenger astronomy.

Fast Radio Bursts and Transients

Chatterjee, Shami

Our view of the dynamic radio sky has expanded greatly in recent years, driven by advances in telescope hardware, computation, and data processing techniques. Wider fields of view at higher spatial and temporal resolution have revealed a diverse zoo of transient phenomena, including as-yet enigmatic Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs), which are dispersed millisecond flashes of radio waves originating from beyond the Milky Way. The precise localization of a repeating FRB source has enabled observations over a broad spectral range, revealing intriguing new clues about the central engine, its extreme magneto-ionic environment, and the role of propagation effects. Meanwhile, the detection of gravitational waves from the merger of binary neutron stars and the identification of an electromagnetic counterpart has triggered a pan-chromatic gold rush, and radio observations of the afterglow have produced some of the strongest constraints on the nature of the merger event. Surveys like the ongoing VLA Sky Survey, as well as new telescopes and instrumentation, promise many more surprises to come.

CB4: New Results in Radio Astronomy - The Power and Promise of 21 cm HI Line Surveys

Haynes, Martha

The 21 cm line of atomic hydrogen (HI) provides a powerful probe of the cool-to-warm interstellar gas in galaxies. Virtually all star-forming galaxies contain a cool neutral component of their interstellar medium, representing the fuel reservoir from which stars may form in the future. In this talk, I will highlight the differences between galaxy populations traced by starlight and by radio HI line surveys, explore what HI reveals about the astrophysical processes at play within galaxies, and discuss the importance of HI-selected samples in contributing to the understanding of apparent conflicts between observation and theory on the abundance of low mass dark matter halos. I will conclude with an overview of the ongoing and planned major HI line surveys that will explore the cosmic evolution of the HI population.

CB4: New Results in Radio Astronomy - Revealing the physics and evolution of galaxies and AGN with radio continuum surveys

Prandoni, Isabella

A wealth of new data from upgraded and new radio interferometers are rapidly improving and transforming our understanding of the faint extra-galactic radio sky. Indeed the mounting statistics at sub-mJy and µJy flux levels is finally allowing us to get stringent observational constraints on the faint radio population, and on the modeling of its  various components. In this talk I will provide a brief overview of the latest results, focusing on star-forming galaxies and (low power) Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), the two populations dominating the faint extra-galactic radio sky. I will conclude by illustrating the  role that the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and its precursors can play in answering the several open questions in this research field.

Review of the evolution of large single dishes

Baars, Jacob

In 1937 Reber completed his home-built parabolic reflector antenna of 10 m diameter. He systematically scanned the sky at a wavelength of 1.9 m and produced the first research paper in radio astronomy in 1940. After WW-2 radio astronomy became an active research field in several countries and the paraboloidal reflector became the telescope of choice at wavelengths shorter than about one meter. Radar antennas of up to 7.5 m diameter were widely used in the early years. In the early fifties proposals for large parabolic dishes with a size between 15 and 75 m were advanced. The design of these movable structures that had to point accurately in a desired direction and maintain its shape with varying attitude angle, posed new challenges to the structural engineers, who were recruited mainly from the domains of bridge building and aircraft manufacture. I shall illustrate how physicists and engineers created the design tools (e.g. finite element analysis), fabrication methods (composite structures), material choices (carbon fiber reinforced plastic), control systems and algorithms to realize the radio telescopes of ever expanding size and precision to penetrate deeper into the cosmos at high angular resolution and at all accessible wavelengths. This process will be illuminated by the examples of those instruments where progress in the state of the art is most clearly visible without going into details of the telescope’s realization. The progress over the last 60-70 years has been impressive: from 10 –20 m diameter reflectors that barely functioned at 20 cm wavelength, via 40-75 m telescopes operating at short cm-wavelengths to 100 m antennas that can be used a 3 mm wavelength. At the extremes there is FAST, a 500 m diameter fixed spherical bowl in China for cm/dm wavelengths, and the ALMA array in Chile with more than 6o dishes of 12 m diameter that reach the shortest wavelength of 0.2-0.3 mm where the atmosphere is partially transparent.

The Largest Fully Steerable Telescope

Kellermann, Kenneth

From the very earliest, planning for NRAO was based on the construction of a very large fully steerable radio telescope with a diameter up to 1000 feet. Recognizing that it might take a long time to design and construct a very large antenna, NRAO decided to first build a modest size 140-foot telescope which was thought to be available essentially off-the-shelf. Following long debates about whether it should be equatorial or alt-az mounted, an equatorial mount was foolishly selected, but the construction was fraught with technical difficulties, a factor of 7 cost overrun, and a delay from an anticipated 2-year construction period to more than 7 years. After the construction of the 300-foot transit telescope with its limited capabilities, NRAO initiated the LFST program to design and potentially construct the Largest Feasible Steerable Telescope. The LFST team produced a series of designs for a large fully steerable telescope, but none of these were ever built. Although every review of the needs of radio astronomy supported the construction of a large fully steerable radio telescope, there was always a higher priority – the VLA, the VLBA, and more recently ALMA. In 1988, an NSF review committee recommended that the 27 year-old NRAO 300-foot transit telescope be closed in order to provide funds for operating other new astronomical facilities. But, when the 300-foot telescope unexpectedly collapsed in November, 1988, it was reported in the media as a national disaster for U.S. astronomy. West Virginia’s Senator Byrd demanded that the telescope be replaced. Although the NSF had other plans, Byrd included $75M in the 1989 Congressional Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill. The new 100-meter Green Bank telescope would not be completed until the year 2000, and only after contentious litigation as to who was responsible for the delays and nearly factor of two increase in cost.

CB4: New Results in Radio Astronomy - Star and Planet Formation

Perez, Laura

The vast number of known extrasolar planets suggests that planet formation is a natural outcome of the star formation process. During their formation, young pre-main sequence stars are generally surrounded by a gaseous accretion disk, which provides a large reservoir of material available for the eventual formation of planets. With the advent of sensitive observations — particularly of these circumstellar disks at radio wavelengths — and together with developments in theory, we are making rapid progress in understanding how this protoplanetary disk material is transformed into a planetary system. In this talk, I will highlight recent results in the field, focusing on observations from the sub-millimeter to the centimeter-wave regime that are providing new insights into the process of star and planet formation.

The Parkes Telescope

Bock, Douglas

“The Parkes Telescope is probably one of the most successful research instruments ever built”. This statement is as true today as it was when John Bolton made it in 1973. The nearly 60-year-old structure has been complemented throughout its life with regularly refreshed state-of-the-art instrumentation.  Access based on scientific merit engages high impact research teams from around the world. Among its notable achievements are its role in identifying the first quasar (3C273), supporting the first moon landing, mapping neutral hydrogen in the Milky Way, discovering more than half of known pulsars, and discovering Fast Radio Bursts.

The cable-driven dish FAST

Peng, Bo

The FAST, Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope, was constructed successfully in a sinkhole-like landform in Guizhou province late 2016, as one of the Chinese Mega-Science Projects as well as a forerunner for the SKA. The FAST can be seen as a modified Arecibo telescope using some innovative techniques, with as much as twice the collecting area and also the sky coverage. This big telescope is pointed by moving the light focus cabin with suspended cables, and simultaneously by deforming the shape of the illuminated cable-mesh back-up of the giant reflector from a sphere to a paraboloid by active controls. I will brief the long journey of 20+ years from innovative idea to the interdisciplinary and collaborative deliverables as a landmark on the earth, addressing the innovation, construction, commissioning of the largest single dish FAST in the world.

The Effelsberg 100-m radio telescope - the first homologous radio telescope

Kraus, Alex

The 100-m antenna of the Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie in Bad Münstereifel-Effelsberg has been built between 1968 and 1971. It was the first radio telescope which was constructed following the principle of "homologous deformation", meaning that the telescope structure deforms under gravitational influence in a controlled way, i.e. leading from one parabolic shape to another (nearly) without degrading in performance.In this talk, I will present some of the design details of the Effelsberg telescope. The specifics of the telescope structure will be shown and I will demonstrate that the homologous design works very well.In 2006, the 100-m telescope was upgraded by a new subreflector with an active surface to overcome remaining deformations. The success of this project will be shown as well.

Status of Cosmic Microwave Background Observations

Bucher, Martin

Observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) anisotropy have played a key role in constraining models of the Early Universe and characterizing the initial conditions of the Universe. I will review the current status of CMB observations, emphasizing recent developments. I will also discuss future initiatives and opportunities, in particular efforts from both the ground and space to detect primordial gravitational waves generated during inflation through the B mode CMB polarization anisotropy.

The Epoch of Reionization and the Cosmic Dawn

Koopmans, Leon

I will review recent progress in the study of the Epoch of Reionization and the Cosmic Dawn, specifically focusing on experiments trying to detect (or having claimed to have detected) the 21-cm signal of neutral hydrogen. I will discuss current experiments, their limits and challenges, as well as future instruments and objectives, in particular focussing on the SKA and HERA.

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA): a physics machine for the 21st Century

Diamond, Phil

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is the next-generation radio-telescope and will be a true mega-science facility. SKA is being designed and built by a global partnership of 10 nations. The SKA Observatory will have sites in Australia and South Africa and a headquarters in the United Kingdom; it will build on the precursor telescopes, such as MWA, ASKAP, HERA and MeerKAT, which have been constructed on the sites. The SKA is being designed as a physics machine for the 21st Century and will address a huge range of scientific questions such as the nature of gravity, the origins of the Universe and the origins of life.The SKA is approaching the final stages of the detailed design phase. Funding of approximately €200M has been committed by the partner nations to deliver that design. The design will be complete at the end of 2018 and, assuming construction funding is secured, construction activities will begin in 2019. In this talk, I will briefly describe the science that SKA will do; and will provide an update on the status of the project, including the technical challenges associated with the design and delivery of a true ‘big data’ facility.

The Large Millimeter Telescope Alfonso Serrano

Hughes, David

The Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT) Alfonso Serrano is a bi-national (Mexico & USA) telescope facility operated by the Instituto Nacional de Astrofisica, Optica y Electronica (INAOE) and the University of Massachusetts. The LMT is a 50-m diameter single-dish millimeter-wavelength telescope, designed and optimized to conduct scientific observations at frequencies between ~70 and 270 GHz. Constructed on the summit of Volcán Sierra Negra at an altitude of 4600m in the Mexican state of Puebla, the LMT has started full scientific operations as a 50-m diameter telescope, making the LMT 50-m the world´s largest single-dish telescope operating at 1.1mm. I will describe the history and current status of the LMT project, summarise the lessons learned and emphasis the contribution the LMT will make in the study of the formation and evolution of structure in the dusty optically-obscured universe at all cosmic epochs.

DAEPO WG Report for B2 Business Meeting

Cui, Chenzhou

IAU Inter-Commission B2-C1-C2 WG Data-driven Astronomy Education and Public Outreach (DAEPO) was launched officially in April 2017. With the development of many mega-science astronomical projects, for example CTA, DESI, EUCLID, FAST, GAIA, JWST, LAMOST, LSST, SDSS, SKA, and large scale simulations, astronomy has become a Big Data science. Astronomical data is not only necessary resource for scientific research, but also very valuable resource for education and public outreach (EPO), especially in the era of Internet and Cloud Computing. IAU WG Data-driven Astronomy Education and Public Outreach is hosted at the IAU Division B (Facilities, Technologies and Data Science) Commission B2 (Data and Documentation), and organized jointly with Commission C1 (Astronomy Education and Development), Commission C2 (Communicating Astronomy with the Public), Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD), Office for Astronomy Outreach (OAO) and several other non IAU communities, including IVOA Education Interest Group, American Astronomical Society Worldwide Telescope Advisory Board, Zooniverse project and International Planetarium Society. The working group has the major objectives to: Act as a forum to discuss the value of astronomy data in EPO, the advantages and benefits of data driven EPO, and the challenges facing to data driven EPO; Provide guidelines, curriculums, data resources, tools, and e-infrastructure for data driven EPO; Provide best practices of data driven EPO. In the paper, backgrounds, current status and working plans in the future are introduced. More information about the WG is available at: daepo.china-vo.org

The IRAM 30m telescope

Kramer, Carsten

The IRAM 30m telescope is operated in the 70 to 375 GHz range. Together with NOEMA, it provides a powerful means to study the millimeter universe at resolutions between 35" and less than 1". We will briefly describe the evolution of the 30m telescope over the past 30 years, to then highlight a couple of current science topics showing the strengths and potential of this observatory. On the way, we will discuss the current suite of instruments and data processing software. We will go from deep line surveys of nearby evolved stars to maps of high density tracingmolecules in nearby galaxies, to redshift searches in distant galaxies. And, we will go from recent mapping projects of the thermal dust emission of Galactic molecular clouds to high resolution maps of the Sunyaev Zel'dovich effect in galaxy clusters, and to VLBI observations at 1mm wavelength. We will continue with an outlook on large-scale maps with multi-beam heterodyne receivers and possible upgrades of the telescope.

Astronomical Polarimetry: Current and Future

Magalhaes, Antonio Mario

As Commission B6 member and Vice-President, I'll summarize the trends and advances in the Science and Instrumentation that are taking place in the field of Astronomical Polarimetry in the past few years, with a view towards the forthcoming years.

Report of the Working Group on Spectroscopic and Radiative Data for Molecules

Federman, Steven

We provide a summary of our Working Group report that covers the period since the last General Assembly.  The report discusses recent experimental and theoretical results for rotational, vibrational, and electronic transitions in molecules of relevance to astronomical studies.  Related efforts on transition probabilities, lifetimes, oscillator strengths, and radiative cross sections are also described. 

The Virtual Atomic and Molecular Data Centre (VAMDC) - A ressource for Atomic and Molecular Data

Dubernet, Marie Lise

The "Virtual Atomic and Molecular Data Centre Consortium" (VAMDC Consortium, www.vamdc.eu) is a worldwide consortium which federates Atomic and Molecular databases through an e-science infrastructure and an organisation to support this activity (http://www.vamdc.org/structure/how-to-join-us/).  About 90% of the inter-connected databases handle data that are used for the interpretation of  astronomical spectra and for the modeling in media of many fields of astrophysics. The VAMDC Consortium has connected databases  from the radiation damage and the plasma communities, as well as promoting the publication of data from different countries. The current VAMDC e-infrastructure interconnects about 36 atomic and molecular databases that cover atomic and molecular spectroscopy and processes. Table I provides a list both of the currently connected databases and of the databases that are currently being connected. VAMDC offers a common entry point to all encorporated databases through the VAMDC portal (http://portal.vamdc.eu) and VAMDC  develops also standalone tools in order to retrieve and handle the data. VAMDC provides software and support in order to include new databases within the VAMDC e-infrastructure. One current feature of VAMDC e-infrastructure is the constrained environment for the description of data, in particular the XSAMS schema and other standardized protocols (http://www.vamdc.eu/standards) that ensure a higher quality for the distribution of data. The talk will present the VAMDC Consortium, the VAMDC e-infrastructure with the current status of its underlying technology, its services, current work being carried out in order to improve the infrastructure as well as discussions towards evolution of VAMDC within the astrophysics community. VAMDC is opened to new collaborations in order to support creation of tools for the users community.

A progress report of the Working Group High-Accuracy Stellar Spectroscopy

Ryabchikova, Tatiana

We present developments in laboratory astrophysics of importance to the field of high-accuracystellar spectroscopy that have occurred over the past triennium. These developments cover different aspects of laboratory and theoretical spectroscopy: atomic structure, atomic processes, and opacity calculations, relevant for various stellar types. The needs for these data for stellar spectroscopy in the era of large astrometric and spectroscopic surveys are emphasized. A short review of atomic and molecular line databases is given.

Laboratory Astrophysics in the era of JWST

Milam, Stefanie

Next generation space-based telescopes and instrumentation will offer unprecedented sensitivity and spatial resolution at wavelengths that are inaccessible from the ground due to the Earth’s atmosphere.  These spectral regions host a number of molecular lines and spectral features including: CO2, H2, NH3, PAHs, etc.  Such facilities work in concert with large ground-based facilities to address key questions of chemical complexity, origin of life or biomolecules, and molecular inheritance throughout star and planet formation, among many others. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is an infrared-optimized observatory with a 6.5m-diameter segmented primary mirror and instrumentation that provides wavelength coverage of 0.6-28.5 microns, offering unprecedented sensitivity greater than previous or current facilities, and high angular resolution (0.07 arcsec at 2 microns) and low-moderate spectral resolution (R~100-3000) (Gardner et al. 2006, SpSciRev 123, 485; Milam et al. 2016, PASP, 128, 959).  It offers multiple capabilities through 4 science instruments including: imaging, spectroscopy (slit, IFU, grism/prism), coronography, and aperture mask interferometry.  JWST spectral range covers numerous molecular species in both the gas and solid phase, including the vibrational modes of ices, spectral bands of simple organics relevant to warm/hot exoplanets, and isotopologues. Laboratory studies of such species, various physical and chemical processing that may occur, and even extreme physical conditions relevant to different regions or objects are often time consuming and challenging.  Efforts are needed for the analysis and interpretation of the vast datasets that are anticipated from JWST. The Webb telescope is currently on schedule to launch in 2020 and will operate 5+ years after commissioning.  This presentation will provide an overview of JWST as well as highlight the unique capabilities and some laboratory needs on the horizon for data analysis. 

Protection of Hawaii's observatories in the era of LED lighting

Wainscoat, Richard

Hawaii is home to two major observatories - Maunakea on the Island of Hawaii, and Haleakala, on the Island of Maui. Both have been protected by lighting ordinances. The ordinance that protects Maunakea is much stronger than the ordinance that protects Haleakala; Maunakea is among the darkest observatory sites in the world. The widespread adoption of lighting using Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), along with the demise of low-pressure sodium lighting has produced a new challenge for protection of the observatories in Hawaii (and elsewhere in the world). The commonly used white LEDs have large amounts of blue light that is not present in sodium-based lighting. Rayleigh scattering of this blue light can produce new and unwanted contamination of the blue part of the spectrum, which is naturally very dark.Hawaii is home to numerous endangered species, including birds and turtles, that are affected by light at night. These species are strongly affected by blue-rich light, and by unshielded lights, which means that the efforts needed to protect the dark night sky for astronomy are very similar to those needed to protect endangered species.Lighting ordinances in both Hawaii County and Maui County are presently being updated. The changes that are being made will be explained. With care, Maunakea's very dark night sky can be preserved long into the future, and Haleakala's night sky can be improved.

Optical properties of organic analogs to cosmic dust

Gavilan, Lisseth

Recent work on the spectroscopy of laboratory analogs to cosmic carbonaceous dust found in a variety of astrophysical environments (interstellar, circumstellar and planetary) will be presented. Dust and nanoparticle synthesis methods were used to prepare carbonaceous samples covering a wide range of hydrogenation and sp2 hybridization. Hydrogenated amorphous carbons, analogs to aliphatic interstellar dust, were produced in a low-pressure inductively coupled plasma [1], while polyaromatic soots, analogs to circumstellar dust, were prepared in a combustion flame with varying C/O ratios [2]. The ensuing samples were measured in transmission from the vacuum-ultraviolet to the mid-infrared via a combination of synchrotron and tabletop spectrophotometers.  The main electronic and vibrational modes were correlated and optical band gap energies derived. The p-p* band positions and widths were compared to observed interstellar and circumstellar UV extinction. The effects of N and O heteroatoms [3] and low-temperature condensation [4] on the molecular structure and optical properties of organic materials will also be discussed in light of their astrophysical implications.References:[1] Gavilan, L., Alata, I., Le, K.C., Pino, T., Giuliani, A., Dartois, E. A&A 586, A106 (2016)[2] Gavilan, L., Le, K.C., Pino, T., Alata, I., Giuliani, A., Dartois, E. A&A 607, A73 (2017)[3] Gavilan, L., Broch, L., Carrasco, N., Fleury, B., Vettier, L. ApJL 848, L5 (2017)[4] Salama, F., Sciamma-O'Brien E., Contreras C., Bejaoui S. in IAU Proceedings Series, S332 (2018), in press.

Searching for the sources of meteorites in the asteroid belt

Jenniskens, Peter

The study of meteorites has found new purpose with the study of observed meteorite falls that have yielded a pre-atmospheric orbit from photographic or video observations of the meteor. Each meteorite originated from a unique collision event, most of which occurred somewhere in the asteroid belt, and subsequently the fragments dynamically evolved their orbit until one impacted Earth. Consortium laboratory studies of recovered meteorites are conducted to determine to what specific collision event that meteorite belonged. Many opportunities exist to take part in these studies. They include determining the cosmic ray exposure age that determines how long the meteoroid was exposed to cosmic rays in the interplanetary medium since ejection from a larger body, noble gas (K-Ar, U,Th-He) resetting ages that define the collision history of the terrain on that larger body, and Pb-Pb ages that define the formation history of the parent asteroid. The studies look into isotopes of oxygen, chromium and titanium, and petrographic properties that can help distinguish one ordinary chondrite from another. Studies can also look into the mobility of volatile organic compounds and volatile minerals. In doing so, these studies provide much new insight into the origin and evolution of their parent bodies. Recent consortium studies have yielded new results on Almahata Sitta Ureilite (the meteorites that fell from the impact of asteroid 2008 TC3), the Creston L6 fall in California, and the Saricicek Howardite fall in Turkey. Efforts are underway to expand this work in order to increase the number of approach trajectories of each meteorite type and from each collision event that is now sampled at Earth.

The Growing Threat of Light Pollution to Ground-Based Observatories

Green, Richard

Sky glow from artificial sources negatively impacts the sky background recorded at major observatories around the world, and is increasing with time.  We report techniques for measuring night sky brightness and extracting the contribution of artificial sky glow at observatories and other protected sites.  We also report a uniform comparison of the artificial sky glow, based on the recent Falchi et al. atlas, at major observatory sites, and roughly project its increase from the growth of population in nearby urban centers.  A compendium of worldwide regulatory approaches to astronomical site protection gives insight on multiple effective strategies.

The ESO Diffuse Interstellar Band Large Exploration Survey (EDIBLES): First Results

Cami, Jan

The ESO Diffuse Interstellar Band Large Exploration Survey (EDIBLES) is Large Programmethat is collecting high-signal-to-noise (S/N) spectra of a large sample of O and B-type starscovering a large spectral range using the UVES spectrograph mounted on the Very LargeTelescope (VLT). The goal of the programme is to extract a unique sample of high-qualityinterstellar spectra from these data that represent different physical and chemical environments,and to characterise these environments in great detail. An important component of interstellarspectra are the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs), a set of hundreds of unidentified interstellarabsorption lines that are commonly found in the spectra of reddened targets. With the detailedline-of-sight information derived from these high-quality spectra, EDIBLES will derive strongconstraints on the potential DIB carrier molecules. EDIBLES will thus guide the laboratoryexperiments necessary to identify these interstellar "mystery molecules", and will turn theDIBs into powerful diagnostics of their environments in our Milky Way Galaxy and beyond.Here, we will present some of our first results showing the unique capabilities of the EDIBLESprogramme.

Light Pollution Education Programs in North America

Walker, Constance

Preserving dark skies is at the heart of sustaining the field of observational astronomy. The Commission B7 session at Kuffner Observatory on Friday, August 24, and Sunday, August 25, will feature collaborative talks with CIE on obtrusive light, as well as talks on protection of observatory sites and regions and on education. Many light pollution education programs across North America have educated students and the general public on how light pollution affects not only the visibility of a starry night sky, but how it affects health, energy consumption, safety, and animals. These programs bring students and the public awareness of the solutions by immersing them in hands-on experiences. We will provide updates on stellar public programs in light pollution issues and solutions: Starry Sky Austin’s use of the Dark Skies Rangers’ Outdoor Lighting Audit, the International Dark-Sky Association’s programs and resources, the National Observatory’s Quality Lighting Teaching Kit program, the Globe at Night citizen science program, the National Parks interpretive program on dark skies, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific’s Night Sky Network kits, and programs in libraries, in schools and at dark sky festivals, among others. These topics along with updates from other parts of the world will serve as the basis for discussion on future directions. The outcome from the discussion will fuel the “Dark Skies for All” project as a portal for existing projects but also a launching point for future projects. (The Dark Skies for All project is a part of the IAU100 flagship theme on “Astronomy Natural and Cultural Heritage”.)

Dark Skies activities in Asia

Cheung, Sze-leung

This is an abstract for the Commission B7 session at Kuffner Observatory on Friday, August 24, and Sunday, August 25The author will summerize the actions, activities and updates related to dark skies activities in Asia region. There are a few recent development in the Asian region, for example the adoption of Dark Sky Reserve in Japan and South Korea, the Dark sky awareness programs carried out by the Environmental Ministraty of Japan, the protection of observations around Thailand National observatories. More than 10 stations from Asia joined the Globe at Night Monitoring Network monitor the light pollution data daily and these data are published online for free public access.

Dark Skies for All: a flagship project of the IAU100 theme “Natural and Cultural Heritage”

Cheung, Sze-leung

This is an abstract for the Commission B7 session at Kuffner Observatory on Friday, August 24, and Sunday, August 25."Dark Skies for All" is a flagship project of the IAU100 theme Natural and Cultural Heritage. The objectives of this IAU100 project is to (1) promote existing educational programs on light pollution, (2) provide latest information on light pollution and motivate the astronomical communities to spread out the light pollution protection messages, (3) to make the term “light pollution” more widely known to the public.By making use of different networks in different fields and forming groups of astronomy ambassadors, this project will reach out to schools, astronomical communities, science centers, libraries, media and the general public. The project will address two fundamental issues - education on light pollution and public engagement on light pollution protection actions, including government lobbying actions.The authors are the project coordinators and would provide an overview of the project plan.

Road map, WG activities past and future

Gomez de Castro, Ana I.

During the 2015-2018 triennium, the WG activity has concentrated in two basic areas: identification of the basic needs and development of a road map. WG-UV members have actively participated in the identification of the key science areas requiring access to the UV range. This talk will summarize the activity of the group and the main activity areas currently under evaluation.

The current status of the WSO-UV project. Facilities for testing and verification.

Shustov, Boris

The World Space Observatory-Ultraviolet (WSO-UV) is a space observatory that will work in the ultraviolet range (115-315 nm) with an extension to the optical range for wide field imaging. The observatory is under construction having as intended launch date late 2023. The current status of the project and the facilities and technologies being developed for the instruments development, assembly and verification will be described in this talk.

The MESSIER project, unveiling galaxy formation.

Valls-Galbaud, David

The MESSIER surveyor is a small mission designed at exploring the very low surface brightness universe. The satellite will drift-scan the entire sky in 6 filters covering the 200-1000 nm range, reaching unprecedented surface brightness levels of 34 and 37 mag arcsec-2 in the optical and UV, respectively. These levels are required to achieve the two main science goals of the mission: to critically test the ΛCDM paradigm of structure formation through (1) the detection and characterisation of ultra-faint dwarf galaxies, which are predicted to be extremely abundant around normal galaxies, but which remain elusive; and (2) tracing the cosmic web, which feeds dark matter and baryons into galactic haloes, and which may contain the reservoir of missing baryons at low redshifts. A large number of science cases, ranging from stellar mass loss episodes to intracluster light through fluctuations in the cosmological UV-optical background radiation are free by-products of the full-sky maps produced.

Ultraviolet Surveys: the needs and the means

Brosch, Noah

This is a crucial time in the history of astronomy with major all-sky surveying work being carried out in all spectral bands, as well as in astrometry. The results of this activity are advancing all fields of astrophysical research, from the investigation of exo-planetary systems to the study of the chemical evolution of the Universe. Full sky surveys are available from the radio domain to X-ray wavelengths but not in the ultraviolet range (UV). While large UV missions are currently under discussion within the astrophysical community and at the major Space Agencies, the efficient use of resources requires preparatory work that can fill the UV surveying gap. This contribution address the on-going activities in this field.

UVSat - a concept of UV/visual double-telescope photometric microsatellite

Pigulski, Andrzej

Time-series photometry from space in the ultraviolet can be presently done with only a few platforms, none of which is able to provide wide-field long-term high-cadence photometry. We present a concept of UVSat, a twin space telescope which will be capable to perform this kind of photometry, filling an observational niche. The satellite will host two telescopes, one for observations in the ultraviolet, the other for observations in the optical band. We also briefly show what science can be done with UVSat.
The satellite will host two refracting telescopes with apertures of 10 cm, one with optics designed for wide-band UV observations (200 – 300 nm), the other, for observations in the visual band (500 – 600 nm).
- The field of view of both telescopes will be the same: about 10×10.
- The observations will be carried out in selected fields and will last one to six months. In each field, a sample of a few hundred objects will be monitored with a cadence of the order of at least a few seconds. Observing multiple fields during a single orbit is also an option.
- A large dynamical range will be secured by the ability of on-board stacking or using a detector which allows for an independent red-out of each pixel (sCMOS,CID).
- The assumed precision of the measurements (per orbit) would be of the order of 1 mmag for m(UV) ≈ 11 mag and m(visual) ≈ 12 mag.

The gNUVA interface for collaborative project on small UV projects

Beitia, Leire

Cubesat technology is maturing rapidly, becoming versatile and opening the possibility to fly, for modest costs, surveying experiments that will have a tremendous impact in astronomy. This technology has many advantages that includes the quick manufacturing times that adapt well to the rapid evolution of technology and data science. Their low cost will make space research accessible to small groups and Universities favouring the rapid development of science and technology. However, this brilliant future is hampered by the launching facilities. Creating fast-track launching programs for cubesats is a must for this revolution to take place.
The IAU WG on UV astronomy has developed an interface to assist teams interested in developing small 1-15 U cubesat type project to advertise, look for partners and start collaborations. The tool will be described during the session.

The Jodrell Bank Telescopes

Garrington, Simon

Since its construction in 1952-57 the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank Observatory has continued to be a major international radio telescope, with important contributions ranging from the discovery of gravitational lensing to timing measurements of pulsars. During the period of the design, construction and early operation of the Lovell Telescope the group at Jodrell Bank also developed and deployed the techniques of long-baseline interferometry to make the first studies of compact radio sources (leading to the discovery of quasars). The Lovell Telescope is a key element of interferometer networks in the UK, Europe and globally. This talk will cover the development of large telescopes at Jodrell Bank as single dishes and in interferometers and the challenges of ensuring that they remain at the forefront of international capabilities individually and in interferometric networks.

XXX IAU General Assembly | ACV - Austria Center Vienna  | Bruno-Kreisky-Platz 1  | 1220 Vienna