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World's astronomers will gather at convention center in 2015


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POSTED: Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The world's largest-ever meeting of professional astronomers is coming to Honolulu in 2015, the University of Hawaii announced in a joint news release.

The Hawai'i Convention Center will host the International Astronomical Union triennial General Assembly Aug. 3-14, 2015.

A vote at this year's General Assembly in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, selected Hawaii as the location of the 2015 meeting over two other sites.

Yesterday's announcement was made jointly by the IAU, the American Astronomical Society, the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy and the Hawai'i Convention Center.

“;The selection of Honolulu is a reflection of Hawaii's importance in the astronomical world,”; Institute for Astronomy Director Rolf Kudritzki said in the news release.

The IAU was founded in 1919 to promote astronomy through international cooperation. Its more than 10,000 individual members are Ph.D.-holding astronomers from all over the world.

“;The Pacific Rim has had an explosion of astronomical activity in the past two decades, with the focus of a great deal of that activity on the observatories in Hawaii. With its excellent infrastructure, Honolulu is a natural for an international meeting like ours,”; said IAU President Robert E. Williams.

IAU General Assemblies are held every three years.

The XXVII General Assembly held last month in Rio de Janeiro attracted more than 2,200 registered participants, exhibitors and science journalists as well as additional accompanying family members. The next one will take place in August 2012 in Beijing.

The August 2015 meeting in Hawaii is expected to attract some 4,000 attendees and will likely include the largest astronomy-related exhibition ever held at an IAU General Assembly.