Since 1967, the main scientific events of the General Assemblies of the International Astronomical Union have been published in the separate series, Highlights of Astronomy. The present Volume 11 presents the major scientific presentations made at the XXIIIrd General Assembly, August 18-30, 1997, in Kyoto, Japan. The two volumes (11A+B) contain the texts of the three Invited Discourses as well as the proceedings or extended summaries of the 21 Joint Discussions and two Special Sessions held during the General Assembly.
Since 1967. the most prominent events of a General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union are published in a separate volume. The Highlights of Astronomy (volume 9) report on the major scientific presentations made at the XXIst General Assembly July 23-August 1. 1991. Buenos Aires. Argentina. The present volume contains the texts of the three invited Di scourses and of the papers presented duri ng seven Joi nt Discussion Meetings and eight Joint Commission Meetings. The invited Discourses were arranged by the IAU Executive Committee and the Joint Discourses and Commission Meetings by the respective chairpersons. The overall responsability of the General Assembly was carried out by the IAU General Secretary (19B8-1991). Dr. D. McNally. I am indebted to the authors of the invited Di scourses. to the organi zers and editors of the scientific sessions for having provided me with all the material for publication in due time. I want to particularly acknowledge the case with which Dr. J.H. Hughes. who unfortunately died a few days ago from cancer. prepared and checked unti 1 the 1 ast few weeks the report on the new IAU Reference System. This report itself concludes long and difficult discussions among IAU members that he led in a wise and clear sighted manner.
The XIIlth General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union, held in Prague from 22 to 31 August, 1967, brought together more than 1800 active astron omers from 40 countries. The agenda of the Assembly ranged from administrative questions to highly intricate scientific problems. Thirty-eight Presidents of the IAU Commissions contributed by their reports to a detailed survey of Astronomy for the period 1964-67. These reports were published in the Transactions of the IAU, Volume XIIIA. Transactions volume XIIIB bring the results of the administrative meetings and of the meetings of Commissions held during the General Assembly. The present volume is devoted to the most important scientific results of the General Assembly as presented in the Invited Discourses, Joint Discussions, and at Special Meetings. It is an established policy of the Union to invite prominent astronomers to hold, during the General Assembly, formal discourses on topics of major importance due to recent significant developments. These Invited Discourses cover, as a rule, broad fields of astronomical interest and are meant to give basic information also to scien tists from other branches. Subjects which call for a more detailed technical approach are dealt with in the Joint Discussions or at Special Meetings. Here, invited speakers present authoritative surveys complemented by communications on current or envisaged projects. The proceedings of two other meetings, on Moon Probes and on Coordination of Solar Observations Made at Ground-based Observatories and with Space Vehicles, are of a sufficiently wide interest to warrant the inclusion into this volume.
It has become a tradition in the Union to publish the Invited Discourses and the Proceedings of the Joint Discussions held at a Gene ral Assembly in a separate volume entitled HIGHLIGHTS OF ASTRONOMY. This is the fourth volume of its kind and it contains some of the scientific highlights of the Grenoble General Assembly. In order to reduce its size it was decided to publish its content in two separate parts. The part (I) contains the full texts of the In vited Discourses given by Prof. J.-C. Pecker and by Dr. C. Sagan, and an abstract of Dr. P. Morrison's paper, thus complying with his wish to forego publication of the full text of his Discourse. Furthermore it collects the proceedings of three Joint Discussions and one Joint Meeting all of which are related essentially to observations from space, to external galaxies and to cosmology. Part (n) contains the proceedings of the four Joint Discussions and one Joint Meeting related essentially to stars and the structure of our Galaxy. Clearly Volume 4 (parts I and TI) of the Highlights reflects only a part of the scientific activities which took place at the Grenoble General Assembly. Many more important papers and discussions were held during Commission meetings and joint meetings. They may be found in the Commissions' reports published in the Transactions Vol. XVI B, 1977.
Since 1967, the main scientific events of the General Assemblies of the International Astronomical Union have been published in the separate series, Highlights of Astronomy. The present Volume 11 presents the major scientific presentations made at the XXIIIrd General Assembly, August 18-30, 1997, in Kyoto, Japan. The two volumes (11A + B) contain the text of the three Invited Discourses as well as the proceedings or extended summaries of the 21 Joint Discussions and two Special Sessions held during the General Assembly.
After the same pattern as the XIII th General Assembly of the International Astronom ical Union the present Volume of the Highlights in Astronomy contains the texts of the invited discourses given at the XIVth General Assembly held in Brighton, England, August 1970. It contains further the papers and discussion remarks presented at the six joint discussions, as well as the invited papers given at the special session on the Moon. In addition this Volume contains the papers given at the joint meeting of Commissions 24, 27, 30, 33 and 37 on RR Lyrae Stars. It goes without saying that the nearly hundred papers printed in this Volume represent only a minor part of all matter dealt with at the XIVth General Assembly of the Union; the many important discussions that took place in a few hundred commission meetings are not included. For short abstracts and reviews of these the reader is referred to Transactions of the International Astronomical Union XIVB. I wish to thank those who contributed to this Volume for the speed in submitting the manuscripts of their papers. This, together with the efficiency of the Publishers allowed for a rapid publication.
Recording the proceedings of the IAU XXVII General Assembly, this volume of Highlights of Astronomy provides an up-to-date review of modern astrophysics, as discussed by 2400 participants. Covering planets, stars, galaxies, dark matter and modern cosmology, it gives a broad overview, allowing specialists and non-specialists alike to bring themselves up to date with the latest developments. This text brings together the work of observers and theoreticians from widely different fields who work towards a common goal: understanding the physics of the Universe. Together with the Proceedings of the IAU Symposia 262-267, this volume examines all of the astrophysics presented at the General Assembly, and provides a valuable testament to the vigour and momentum of astrophysical discovery in 2009, the International Year of Astronomy.