Attendee and Public Events

Traditional Polynesian Banquet

Wednesday, August 5, 2015
7:30 - 9:30 pm
Great Lawn, Hilton Hawaiian Village

In keeping with IAU tradition, we invite you to join us for a special General Assembly luau. A luau (Hawaiian: lū‘au) is a traditional Hawaiian party or feast. We will gather with friends, family, and colleagues to celebrate the 29th General Assembly and all that beautiful Hawai'i has to offer.

Registration is required.


Networking Reception

Wednesday, August 12, 2015
7:30 - 9:00 pm
Rainbow Room, Hilton Hawaiian Village

Newly added to the 2015 General Assembly, this is an event you don't want to miss. The Networking Reception is held during the second week of the General Assembly, and is a great opportunity for those who were unable to participate in the Polynesian Banquet. Register for this additional time to meet in an informal setting, take the opportunity to socialize with your peers, and meet new friends.

Young Astronomer's Luncheon

The Young Astronomers Luncheon (YAL) was first introduced at the 2006 IAU General Assembly (GA), with the aim of stimulating networking opportunities between senior astronomers and those young astronomers (YAs) at the start of their careers. The 'Young Astronomer Luncheon' event is sponsored by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters (NASL). The event is also sponsored by the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD). The event will take place on Wednesday, August 12th from 12:30 to 2:00 PM.

Around 160 young astronomers will have the opportunity to meet with astronomers from prestigious institutions from around the world, members of the IAU Executive Committee and Council members of the American Astronomical Society. The YAL features roundtable discussions involving one to two senior astronomers and eight to nine young astronomers. Discussions focus on topics of interest to young astronomers such as career paths, research funding, successful job strategies, fellowships opportunities, the future of astronomy, and job prospects. This venue permits informal discussions with networking. The invited senior astronomers have a wide range of expertise and areas of interest. This is a great chance for young astronomers to meet with experts and to network with other young astronomers with similar interests.

This is a closed event that requires prior registration. The attendees (YAs) and senior astronomers can claim their vouchers at the booth of the Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) in the exhibition area before closing time on 11 August. Latecomers can request to be added to the waiting list.

Young astronomers are invited to register who are enrolled in graduate MSc / PhD programs, Post-Docs and those who received their PhD within the last 3 years (i.e. after August 2012). Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Contacts: Edward Guinan (; David Soderblom (; Kathie Bailey (; Kevin Govender (; Eli Grant ( and Michèle Gerbaldi (

This event is underwritten by sponsorships from USNC - The National Academies and The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.

Student Pavilion

The IAU is hosting a Student Pavilion in the General Assembly's Exhibit Hall.  This is a great location for students to network with their peers from around the world.  Mentoring sessions will be scheduled to give students the opportunity to talk with veteran astronomers about research opportunities and career paths.  

There will be a cybercafe, charging station and hang-out areas to relax.

The IAU XXIX General Assembly Early Career Events  organized by The IAU Women in Astronomy Working Group & The AAS Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy 

The Student Welcome Reception, Supported by a gracious donation from the American Astronomical Society

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015  5:00 – 7:00 pm
The Student Pavilion Smoothies will be served.

Meet the Mentor Events - Daily (Download Schedule)


Bishop Museum Open House for IAU Attendees

Sunday August 9, 2015
9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Admission for IAU delegates and their guests (special group rate):
Adult (12-64 years):  $16.95 per person
Seniors (65 and over): $13.95 per person
Youths (4-12): $12.95 per person 

Reservations: not needed; pay onsite.

All exhibit halls open, including Hawaiian Hall (the largest Hawaiian museum in the world); the Science Adventure Center; and the Castle traveling hall, which currently has Dinosaurs Unleashed.

Watumull Planetarium:  Special presentations for IAU attendees to demonstrate Bishop Museum’s hybrid system, which combines a state of the art ChronosII star machine (Goto, Inc) with immersive Evans and Sutherland Digistar full dome video. 

IAU presentations:  9:30 am; 10:00 am; 12:00 pm; 3:00 pm; 4:00 pm; 4:30 pm

International Year of Light Lecture in Atherton Hall, 5:00 pm

The International Year of Light, Dark Skies, and Hawaiian Cultural Astronomy Presentations celebrating the International Astronomical Union Focus Meetings on Site Protection and World Heritage.

  • The International Year of Light - Dr. Sze-leung Cheung, Office of Astronomy Outreach, IAU
  • Significant occasion for international dark skies - to be announced.
  • Launch of updated version of "Na Inoa Hoku: Hawaiian and Pacific Star Names", by Rubellite Johnson, John Mahelona, and Clive Ruggles

Reception to follow, sponsored by C&W Energy Solutions, Ocarina Books CAPER Center for Astronomy & Physics Education Research, International Dark-Sky Association

5:00 PM, Atherton Hall.  Admission is free for this event.

Public Events - Download Promotional Poster

Stargazing Parties

Bring your family and friends and enjoy and evening under the stars.  Become an observer with professional telescopes and experts in the field of astronomy.
Monday, August 3, 2015, sundown
Thursday, August 13, 2015, sundown
Ala Moana Beach Park

Public Talks

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Reservation Required

7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Hawaii Convention Center
Kālepa Baybayan, Imiloa Astronomy Center

He Lani Ko Luna, A Sky Above
“In losing the sight of land, you discover the stars.”

A presentation on the history of deep sea voyaging, exploration, and oceanic wayfinding, the indigenous system of orientation and navigation at sea, and the efforts to use these experiences to revitalize a once dynamic maritime culture by educating through a native world view that teaches through the Hawaiian language and makes connections that explores the symbiotic relationship between land, sea, sky, and people. 


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Reservation Required

7:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Exoplanet Naming Ceremony

7:30 pm - 8:15 pm
The Development of Modern Astronomy in Hawaii
Dr. Gunther Hasinger, Director, IfA

8:15 pm - 9:00 pm
The Black Hole in the Galactic Center
Dr. Andrea Ghez, UCLA

Free Local Student Hands-on Science Event

Wednesday, August 5 and Wednesday, August 12
10:30 am-12:00 pm and 1:00-2:30 pm
Local Students Visit IAU Exhibit Hall

We are inviting local students to interact with leading scientists from around the world including: Observatories of Maunakea, NASA, European Space Agency, National Science Foundation, and observatories and research institutions from Germany, Korea, Chile, Australia, China, Japan and more!

Your students will have the opportunity to participate in hands-on demonstrations and talk with leading scientists and engineers at the forefront of space research.

Sign up your student today

Astronomer in the Classroom

Daily - School Hours
Attendees, sign up to volunteer an hour of your time in a local classroom.  Bringing your astronomical knowledge to local students is easy. 

Volunteer in a Classroom

Local schools can request a scientist to come present to their students.  There is no cost for this service.

Please sign up today!

Free Planetarium Shows

Thursday, August 6, 2015

7:30PM - Cosmic Rays  
8:00PM - Maunakea Between Earth & Sky

Free admission, open to the public. Presented by the Malargüe Planetarium and hosted by the Hokulani Imaginarium at Windward Community College,  45-720 Keaahala Rd, Kaneohe, HI 96744-3528

Free Lecture and Book Signing

Monday, Aug. 10, 7:30PM (Book Signing at 7:00PM)
UH Mānoa Art Building Auditorium
Campus parking $6

An Intuitive Introduction to Einstein’s Ideas and Why They Matter
by Dr. Jeffrey Bennett, astronomer & author

•    A basic answer to the question “What is Relativity?”
•    How Einstein’s theories of relativity underlie nearly all of modern science and technology, including    modern electronics, nuclear power, and even your GPS navigation.
•    How relativity provides our current understanding of the nature of space, time, and gravity; in other words: “what it means to be a human being, living on a planet that orbits a star in a vast universe.”
•    Why “black holes don’t suck” — and what they actually are.
•    The mind-bending ideas of time dilation and curvature of spacetime.
•    The most famous equation in history: E = mc2.
•    Why relativity actually matters to all of us, and how    Einstein’s work is a shining example of what human beings can do when they put their minds to work for positive things rather than negative things.