Four Resolutions to be Presented for Voting at the IAU XXIX GA

The four resolutions to be presented for voting at the IAU General Assembly are now in final form. The vote takes place during the second General Assembly session on Thursday, 13 August, between 16:00 and 18:00 HAST.

Resolution B1 addresses the 10-year IAU Strategic Plan for astronomy in the developing world. This strategic plan extends from 2010 to 2020, and this resolution looks to confirm the continuing pursuit of these goals, as well to plan for what comes next, in the form of an extended strategic plan, addressing the future of the Office of Astronomy for Development and its activities beyond 2021.

Resolution B2 is on the recommended zero points for the absolute and apparent bolometric magnitude scales. This is a problem in astronomical literature, with pervasive variance in the zero points for bolometric magnitudes and bolometric corrections. This resolution seeks to adopt a standardised absolute and apparent bolometric magnitude scale that acts independently of the Sun.

Resolution B3 is on recommended nominal conversion constants for selected solar and planetary properties. It recommends the adoption of nominal values for the solar radius, total solar irradiance, solar luminosity, solar effective temperature, heliocentric gravitational constant, and solar mass. These nominal values would function as conversion factors only, allowing a uniform conversion to SI units. The resolution recommends the same be done for the equatorial and polar radii of the Earth and Jupiter, as well as for the geocentric and jovicentric gravitational constants.

Resolution B4 addresses the protection of radio astronomy observations in the frequency range 76–81 GHz from interference caused by car radars, which have various applications, like determining distances and relative speeds of objects in front of, beside, or behind a car. It seeks to request that the World Radio Communication Conference 2015 takes all possible steps to protect radio astronomy observations in this frequency band that suffer as a result of car radars. Separating the observatories geographically from the radiation would seem the the most effective method of protection, but in a world of ever-expanding technology that requires different wavelengths to operate, this is a pressing concern for astronomy. More information is available in the briefing paper.