Armagh Observatory and Planetarium is delighted to announce its latest elected members to the organising committees of the prestigious International Astronomical Union (IAU), cementing its place as a leading research institution of influence on the global stage. 

Three Astronomers working at the Armagh Observatory, Stefano Bagnulo, Michael Burton, and Simon Jeffery have been appointed as Commission Vice-Presidents taking on new roles for the next three years. Continuing in their roles for another term in the Divisions and Commissions are Michael Burton, Tolis Christou and Jorick Vink.

The AOP astronomers elected to IAU committees. From left to right: Prof. Simon Jeffery, Prof. Jorick Vink, Prof. Michael Burton, Dr. Tolis Christou, Dr. Stefano Bagnulo

The IAU is structured into Divisions, Commissions, and Working Groups comprising of professional astronomers from 90 countries around the world at Ph.D. level and beyond, who are active in professional research, education and outreach in astronomy.

Professor Michael Burton, Director of the Armagh Observatory & Planetarium said: “It’s fantastic for a small organisation like us to play an active part of such an esteemed organisation, enabling us to have input on a global stage. Being actively involved with IAU means we collaborate and interact with many scientific organisations worldwide, which is a real privilege. The new Vice-President roles will become Presidents after three years, and then Advisors after another three years, so these are nine year roles which will give us vast knowledge and experience.”

The International Astronomical Union, that spans over 90 countries, has a mission to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects, including research, communication, education and development, through international cooperation.

Armagh Observatory

The scientific and educational activities of the IAU are organized by its 9 Scientific Divisions and, through them, its 35 specialized Commissions covering the full spectrum of astronomy, along with 53 Working Groups.

New Commission Vice-Presidents

  • Dr Stefano Bagnulo: B6 Astronomical Photometry & Polarimetry
  • Professor Michael Burton: C4 World Heritage and Astronomy
  • Professor Simon Jeffery: G5 Stellar & Planetary Atmospheres

Continuing for another term:

  • Professor Michael Burton: Division B Advisor (past-President): Facilities, Technologies, Data Science
  • Dr Tolis Christou: Commission F1 Steering Committee: Meteors, Meteorites, Interplanetary Dust
  • Professor Jorick Vink: Commission G2 Advisor (past-President): Massive Stars


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