2009 has been declared International Year of Astronomy by the General Assembly of the UN (United Nations Organization).

The Opening ceremony of the International Year of Astronomy takes place in Paris, January 15-16, 2009, under the aegis of the UN, the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation), the IAU (International Astronomical Union). It is also supported by a number of sponsors including French and international organizations and institutions.

About 600 participants are expected, among them eminent scientists (including Nobel Prize winners), and also about 200 young students from over 100 countries, participating in the International Year IYA2009.

Jean-Paul Zahn (left) EAS Publications Series Editor-in-chief and Joachim Krautter (right) EAS President Robert W. Wilson (left) 1978 Nobel Prize in Physics