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BISO Home > USNC/IAU Homepage > USNC/IAU Background

About the Union

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) promotes and coordinates worldwide cooperation in astronomy. The IAU, through its nine divisions, 35 commissions, and 53 working groups covering the full spectrum of astronomy, plays a key role in fostering international collaborations. The international union brings together over 11,000 astronomers in 107 countries worldwide. U.S. astronomers are encouraged to engage in a number of IAU activities. 
Activities in the various astronomical sub-disciplines are mostly coordinated through the IAU divisions. The list of divisions is as follows:

  • Division A: Fundamental Astronomy
  • Division B: Facilities, Technologies and Data Science
  • Division C: Education, Outreach and Heritage
  • Division D: High Energy Phenomena and Fundamental Physics
  • Division E: Sun and Heliosphere
  • Division F: Planetary Systems and Bioastronomy
  • Division G: Stars and Stellar Physics
  • Division H: Interstellar Matter and Local UniverseDivision J: Galaxies and Cosmology
  • Division J: Galaxies and Cosmology

For more information on the IAU, you may consult its websites for:

About the USNC

The U.S. National Committee for the International Astronomical Union (USNC/IAU) represents the interests of the U.S. astronomical community and safeguards the intellectual vigor of the Union. The USNC/IAU explores issues in:

  • Interdisciplinary Research and Resources;
  • Individual IAU Membership;
  • Access to Scientific Data and Information;
  • Diversity Among Astronomers; and
  • Young Researcher Participation in IAU. 


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 1708170. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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