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Star Formation and Galactic Structure; A Centennial Cruise Honoring Adriaan Blaauw as Cartographer of the Heavens (7-8 April)

When:Mo 07-04-2014 10:00 - 18:00
Where:Academy building of the University of Groningen (City Centre), Broerstraat 5, 9712 CP Groningen, Senate room (first floor).

On April 7 and 8 the Kapteyn Institute of the RUG is organising an international conference honouring Prof. Dr. Adriaan Blaauw on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth, April 12, 1914. Prof. Blaauw was of enormous importance for astronomy in Groningen, the Netherlands, and the world since the 1950’s.

Adriaan Blaauw (1914-2010)
Adriaan Blaauw (1914-2010)

During the conference, the life and work of Adriaan Blaauw and the current state of his science field will take centre stage. There will lectures about Blaauw and his impact on astronomy in the 20th century and lectures by international experts on star formation and the structure of our Galaxy, his key scientific interest and a very timely subject with the recent launch of the GAIA satellite.


April 7, 10.00-18.00 hr: Academy building of the University of Groningen (City Centre), Broerstraat 5, 9712 CP Groningen, Senate room (first floor).

April 8, 9.00-17.00 uur: Duisenberg Building of the University of Groningen (Zernike Campus), Nettelbosje 2, 9747 AE Groningen, Blauwe Zaal (Room nr. 5412, ground floor)

More information

"Star Formation and Galactic Structure — a Centennial Cruise honoring Adriaan Blaauw as Cartographer of the Heavens"

About Prof. Blaauw

Prof. Blaauw is one of the most influential astronomers of the twentieth century. Blaauw started his impressive career in the 1950’s with his research on the formation and life of young and massive stars. He discovered and explained “runaway” stars, which move rapidly away from their birth clouds. Later, as chairman of the program committee of the Milky Way-mapping Hipparcos satellite, Blaauw pioneered space-based research on the structure of our Galaxy. His legacy is felt in the Herschel and the recently-launched Gaia satellites, which will make the first 3D map of the Milky Way. Blaauw’s nickname “Cartographer of the Heavens” was earned as a result of his continuous drive to understand the structure and formation of our Galaxy.

Prof. Blaauw acquired numerous commendations during his long life as a researcher and policy maker at the national, European and global level. He was appointed Professor and Director of the Kapteyn Institute in 1957. Blaauw stood at the birth of the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) as a board member of the Stichting Radiostraling Zon en Melkweg. With the WSRT, he brought the Kapteyn Institute into its current role as a global player in astronomical research. In the European context, Blaauw had a major influence on the development of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and was its Director General for five years. After returning to the Netherlands to take a post as professor at Leiden University, Blaauw was president of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). As IAU President, he reintegrated China into the international astronomical community. He served as chairman of the board of the European scientific journal Astronomy and Astrophysics. Blaauw also wrote definitive books on the histories of ESO and the IAU.

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