Okay, so the above is a general announcement about this event, which has just over 3,000 people from 88 (!) countries in attendance and, like the Olympics, has a formal passing of the baton, with national flags involvement, in a closing ceremony. Or so I've been told; this is the first time I've attended an IAU anything.
Now let me tell you what it's like: it's hot. Vienna's been hot all week, and, because the GA is certified as a "green" event, it is hot in the initially-massively-confusing venue, too, as only the lecture halls are cooled. I almost always feel cold and keep my house fairly warm in the summer -- 77-78° typically. And I have been roasting
all week. Toasty toasty toasty!
I was asked when I registered which Symposia/Focus Meetings (FM) I wanted to attend. I marked something, but whatever they were, I do not remember. I am skipping from topic to topic, having attended talks in the Dwarf Galaxies: From the Deep Universe to the Present and Origins: From the Protosun to the First Steps of Life Symposia and in the Radio Galaxies: Resolving the AGN phenomenon, Galactic Angular Momentum, Calibration and Standardization Issues in UV-VIS-IR Astronomy, and IAU’s role on global astronomy outreach: the latest challenges and bridging different communities Focus Meetings. Tomorrow and Monday are Division meetings; I'll attend the Division B meeting as that is the one that covers software. I also have a poster up, so will be there during the poster session times.
The exhibits and booths are all good to super fabulous. And the ESA booth -- whoever does their booths does a good job! -- is having a drawing tomorrow for this:
which I want to win with all of my hard little dried-up heart, at least as much as the pony that was being raffled off when I was at Chincoteague as a 9-year-old.
Swag has included Tim-Tams from at least two Australia booths, a folding fan with astro images from a South Korea booth, tea from the LAMOST (telescope) site, various tee-shirts, buttons, pens, luggage tags, mints, star-shaped post-its, etc and so on, and though not quite swag, champagne and beer to celebrate journal anniversaries.
Mostly what I'm here for is the Division B meeting and poster presentation and meetings with editors/publishers/people; that said, I'm glad I've had time here to attend some of the science sessions, as that doesn't always happen.
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