Leading researcher Dr.phys. Juris Freimanis of Engineering Research Institute Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Centre (ERI VIRAC) of Ventspils University of Applied Sciences (VUAS) and project “Physical and chemical processes in the interstellar medium” (No 1.1.1.1/16/A/213) from August 20 to August 31 will attend the General Assembly (30th) of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), 2018, Vienna, Austria.

IAU is the leading astronomy organization in the world having a total of 12,383 individual members and 73 national members (member states). Each state is represented by a professional astronomical community, and in Latvia, the responsible organization is the University of Latvia (UL), that are responsible for paying the membership due. IAU individual members do not pay dues to the Union, therefore, IUA national membership dues are significantly higher (Latvia is in the category that pays 3000 EUR annually; the USA pays 45 times more) than the majority of international scientific organizations. Total of 12 Latvian astronomers are a part of IAU individual members, but on this occasion, Juris Freimanis will be the only member from Latvia attending the General Assembly of IAU.

The General Assembly of IAU is held every three years, and the duration of this assembly is two weeks. The foundation of the scientific programme is 7 or 8 IAU symposiums. In addition, increasingly common becomes special sessions and other events. Commonly two IAU business sittings take place during which IAU managing officials are elected, IAU statutes amended, annual budget established, etc. IAU individual members vote for resolutions of the General Assembly of IAU which generally are of a scientific nature. However, the representatives of the national members vote for mostly organisational and financial issues during business sittings (the representatives of the national members are individual members who have received respective authorization).

Juris Freimanis participated in IAU symposium No 343 „Why Galaxies Care about AGB Stars: a Continuing Challenge through Cosmic Time” with the following report – Juris Freimanis. On cylindrically symmetric solutions of polarized radiative transfer equation. This symposium was devoted to asymptotic giant branch stars – evolved stars with the core of carbon and oxygen, concentric helium layer around it and mostly hydrogen outer layers. These stars and the release of the substance from these stars are being studied within the framework of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) project No 1.1.1.1/16/A/213 “Physical and chemical processes in the interstellar medium” (ASTRA).

Juris Freimanis took the opportunity to visit other symposiums and conventions, attended several IAU department meetings, and were the official Latvian representative at IAU business sittings. Moreover, the official representative of Sweden (Dainis Draviņš) at business sittings is a Latvian astronomer, the professor at Lund University, and the member of the convention held at Ventspils University of Applied Sciences (VUAS).