24 November 2006

United Nations to Hold Workshop on International Heliophysical Year 2007 in India

VIENNA, 24 November (UN Information Service) -- The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA), within the framework of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications, is organizing the second  Workshop on the International Heliophysical Year (IHY) 2007 and Basic Space Science. The Workshop, which is being co-sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States and hosted by India, will be held at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics in Bangalore, from 27 November to 1 December 2006.

     The Workshop will be structured around the following topics: participation of nations in project development for international heliospheric space missions; support of low-cost ground-based instrument array initiatives for world-wide studies in space science; preparation for the participation of developing nations in IHY; results and practices in accessing data of the Sun-Earth system from space missions through data archives; space missions in astrophysics and solar system studies; basic space science initiatives in developing nations.

Approximately 150 participants from the following countries and international organizations are expected to attend the Workshop: Algeria, Austria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, Peru, Russian Federation, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Syria, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, OOSA.

International Heliophysical Year (IHY), celebrated worldwide in 2007, will mark the 50th Anniversary of the International Geophysical Year (IGY) and 50 years of space exploration, when scientists and engineers from Member States of the United Nations will again come together for an international programme of scientific collaboration on fundamental global questions of Earth and space sciences.

The word  'heliophysical' is an extension of the word 'geophysical', encompassing the connections from the Earth to the Sun and interplanetary space. On the 50th anniversary of the International Geophysical Year, the 2007 IHY activities will build on the success of IGY 1957 by continuing its legacy of system-wide studies of the extended heliophysical domain.

The objectives of IHY 2007 are to (a) advance our Understanding of the Fundamental Heliophysical Processes that govern the Sun, Earth and Heliosphere; (b) continue the tradition of international research and advancing the legacy on the 50th anniversary of the International Geophysical Year; and (c) demonstrate the beauty, relevance and significance of Space and Earth Science to the World. Through a programme of comparative study of universal processes that affect the interplanetary and terrestrial environment, the IHY will help us develop a deeper understanding of physical processes in the solar system. The study of energetic movement in the solar system will pave the way for safe human space travel to the Moon and planets in the future, and will serve to inspire the next generation of space physicists.

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA), through the UN Basic Space Science Initiative (UNBSSI), assists scientists and engineers from all over the world to participate in IHY. More information on IHY is available at http://ihy2007.org/

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The United Nations Programme on Space Applications is implemented by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and works to improve the use of space science and technology for the economic and social development of all nations, in particular developing countries. Under the Programme, the Office conducts training courses, workshops, seminars and other activities on applications and capacity building in subjects such as remote sensing, communications, satellite meteorology, search and rescue, basic space science, satellite navigation and space law.

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA) implements the decisions of the General Assembly and of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and its two Subcommittees, the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the Legal Subcommittee. The Office is responsible for promoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, and assisting developing countries in using space science and technology. Located in Vienna, Austria, OOSA maintains a website at http://www.unoosa.org/

For information contact:

Romana Kofler
Associate Programme Officer, OOSA
Telephone: +43 1 260 60 4962
E-mail: romana.kofler@unvienna.org