ILSW_tenth.jpg Celebrating 10 Years of International Living with a Star (ILWS)

The International Living With a Star program is celebrating ten years of successful international collaboration with a special ILWS Tenth Anniversary Symposium. The events run February 12-14, 2013 in Vienna, Austria. Representatives from 22 participating countries will meet on this occasion to review the successes and accomplishments of the past and discuss plans for the future, providing new direction to this international collaborative enterprise.

ILWS is an international organization dedicated to the advancement of space weather science missions and research. Space weather is a growing field of research, as it studies how variations in the Sun and the Earth's space environment influence life and technology on Earth and in space. ILWS was created out of the need to combine global forces in order to explore solar-terrestrial relations, from basic science to applications and space weather predictions. Following the NASA program "Living With a Star," ILWS emerged in late 2002 as a continuation of the four-agency Interagency Consultative Group (IACG), embracing the following goals: How and why does the Sun vary, How does the Earth respond, and What are the impacts on humanity?

ILWS has grown to a membership of 33 member space agencies and organizations. The current Chair is Professor Wu Ji of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. Dr. C. Philippe Escoubet of ESA will assume the position of ILWS Chair at the conclusion of the Symposium.

The Working Group meeting will commence on February 13 at the Austrian Academy of Science in Vienna, as about 50 representatives from ESA, NASA and other national space organizations, agencies and scientific institutions from all over the world will report on their agency's activities in the field of space weather science and prediction.

Following the Working Group meeting, on February 14 there will be a symposium in celebration of this successful international collaboration and a reception in honor of the Tenth Anniversary of ILWS. The events will take place at the Vienna International Center of the United Nations, where delegates from 74 space-faring nations as well as many governmental and non-governmental organizations related to space activities will be meeting at the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee On the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) in parallel with the ILWS Science Symposium and anniversary celebrations.

The symposium was organized by Symposium Convener Prof. Hermann Opgenoorth from the Swedish Institute of Space Physics in Uppsala (who served as the first chair of ILWS in 2003-2004) and ILWS Executive Secretary Dr. Barbara Thompson of NASA. Dr. Rumi Nakamura from the Austrian Academy of Sciences is the local host of the events and will serve as the Chair of the ILWS Working Group meeting.