70 Oph orbit Roche Equipotential Surfaces

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Organization of Commission G1

IAU Commission G1 is governed by its President, Vice-President, and Organizing Committee. These members manage the operations of the Commission and review applications for sponsorship of professional meetings associated with the research topics of the Commission.

Responsibilities of Commissions

The duties and responsibilities of Commissions and their Organizing Committees are described under Section VI of the IAU Bye-Laws. The following sections were reprinted from the IAU Bye-Laws, dated 21 August, 2012.

    22. A Scientific Commission shall consist of:

    22.a. A President and an Organizing Committee consisting of 4-8 persons elected by the Commission membership, subject to the approval of the Organizing Committee of the Division;

    22.b. Members of the Union, accepted by the Organizing Committee, in recognition of their special experience and interests, subject to confirmation by the Organizing Committee of the Division.

    23. A Commission is initially created for a period of six years. The parent Division may recommend its continuation for additional periods of three years at a time, if sufficient justification for its continued activity is presented to the Division and the Executive Committee. The activities of a Commission are governed by Terms of Reference, which are based on a standard model published by the Executive Committee and are approved by the Division.

    24. With the approval of the Division, a Commission may establish Working Groups to study well-defined scientific issues and report to the Commission. Unless specifically re-appointed by the same procedure, such Working Groups cease to exist at the next following General Assembly.

IAU Terms of Reference for Commissions

The responsibilities of Commissions are set by the Terms of Reference based on the IAU Working Rules, Section X, Items 41-46, dated 16 May 2013.


    The role of the Commissions is to organize the work of the Union in specialized subsets of the fields of their parent Division(s), when the corresponding activity is judged to be of considerable significance over times of a decade or more. Thus, new Commissions may be created by the Executive Committee with the agreement of all the Divisions when fields emerge that are clearly in sustained long-term development and where the Union may play a significant role in promoting this development at the international level. Similarly, Commissions may be discontinued by the Executive Committee upon the recommendation of the parent Division when their work can be accomplished effectively by the parent Division. In keeping with the many-sided activities of the Union, Commissions may have purely scientific as well as more organizational and/or interdisciplinary fields. They will normally belong and report to one of the IAU Divisions, but may be common to two or more Divisions. The following rules apply if a Division has more than one Commission.

    41. The activities of a Commission are directed by an Organizing Committee of 4-8 members of the Commission, headed by a Commission President and Vice-President (cf. Bye-Laws § 22). A member of the Organizing Committee normally serves a maximum of two terms, unless elected Vice-President of the Commission in her/his second term. Presidents may serve for only one term. All members of the Organizing Committee are expected to be active in this task, and are to be consulted on all significant actions of the Commission. The Organizing Committee appoints a Commission Secretary who maintains the records of the membership and activities of the Commission in co-operation with the Division Secretary and the IAU Secretariat. Contact information for the members of the Organizing Committee shall be maintained at the Commission web site.

    Unless agreed otherwise by the Executive Committee on a case by case basis, the President of a Commission cannot be President of a Division or of another Commission, or be Chair of a Working Group.

    42. Individual Members of the Union, who are active in the field of the Commission and wish to contribute to its progress, are admitted as members of the Commission by the Organizing Committee. Interested Members should contact the Commission Secretary, who will bring the request before the Organizing Committee for decision. Members may resign from the Commission by notifying the Commission Secretary. Before each General Assembly, the Organizing Committee may also decide to terminate the Commission membership of persons who have not been active in the work of the Commission; the individuals concerned shall be informed of such planned action before it is put into effect. The Commission Secretary will report all changes in the Commission membership to the Division Secretary and the IAU Secretariat.

    43. At least six months before a General Assembly, the Organizing Committee submits to the membership of the Commission a list of candidates for President, Vice-President (for which there should be the names of two persons willing to serve), the Organizing Committee, and heads of Program Groups for the next triennium. The Organizing Committee requests nominations from the entire membership in preparing this list, and then conducts a vote, normally electronically, among all the members for the above offices, the results of which are reported to the General Secretary at least three months before the General Assembly. The Vice-President is normally nominated to succeed the President. The outgoing President participates in the deliberations of the new Organizing Committee in an advisory capacity. If more names are proposed than available elective positions, the outgoing Organizing Committee devises the procedure by which the requisite number of candidates is elected by the membership. The resulting list is submitted to the Organizing Committee of the parent Division(s) for approval before the end of the General Assembly. Members of the Organizing Committee normally serve a maximum of two terms, unless elected Vice-President of the Commission. Presidents may serve for only one term.

    44. At least six months before each General Assembly, the Organizing Committee shall submit to the parent Division(s) a report on its activities during the past triennium, with its recommendation as to whether the Commission should be continued for another three years, or merged with one or more other Commissions, or discontinued. If a continuation is proposed, a plan for the activities of the next triennium should be presented, including those of any Working Groups which the Commission proposes to maintain during that period.

    45. The Organizing Committee decides its own rules for the conduct of its business by physical meetings or (electronic) correspondence. Such rules require approval by the Organizing Committee of the parent Division(s).

    46. The procedural rules applying to the establishment of a new Division shall also apply to the establishment of a new Commission. Where there is no 'relevant predecessor Commission(s)' the parent Division(s) shall submit to the potential membership of the new Commission a list of candidates for President, Vice-President and Organising Committee for the next triennium.