Keele University

IAU Symposium 256

The Magellanic System: Stars, Gas, and Galaxies

28 July - 1 August 2008            Keele University (UK)

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First Announcement

Date of issue: 1 February 2008

The beautiful, green campus of the University of Keele cordially invites you to attend IAU Symposium 256 on "The Magellanic System: Stars, Gas, and Galaxies", from Monday 28 July to Friday 1 August 2008.

All details and forms can be found on the conference website

The last IAU Symposium dedicated to the Magellanic System took place ten years ago, in Victoria (Canada). Since then, there has been enormous progress in observing and understanding the physics and dynamics of the stars and the interstellar medium within these nearby gas-rich galaxies, as well as their global structure and mutual interaction.


IAU Symposium 256 is dedicated to all aspects of Magellanic Cloud research (including the Magellanic Bridge, Stream and Leading Arms) - see the programme for more details. We have invited a number of speakers to present key talks in certain areas, but we have ensured plenty of opportunity for contributed talks. We expect strong competition for these slots, however, and we therefore encourage anyone interested in presenting a talk to submit a convincing abstract by the 31 March 2008 deadline (poster abstracts are accepted until 18 July).



The fee for early (deadline 30 May 2008) is 120 pounds. This covers local administration costs, and includes a copy of the proceedings and conference stationary. The fee for registrations after this deadline is 150 pounds. Registration closes on 18 July 2008. The registration and payment form will go live in March 2008. Pre-registered delegates will be notified by e-mail when this happens.


We have booked accommodation on campus for about 200 participants. The packages include all meals, assuming arrival on Sunday afternoon and departure on Saturday morning (except dinner on the day of the conference dinner). Most rooms have en-suite facilities (418 pounds total). Some rooms with shared facilities are available at a cheaper rate (351 pounds total). A (very) limited number of double occupancy rooms have been booked as well (429 pounds total per delegate, but much cheaper for guests). All accommodation is allocated on a first come, first served basis upon registration. If you do not wish to take advantage of the accommodation packages you will still need to purchase a day delegate package (137 pounds total) in addition to the registration fee in order to be able to attend the symposium.

Financial assistance

We have limited funds available to assist delegates whose attendence is made difficult by a lack of financial resources at their home institutions. These funds are allocated on a competitive basis, with priority given to students and delegates from countries with a weak currency or under-represented groups of the astronomical community. The deadline for applications for financial assistance is 29 February 2008. Note that your chances are greatly increased if you also submit a proposed contribution accompanied by a strong abstract by that (early) deadline. Students are requested to ask their thesis director to e-mail a letter of support to us.


Keele is located in the United Kingdom between Manchester and Birmingham, in a rural setting on a hilltop a few kilometers outside the towns of Newcastle-under-Lyme and Stoke-on-Trent (famous for its Potteries, such as Wedgwood, Doulton and Spode). There are good rail connections from Manchester and Birmingham to Stoke-on-Trent (Crewe is somewhat further). Manchester Airport is the nearest to Keele and has many intercontinental connections (directly or via London or other European airports). Liverpool Airport and the London airports are progressively less convenient alternatives.


All registered attendees receive a complementary copy of the conference proceedings. These will be published by Cambridge University Press.

Style files and macros, as well as information about the page allocations will be made available before the start of the symposium.

The deadline for submitting manuscripts is 15 September 2008. We must adhere strictly to this deadline, to ensure a timely publication.

Cultural events

To relax after the scientific sessions, why not enjoy the programme of cultural events we have put together?

    On Sunday evening, you are cordially invited to a complementary welcome cocktail at the historical Keele Hall, which is situated in beautifully landscaped gardens on the university campus.

On Monday evening, we host an open air performance of one of Shakespeare's greatest works, `Othello', in the gardens of Keele Hall, by Anvil Productions. This is bound to be exceedingly good theatre, and a lot of fun. Tickets can be purchased upon registration for the conference at 12.50 pounds, which includes a guaranteed seat if purchased by 30 April 2008 (thereafter, a seat cannot be guaranteed and you may need to lounge on the lawn instead).

    On Tuesday evening, there will be a public lecture on Archaeoastronomy, by Professor Clive Ruggles. Although free of charge, this promises to be an exciting presentation drawing a large audience from the general public, and we therefore urge you to reserve a ticket in advance (using the registration form).

On Wednesday evening, we host a classical concert to be performed in the University Chapel by the acclaimed ensemble London Concertante. The programme is put together exclusively for the symposium, and will include pieces by Herschel, Bach, Mozart and Vivaldi. This event is open to the public, and we therefore recommend you purchase your ticket(s) upon registration for the conference. Tickets are 12.50 pounds.

    On Thursday evening will be the conference dinner, hosted in a beautiful 16th century country manor house in south Cheshire, Wrenbury Hall. The costs for this three-course dinner are 40 pounds per person and include a welcome cocktail and transport.

Important dates

29 February 2008 Submission deadline for financial assistance requests
March 2008 Registration and payment form goes live
31 March 2008 Submission deadline for proposed contributions
30 May 2008 Deadline for early registration
14 July 2008 Conference dinner menu choice
18 July 2008 Final deadline for registration, poster abstracts, and airport shuttle
28 July - 1 August 2008 IAU Symposium 256 takes place at Keele
15 September 2008 Deadline for submission of proceedings manuscripts

We look forward to meeting you at Keele this Summer!

Jacco van Loon and Nye Evans, on behalf of the SOC and LOC

Contact IAU Symposium 256