Asia-Pacific Regional IAU Meeting to be held in Hong Kong in March 2026

May 08, 2024
Asia-Pacific Regional IAU Meeting to be held in Hong Kong in March 2026

The Asia-Pacific Regional IAU Meeting (APRIM), an international meeting of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), will be held in Hong Kong in the spring of 2026. The final decision was made by the IAU Executive Committee at their Meeting in Helsinki on April 25, 2024, and transmitted to the proposers based at the Laboratory for Space Research (LSR) at The University of Hong Kong (HKU) on the same day. This marks the first time that the APRIM is being held in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), following the IAU General Assembly held in Beijing in 2013.

Established in 1919, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) is the leading international astronomical organisation that brings together more than 12,000 professional astronomers from over 85 countries.

Taking place once every three years, APRIM is one of the largest regional meetings of the IAU, where astronomers from countries across the Asia-Pacific region (and often beyond) gather to discuss common interests, developments and latest research results.

Each meeting is attended by 500 to 1,000 people, making it the second-largest international meeting on astronomy in the world after the IAU General Assembly. The first APRIM was held in New Zealand in 1978 and since then, the meeting was regularly held until the COVID-19 pandemic forced APRIM 2020 in Australia to be cancelled. Normal service resumed with the 2023 version was held in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture in Japan in the summer of 2023.

To be selected as the venue for the meeting, our HKU-led proposal underwent a hosting competition. The Scientific Organising Committee of APRIM 2023, comprising approximately two dozen members from nearly 20 countries, thoroughly reviewed every proposal. Following this rigorous selection, our proposal received endorsement and formal approval from the IAU Executive Committee. With this opportunity, we can showcase our city and region, and demonstrate our capacity, expertise and strong, regional, university base in Astronomy, Astrophysics and space and planetary sciences to support APRIM2026. *CUHK, *HKUST, HKU, and *PolyU in Hong Kong and universities like *SYSU in the GBA already have strong and growing research capacity in these areas. We hope our city can get behind this professional and large international scientific meeting.

‘As the director of the Laboratory for Space Research and proposer of this event, I am both proud and humbled that our city in general, and HKU in particular, has been chosen to host this very prestigious scientific event. I would also like the opportunity to reach out to all our sister universities that host astrophysics groups and to our city institutions and government to join us in this collaborative endeavour. Let us warmly welcome all countries of the Pacific Rim and beyond to our fragrant harbour,’ said Professor Quentin PARKER, Director of the Laboratory for Space Research at HKU.

*Note: The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and Sun Yat-Sen University (SYSU).