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WEBDA Communication


The proposal made at the creation of WEBDA to host a Star Cluster Newsletter in parallel with the cluster database has finally been realised.

EDITORIAL: Statement of purpose

The field of star clusters, open or globular, is expanding rapidly on the observational side, thanks to high-accuracy astrometric surveys, available (HIPPARCOS) or forthcoming (DIVA, FAME), to extra-galactic studies (starting with the LMC), and to cosmological surveys. On the theoretical side, progress in stellar evolution models and computational N-body techniques, allowing star-by-star modelling of open clusters and, soon, globulars, already rejuvenate the field. We anticipate more and more activity in the near future in this area of research and foresee a need to disseminate summaries of activity encompassing all aspect of scientific work: publications naturally, but also forthcoming conferences, recent PhD summaries, planned surveys, links to relevant databases, or available job(s).

We therefore propose to collect and maintain a list of forthcoming contributions to refereed periodicals, conference proceedings, and the likes, which will be posted at the url advertised at the top of this page. We would follow in thesteps of successful newsletters, such as the star formation newsletter maintained by Bo Reipurth, or the dwarf galaxy newsletter of Elias Brinks and Eva Grebel.

SCYON, as we propose to call the newsletter, will be published initially once every two months. If the number of contributions justifies a monthly instalments, we would move toward more frequent issues in order to keep the newsletter relatively short, manageable for us, and up-to-date. We would in the first instance maintain a relatively simple newsletter, however one long-term objective is to link articles by object to the WEBDA database developed by one of us (J-CM) at the University of Lausanne. The intention is to allow users to navigate in the newsletter library between research papers as well as the database.

Interested? We would ask those interested to contribute to the newsletter, and receive notice of the latest issue, to write to us at the address

A subscription to SCYON is completely free! A short message expressing your interest to the address shown above will be sufficient to add your name to the mailing list. As of now, no mailing list exists and you will not be contacted by us again unless you forward a reply with the phrase 'add to SCYON' in the subject field. If you wish to contribute a communication, write it in the main body of the message. We would make it available with the first issue, for which we set a tentative date of

Issue no. 1 out 10 January, 2001.

In case you wish to cancel your subscription, send a message to the above address and your entry in the master mailing list will be removed.

A Web form has been developed which will allow us to produce the abstracts directly in the html and latex formats. This is the preferred way to send the abstracts.

A template LaTeX file is also available.

Here is an example of an abstract. Notice the link to NGC 2420 and the link added in the NGC 2420 page toward this abstract.

The list of subjects we would like to include in the newsletter goes as follows :

  1. Abstracts from refereed articles
  2. Abstracts from conference proceedings
  3. PhD Summaries
  4. Announcements : Conferences, new databases, and the likes.

Should we cover more topics? Please let us hear your views!

SCYON policy

The SCYON Newsletter publishes abstracts from any area in astronomy which are relevant to research on STAR CLUSTERS. We welcome all contributions.

Abstracts can be submitted at any time either typeset using the latex abstract template (download here) or directly by web download (follow this link). A ``Call for abstracts'' is sent out approximately one week before the next issue of the newsletter is finalised. This ``call'' contains the deadline for abstract submissions for that coming issue and the LaTeX abstract template.

The template will be converted to html automatically so please refrain from using complex TeX macros, it will complicate matters! However all abstracts/contribution sent to us will be processed.

Depending on circumstances, the editors might actively solicit contributions, usually those spotted on a preprint server, but they do not publish abstracts without the author's consent.

We implicitly encourage further dissemination of the letter to institutes and astronomers who may benefit from it.


Holger Baumgardt,    Ernst Paunzen,    Pavel Kroupa

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Last update: 04 February 2009