Astrometric Binaries: An International Conference to Commemorate the Birth of Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel (1784-1846)

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During the past years, a number of international astronomical conferences were held at the Remeis-Observatory in Bamberg, four of them sponsored by the International Astronomical Union. The first meeting was organized in 1959 and dealt with Variable Stars, the last one was held in 1981 and focussed on 'Binary and Multiple Stars as Tracers of Stellar Evolution'. The present conference was organized to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel, who was born in Minden on July 22, 1784, and died in Konigsberg on March 17, 1846. When the plan for an international conference on astrometric binaries was presented to several colleagues, we received enthusiastic support and decided to pursue the idea. A Scientific Organizing Committee was soon established, consisting of: Z. Kopal Manchester, u.K. S. M. Gong Nanjing, China (Chairman) M. Grewing Tiibingen, F.R.G. V. Abalakin Pulkovo, U.S.S.R. P. v. d. Kamp Amsterdam, Netherlands J. Dommanget Uccle, Belgium M. Kitamura Tokyo, Japan M. G. Fracastoro Torino, Italy J. Rahe Bamberg, F.R.G. W. Fricke Heidelberg, F.R.G. Ya. Yatskiv Kiev, U.S.S.R. E. H. Geyer Bonn, F.R.G. The meeting took place in Bamberg at the Remeis-Observatory, Astronomical Institute of the University Erlangen-Nurnberg, from June l3 to 15, 1984. The following institutions generously supported the meeting: Deutsche Forschungs- gemeinschaft, Bonn; Stadt Bamberg; Universitat Bamberg; Universitat Erlangen- Nurnberg; University of Manchester.