A&A’s retroactive name change policy

The A&A Journal has recently been contacted regarding its policy on retroactive name changing. The Editorial Board is in contact with the Board of Directors of the journal, which is the only authority to change the journal's policy. Any policy change will be posted in a future editorial.

Astronomy & Astrophysics Awards 2021

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A), the Board of Directors of A&A is establishing two awards for outstanding research published in A&A by individuals in the initial stages of their careers. With these awards, the Board wishes to express its appreciation, and contribute to the enthusiasm, of the new generation of researchers who will be shaping astronomy for the decades to come.


Congratulations to the 2020 Nobel prize in physics Laureates

The 2020 Nobel Prize in physics has been awarded to astronomers Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez for their parallel discoveries of the supermassive compact object at the center of our Galaxy, and to mathematical physicist Roger Penrose for his theoretical work on black holes.

Over the past 30 years, the teams led by Genzel and Ghez have used telescopes in Chile and Hawaii, respectively, to track the orbits of stars around the very center of the Milky Way. This has shown that its central ~100 astronomical units contain 4 million solar masses and yet have very low luminosity; this result is extremely hard to explain with anything but a black hole. Recently, Reinhard Genzel's team spearheaded the development of the GRAVITY instrument for the Very Large Telescope Interferometer to improve the tracking precision of the Galactic center stars by an order of magnitude. In a series of A&A articles, the team used the exquisite GRAVITY measurements to pinpoint the properties of the central mass, measure the variable gravitational redshift it inflicts on passing stars, observe the Schwarzschild precession of their orbits, and measure the motions of gas clouds near the last stable orbit.

A&A warmly congratulates all three recipients of the prize, and thanks Reinhard Genzel and the GRAVITY team for choosing our journal to present their spectacular results. A very nice summary of those results, presented by GRAVITY team member Guy Perrin at the 50th anniversary celebration of A&A, can be viewed on YouTube at

A&A special issue (October 2020) : The Solar Orbiter mission

Astronomy & Astrophysics, published by EDP Sciences, presents a series of articles on the Solar Orbiter space mission and its ten instruments.

Solar Orbiter, an ESA-NASA collaboration, was launched on February 10, 2020. It carries the most comprehensive payload flown in the inner heliosphere to date, with six remote-sensing instruments that image the Sun and its surroundings as well as four in situ instruments for monitoring the immediate environment of the spacecraft. A series of Venus and Earth gravity assists will adjust the probe’s perihelion to a minimum of 0.28 AU and raise the inclination of the orbital plane to over 33 degrees. This will allow the first-ever look at the solar poles. Thus, Solar Orbiter is the conceptual combination of two missions: an out-of-ecliptic in situ probe (like Ulysses) and one that brings state-of-the-art telescopes (which are an improvement over those of, e.g., SOHO and SDO) closer to the Sun than ever before as well as over the solar poles. Solar Orbiter will address the most pressing open questions of solar physics, and its results will remain unique for at least the next decade.

All calibrated science data will be made available three months after their reception on the ground, in line with the open-data philosophy of the mission. This publication is coordinated with the release of the first data from the four in situ instruments through the public ESA Solar Orbiter archive. This special feature was coordinated by Yannis Zouganelis and the Solar Orbiter teams.

To read the Solar Orbiter mission special issue, please click here.

Françoise Combes receives the CNRS 2020 Gold Medal

We are delighted to announce that Françoise Combes, one of the associate editors of Astronomy & Astrophysics, has been awarded the CNRS 2020 Gold Medal. Françoise is a professor at the Collège de France and hold its chair in “Galaxies and Cosmology”. She is also an astrophysicist at the Paris Observatory and a member of the French Academy of Sciences.

This is a significant achievement. Not only does the CNRS, the French research agency, only award one Gold Medal a year across all academic fields, but, apart from the physicists Alain Brillet et Thibault Damour who received the Gold Medal for their contribution to the detection of gravitational waves in 2017, the last recipient in astronomy was Evry Schatzman in 1983. Previous Gold Medal recipients include most post-1950 French Nobel Prize laureates, so there is every reason to extend our congratulations for this very special moment.

This Gold Medal builds on the CNRS Silver Medal Françoise received in 2001. She has been an associate editor of Astronomy & Astrophysics since 2003, so it is our great honour and pleasure to work closely with Françoise on one of the leading original research journals in its field.

Read the CNRS article “The astrophysicist Françoise Combes receives the CNRS 2020 Gold Medal” or read the CNRS press release.

A&A special issue (September 2020) : Planck 2018 results

Astronomy & Astrophysics, published by EDP Sciences, has published a special feature on the results from the ESA Planck mission, based on data released by ESA and the Planck Collaboration in July 2018.

This 2018 data release has significantly lower systematic residuals for both Planck instruments, LFI and HFI, and a more accurate photometric calibration for HFI. These calibration improvements are most significant over the largest angular scales and for the polarized emission. The resulting frequency maps were used to separate the diffuse sky emission into maps of the cosmic microwave background, the thermal Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect, the cosmic infrared background, and the Galactic thermal dust, carbon monoxide, anomalous dust, free-free, and synchrotron emission.

The 12 articles in the special issue describe the released data products and present scientific results extracted by the Planck Collaboration from this data. The six-parameter ΛCDM model continues to provide an excellent fit to the cosmic microwave background data at high and low redshift. Planck measures five of those six parameters to better than 1%, and together with external datasets, sets tight limits to many possible extensions of the model. Beyond those immediate results, the Planck 2018 dataset constitutes an essential treasure trove and will have lasting importance for both cosmology and foreground astrophysics. This special feature was coordinated by Jan Tauber and the Planck Science Team.

To read the Planck 2018 results special issue, please click here.

EDP Sciences publishing statement in response to COVID-19 pandemic

To support all researchers during the Covid-19 pandemic, EDP Sciences has opened the journals content on our site from 2018-2020 so it freely available for all to read.

Learn about the history of Astronomy & Astrophysics in its 50th year of publishing

Astronomy & Astrophysics is pleased to release the full length (1 hour) historical documentary discussing how the journal has evolved over the past 50 years since the first issue of Astronomy & Astrophysics was published in January 1969. It follows a shorter version published earlier this year.

As Astronomy & Astrophysics celebrates its 50th anniversary, it invites you to explore how the journal has evolved from a European publication into a truly international journal, and what this means for astronomers today. The documentary considers the future of academic publishing and how this is likely to impact astronomy and astrophysics research.

Watch the full video

Watch the short video

Watch the trailer

A&A special issue (February 2019): LOFAR Surveys

Astronomy & Astrophysics, published by EDP Sciences, has published a special issue on the LOFAR telescope which is being used to survey the full northern celestial hemisphere in the 120 MHz band with unprecedented resolution and sensitivity.

This special issue of Astronomy & Astrophysics presents the first data release of the LOFAR Two-metre Sky Survey, along with selected early results.

The release also includes an extracted catalog of 326 000 sources, complete to 0.35 mJy for point sources. 70% of these sources are associated with an optical counterpart, and photometric redshifts are also provided. The early results of the survey span a wide range of mostly extragalactic topics, from the physics of active galactic nuclei to the intergalactic magnetic field, by way of interstellar medium and clusters of galaxies.

To read the special issue, please Click here

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Astronomy & Astrophysics signs transformative Open Access agreement with Max Planck Society

Paris, France 18 December 2018. Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A) the international Journal that publishes papers on all aspects of astronomy and astrophysics and one of the leading journals in its field, has signed a two-year transformative Open Access agreement with the Max Planck Society in Germany. Under this agreement, funds previously paid by the Max Planck Digital Library for subscriptions will, instead, be converted into a publishing fund, enabling corresponding authors from the Max Planck Institutes to publish their articles open access in A&A, and at the same time, granting access to the journal’s content to all Max Planck researchers.


Call for new Associate Editors (Oct. 2018)

The Board of Directors invites applications for three positions of A&A Associate Editors. The positions to fill are in the following broad research areas:

  • Cosmology
  • Planetary Science
  • Solar Physics


A&A special issue (August 2018): Gaia Data Release 2

Astronomy & Astrophysics, published by EDP Sciences, has published a special issue on the second data release (DR2) of the Gaia space mission which has been recording astrometric and photometric measurements since July 2014.

Gaia is an astrometric space observatory developed by the European Space Agency. It is devoted to measuring the position, distance and movement of stars. Gaia DR2 is based on the analysis on the first 22 months of the mission and the data release gives an insight into its full potential. It represents “a game-changing leap for stellar and Galactic astronomy” ( Forveille, T., Kotak, R., Shore, S. and Tolstoy, E., A&A 616, E1 (2018) ).

To read the special issue, please click here

Announcement from the A&A Board of Directors: Call for Candidates for Managing Editor of A&A (June 2018)

The Board of Directors of Astronomy & Astrophysics invites applications for the position of Managing Editor, which will become vacant in July, 2018.


Astronomy & Astrophysics turns 50

15th May 2018 marks the beginning of the 50th anniversary of Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A)1,2. A year-long programme of events will begin today at the annual meeting of A&A Board of Directors at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Garching, Germany.

The anniversary marks a significant milestone for one of the leading original research journals in the field. Since its launch half a century ago as the fusion of 6 national journals and in collaboration with ESO, A&A has published nearly 650 volumes and special issues, disseminating the highest quality scientific research to the academic community. Since 2008, A&A has been also supporting early career researchers through its Scientific Writing for Young Astronomers residential seminars to provide guidance on writing for professional publications.

The anniversary will be marked by several events with a highlight at the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union in Vienna, Austria (August 20th- 31st 2018).

1The member countries of A&A are: Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland

2A&A is currently published by EDPS.

A&A special issue (April 2018): H.E.S.S. Collaboration observations of the Milky Way

Astronomy & Astrophysics, published by EDP Sciences, has published a special issue presenting observations and analyses of the plane of the Milky Way, as surveyed by the multi-national High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S) Collaboration.

H.E.S.S is a system of Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes that detect cosmic gamma ray sources and air showers of charged particles. The largest telescope in the H.E.S.S array - based in Namibia – is constructed with a mirror that is 28cm in diameter.

To read the special issue, please click here.

Call for candidates for three Associate Editors (December 2017)

The Board of Directors invites applications for three positions of A&A Associate Editors. Read more

The new A&A Letters: Short, unlimited, and free for all (November 2017)

Revised scope for A&A Letters.

A&A, vol. 607, E1, 2017

A&A ranked among top astronomy & astrophysics journals in Clarivate Analytics JCR® (June 2017)

The latest Journal Citation Reports® recently announced by Clarivate Analytics* have confirmed that Astronomy & Astrophysics’ Impact Factor has remained above 5. Astronomy & Astrophysics sits with the Astrophysical Journal as the two highest ranked titles publishing original research in the Astronomy and Astrophysics category.

In addition to the highest quality research papers, A&A publishes important special issues from the missions of Planck, Herschel, ROSETTA and Gaia.

*2016 Journal Citation Reports® (JCR) Clarivate Analytics, 2017