News archive

GREGOR Special Issue published by A&A (November 2016)

GREGOR Special Issue published by A&A

Astronomy & Astrophysics, published by EDP Sciences, has released a series of papers on the first science data from the GREGOR telescope (the largest of its kind in Europe.)

GREGOR is a solar telescope designed to observe the solar photosphere and chromosphere in the visible and the near-infrared wavelengths. Its main mirror (1.5m diameter) allows for solar images of unprecedented quality and resolution. To read Press Release click here.

To read the special issue, please click here.

A&A publishes Gaia Special Issue (November 2016)

Credits: ESA/Gaia/DPAC/U. Lisbon

Astronomy & Astrophysics, published by EDP Sciences, has published a special issue gathering papers describing the GAIA data release and their validation.

Gaia is an ESA mission to survey one billion stars in our Galaxy and local galactic neighbourhood in order to build the most precise 3D map of the Milky Way and answer questions about its structure, origin and evolution.

To read the special issue, please click here.

Authors can now submit directly to the A&A Journal in Writing Studio (September 2016)

Following the successful launch of Writing Studio for the authors of A&A journal, there have been further developments that now allow researchers to submit their paper to A&A via Writing Studio.

Writing Studio is a unique collaborative writing LaTex solution designed to simplify the process of writing an A&A article collaboratively on a single version of a paper. Now, A&A authors are able to use Writing Studio from the beginning of an article through to its submission.

For more information about Writing Studio please visit -

Discontinuation of Research Notes (August 2016)

After having published Research Notes for many years, A&A has decided to discontinue this category of papers.

A&A, vol. 592, E1, 2016

A&A announces its new Impact Factor is 5.185 (June 2016)

2016 journal citation reports badge

The latest Journal Citation Reports® recently announced by Thomson Reuters have revealed that Astronomy & Astrophysics’ Impact Factor has risen to 5.185*.

This confirms A&A’s position as one of the leading journals in the field, publishing the very best papers on all aspects of astronomy and astrophysics.

Click here to read the journal or to submit a paper.

*2016 Release of Journal Citation Reports. Source: 2015 Web of Science Data"

A&A Special Feature - The XXL Survey: First results (June 2016)

Astronomy & Astrophysics is pleased to announce publication of the complete version of the XXL Survey special feature. A first series of papers and a press release were issued last December, and we are now publishing the final series of twelve papers. XXL is a large survey of the X-ray sky with the XMM-Newton ESA observatory. Its goal is to detect a few hundreds of clusters at a look-back time when the age of the Universe was about half its present value. The ensemble of results published in this A&A special feature shed light on the evolutionary properties and spatial distribution of the massive structures of the universe and, subsequently, on various cosmological properties.


A&A Journal and EDP Sciences launch Writing Studio to support their authors (March 2016)

Writing Studio

Astronomy and Astrophysics (A&A) Journal and EDP Sciences are pleased to announce the launch of Writing Studio, a unique collaborative writing LaTex solution designed to simplify the process of writing an article collaboratively on a single version of a paper. Reinforcing an open-source strategy, EDP Sciences has chosen the Open Source ShareLateX to develop this new service.

Writing Studio provides:

  • A collaborative LaTeX solution: Multiple co-authors can jointly work on a single version of the paper with up-to-date A&A macros already included.
  • Direct communication between co-authors: Co-authors can ask each other questions and can chat for real-time interactions.
  • Dropbox integration: Articles can be edited offline and automatically synchronized with the Dropbox online copy.
  • Ease of submission (coming soon): Article will be uploaded to the A&A submission system with a single click, with key fields pre-filled ready for checking.
  • Easier links to astronomical objects: Authors get auto-completion for stellar objects and additional information using tools developed with the CDS.
  • ORCID integration: Authors login to Writing Studio and are recognized by their ORCID iD.

The next step is to link Writing Studio with all the EDP Sciences journals and their submission systems and integrate this tool in a comprehensive LaTeX dedicated workflow, from the writing of an article through to its online publication.

Login to the Writing Studio using your ORCID iD.

Read Press Release for more information

Jean-Louis Steinberg (1922-2016) (January 2016)

Jean-Louis Steinberg at a scientific meeting
in Kiev in 1974.
Copyright: Gérard Epstein, 1974

Jean-Louis Steinberg passed away in Paris on 21 January 2016, at the age of 93. He was one of the founders of radioastronomy in France and a pioneer of astronomy from space at the Paris Observatory. Last, but not least, he also played a leading role in the creation of the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Jean-Louis was born on 7 June 1922, in Paris, and as a young man he began his studies to be a scientist and became a Doctor of Engineering in 1943. However, in June 1944, he was arrested and deported with his parents and one of his two brothers. He was the only survivor of the four when the US Army liberated the camp. Conscious that he was one of the last direct witnesses of the Holocaust, after his retirement he devoted much of his time to keeping the memory of the deportees alive. Right up until the last days of his life, he was providing testimonials of the horror of the concentration camps to schools and conferences.

After the WWII, he completed his studies and entered the physics laboratory of the École Normale Supérieure. This was just the start of a very successful scientific career. He also liked writing and was interested in scientific publications. In 1962, he was offered the job of Editor-in-Chief of the French journal, Annales d’Astrophysique, one of three professional journals in astronomy that were published in France at the time. He ran the journal with his wife Madeleine, who was fluent in English and Russian. In 1968, they decided to evaluate the usefulness of the work that had been carried out over the previous six years. However, when they looked up citations of the papers published in their journal in the Science citation index they were horrified to find that their journal had not even been mentioned. They concluded that English-speaking scientists were probably not reading it since it was clear, when they looked at the citations in American and English journals, that it was mostly being quoted by its own authors.

Jean-Louis shared his dismay with Stuart Pottasch, the Editor-in-Chief of the Bulletin of the Astronomical Institutes of the Netherlands, who was having a similar experience, and they began talking about merging their publications in a new international journal. They found initial support from Jan Hendrik Oort, director of the Leiden Observatory, and from Anders Reiz, director of the Copenhagen Observatory, with whom they discussed the possibility of also merging the Scandinavian journals into a new publication. Together with Jean-François Denisse, director of the Paris Observatory, Jean-Louis then called a meeting of French astronomers during the turmoil of the 1968 events. He managed to convince them to merge the three French astronomy journals into one new publication.

Meanwhile, the idea of a new international astronomical journal had also been gaining ground in Germany and Belgium, as well as in all Scandinavian countries. At a subsequent meeting of key actors, held in Leiden on March 27, 1968, the general principles for the operation of the new journal, with the proposed name, “Astronomy & Astrophysics: A European Journal”, were also discussed. ESO was then asked to provide a legal framework for the new journal and its Council responded favourably in July 1968. As a result, Astronomy & Astrophysics saw the light of day and the first issue was published in January 1969. Naturally, Jean-Louis Steinberg and Stuart Pottasch were the two first Editors-in-Chief. Jean-Louis remained in this position for five years, ensuring the huge success of the new journal.

Jean-Louis and Madeleine ran the Meudon A&A editorial office during those five years with the help of a secretary and a part-time draughtswoman. There were only four issues of the journal in 1969, but it soon became a monthly publication and one of the four major generalist astronomical journals in the world. Initially, papers were submitted in English, French or German, but it soon became clear that, for a given author, the papers in English were cited twice as often as those in other languages. As a consequence, the vast majority of papers were soon written in English and corrected, when needed, by Madeleine.

Clearly, Jean-Louis was a pioneer in European scientific publishing: astronomers were the first to succeed in merging their journals into a single publication, and the refereeing system he set up was run very smoothly. Since then, his successors have attempted to maintain the high standards he defined as best as they could.

Those of us who were privileged to know Jean-Louis Steinberg as an Editor-in-Chief will remember him as always being accessible and attentive to authors. He was a man of exceptional moral integrity, a hard worker, a visionary and a bright and charismatic scientist and editor.

James Lequeux, Claude Bertout, Nabila Aghanim, Thierry Forveille

N.B. Jean-Louis Steinberg published a detailed account of his life and activities in an article entitled “The scientific career of a team leader”, Planetary and Space Science 49 (2001) 511-522.

4th Scientific Writing for Young Astronomers 2016 (December 2015)

EDP Sciences and Astronomy & Astrophysics are glad to announce the "4th Scientific Writing for Young Astronomers", which will be held in Puerto Varas, Chile, from 19th to 22th April, 2016.

The direct purpose of organizing an “Astronomy and Astrophysics School” is to teach beginning PhD Students how to express their scientific results through correct and efficient science writing. In other words, how to write scientific papers for different forums (journals, proceedings, thesis manuscripts, etc.)

For further information, we invite you to visit our website and to like our Facebook page "Scientific Writing for Young Astronomers".

Patricio Rojo
Director of the school

Altmetric data now available in A&A papers! (November 2015)

EDP Sciences has recently added the Altmetric data for Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Altmetric data gives users a more complete picture of how people are engaging with scholarly literature by tracking a variety of sources, including news, social media, bookmarking and peer-review forums, to provide data on the online activity surrounding each research article.

Readers can click on the Altmetric badge to view the original mention and explore the news stories, tweets, blogs and more for themselves.

This data is important to both authors and readers, helping them understand the wider dissemination of research, and allows them to engage in online conversations they may not have been aware of.


See for more information.

A&A special feature: Results of the Rosetta mission before perihelion (November 2015)

Astronomy & Astrophysics is publishing a special feature of 46 articles that present the results obtained by the Rosetta mission before the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko reached its perihelion.

The articles published in this A&A special feature cover a variety of themes in cometary science and revolutionize the field in many ways.

More information in Press Release here

Access directly to the Rosetta’s special feature

To benefit from 1 month free access to Rosetta special feature, register online now!*

*Access to this special feature is free to consult during 1 month to all scientists registered to the Latest Articles Free Service.

Astronomy and Astrophysics will move to online-only publication at the start of 2016 (September 2015)

Astronomy and Astrophysics (A&A) is pleased to announce that the journal will move to online-only publication from the beginning of 2016.

A&A is always considering ways to best serve their authors and readers. In recent years, it has become clear that demand is moving rapidly towards the electronic edition of the journal with the print version becoming less important.

Read more about this major change from Dr. Jan Lub, Chairman of the Board of A&A.

EDP Sciences signed an agreement to preserve Journals with Portico (April 2015)

EDP Sciences is pleased to announce that it has signed an agreement with Portico to provide a permanent archive of the e-content for many of their key journals. Through this agreement, institutions participating in Portico’s E-Journal Preservation Service will be assured continued access to EDP Sciences content for generations of their scholars in the future.

Current data will be sent to Portico as soon as the e-journal is published, and a full list of the journals committed to the Portico archive is available at

For more information read Press Release (PDF).

Special Planck collection proving a significant resource (March 2015)

In October 2014, Astronomy & Astrophysics published a special feature of 31 articles describing the data gathered by the Planck satellite over its first 15 months of observations and released by ESA and the Planck Collaboration in March 2013.

This series of papers presented the initial scientific results extracted from this first Planck dataset which measures the cosmic microwave background (CMB) with the highest accuracy to date. It provides major new advances in different domains of cosmology and astrophysics.

Planck 2013 results

To date, this issue has received over 7000 citations demonstrating the importance and significant value of the results presented in this collection of articles.

We hope to further increase the visibility of this essential collection and ensure that it is discoverable and accessible to as many researchers around the world as possible, when it is fully indexed by Thomson Reuter in the Web of Science.

Job offer: English language editor (March 2015)

The Astronomy and Astrophysics (A&A) journal is now hiring its Main Language Editor (MLE) to work in the A&A office in Paris. The MLE will edit papers and coordinate the work of the LE team. The long-term contract (CDI) will begin as soon as possible (with a trial period of up to 6 months) and includes full access to the French healthcare system (medical and dental, etc). The salary, indexed to CNRS contracts, will depend on diploma and past experience.

The MLE is a native English speaker. Some familiarity with technical or scientific language is a bonus. More important are

  1. a strong background in editing in English,
  2. reasonable knowledge of French,
  3. some experience in team work,
  4. familiarity with related computer software (Adobe Acrobat, Word or the equivalent, LaTex, basic spreadsheet and presentation).

The MLE edits A&A's publications according to the “Guide to English editing at Astronomy & Astrophysics” and the principles outlined in the editorial on language editing (A&A Nov. 2008). This includes stylistic editing (clarifying meaning, eliminating jargon, polishing language; not creating or recasting tables or figures), and some copy editing when it relates to language (editing for grammar and usage, spelling, punctuation, and other mechanics of style, figure and table captions; not providing or changing citations, or checking references).

Applications (in pdf format) including a CV, a letter of motivation (including related experience), and two reference letters at least should be sent by email attachment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Innovation by EDP Sciences: dynamic links in PDF files (February 2015)

EDP Sciences has innovated by adding dynamic links in the references of PDF files instead of the standard static links. This permits:

Adding links (or even correcting links). This may be relevant when

  • a cited article has not yet been published online and the PDF is produced (e.g., a citation of an article in the same volume),
  • a cited article is very old, not yet digitized, and indexed in the ADS,
  • the citation is a book or a report that may be linked in the future;

Adding new functions in the future for already published articles, such as providing links related to the authors of the cited references with ORCID.

This solution is flexible when dealing with changes and improvements in the ADS and other citation systems.

New A&A LaTeX macro package v8.3 (January 2015)

The new A&A class (macro package v8.3) includes

  • the “\eprint” command supported by BiBTeX. The references appear as links in your article, both in the PDF and HTML formats (specific instructions),
  • two new LaTeX commands: \LEm {note in the margin} and \LEt {note within the text}. They indicate suggestions from language editors (specific instructions).

A&A special feature: Planck 2013 results (October 2014)

Astronomy & Astrophysics is publishing a special feature of 31 articles describing the data gathered by Planck over 15 months of observations and released by ESA and the Planck Collaboration in March 2013. This series of papers presents the initial scientific results extracted from this first Planck dataset.

Download this press release (PDF)

The Planck satellite was launched in May 2009. With the highest accuracy to date, it measures the remnants of the radiation that filled the Universe immediately after the Big Bang. It is the oldest light in the Universe, emitted when it was 380000 years old. This light is observed today as the cosmic microwave background (CMB). Its maximum intensity is about 150 GHz (2 mm), and its temperature about 3K. The study of the CMB is currently a very active field of research in cosmology because it provides strong constraints on the cosmological models. In particular, observations of the CMB confirm the key prediction of the Big Bang model and, more precisely, what cosmologists call the concordance model of cosmology.

Figure 1

Fig. 1. The stack of images in the figure shows: in the center, the nine all-sky images ranging from 30 GHz (left) to 857 GHz (right); at far left, a combined view of all frequencies; at far right, the all-sky image of the temperature anisotropies of the CMB derived by Planck.

With the 2013 release of the intensity signal measured during the first 15 months of observation, Planck data are providing major new advances in different domains of cosmology and astrophysics. In the very near future, the Planck Collaboration will release a new dataset that includes all of its observations in intensity and in polarization. This new dataset will be a lasting legacy for the community for many years to come.

For more information:

Dr. Jennifer Martin
Astronomy & Astrophysics
61, avenue de l'Observatoire
75014 Paris, France
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: +33 (0)1 43 29 05 41

3rd Scientific Writing for Young Astronomers 2014 (September 2014)

A&A organized the 3rd Scientific Writing for Young Astronomers from 24th to 28th August 2014, in Tihany (Hungary). 49 students and 12 lecturers participated in this 3rd school. The direct purpose was to teach new PhD Students how to express their scientific results through correct and efficient science writing and how to write scientific papers for different forums (journals, proceedings, thesis manuscripts, etc.).

Overall, both students and lecturers appreciated the 3rd SWYA. They obtained useful information and liked the friendly and professional approach.

We invite you to visit the SWYA website and see the different comments and pictures of SWYA 2014:

Rich-media in A&A articles (June 2014)

Rich-media is rapidly becoming an important tool for researchers – in documenting their experiments, in scientific publication, and in explaining their work to broad audiences. That’s the reason why A&A now provides the possibility to publish multimedia and 3D models. It is embedded within HTML and PDF versions of articles: these are displayed alongside the article’s text.


Videos and animations can now be fully embedded in the text, or linked to.

See for example the following article:

See also:

3D models

A&A can also publish 3D models. U3D or PRC files may be embedded directly into the PDF with the "media9" package.

See for example figure 15 in the PDF file of the following article:

The A&A team always strives to offer its authors and readers an ever-increasing range of services.