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High Energy Astrophysics Division

The AAS High Energy Astrophysics Division (HEAD) assists and promotes the advancement of research and the dissemination of knowledge about high energy events, particles, quanta, relativistic gravitational fields, and related phenomena in the astrophysical universe. HEAD also promotes the coordination of this research and knowledge with other branches of science. The division holds Division Meetings every 18 months, as well as sessions within the meetings of the American Astronomical Society. Each year, HEAD awards the Rossi Prize for recent original research in High Energy Astrophysics. At each Division Meeting, HEAD announces the Schramm Award for High Energy Astrophysics Science Journalism, the Mid-Career Prize, and the Dissertation Prize. The electronic HEAD Newsletter is published twice yearly. HEAD membership information is managed within the AAS database at AAS Member Directory.

50th Anniversary of the High Energy Astrophysics Division

2019 marks the 50th Anniversary of the High Energy Astrophysics Division.  We are soliciting HEAD members and others to submit stories, photos, important events, etc.  of the HEAD during the past 50 years. If you have something to contribute, please send it to the HEAD secretary (  Also, please see Virginia Trimble's retrospective on the history of the HEAD (and High Energy Astrophysics in general) over the last 50 years, originally presented at the 17th Divisional Meeting in Monterey, and Christine Jones's remembrances of Riccardo Giacconi from that same meeting

Upcoming Meeting:

The 18th Divisional meeting of the High Energy Astrophysics Division will take place 13-17 September 2020 in Tucson, AZ at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa.


  • The 2020 winter meeting of the AAS, AAS 235, begins on January 4, 2020.  A schedule of meeting talks and events of interest to HEAD members is available on the HEAD AAS 235 meeting page.
  • On October 22, 2019, eROSITA released first light images using data from  all 7 X-ray telescope modules. Congratulations also for the first science publication from ART-XC on their observations of activity from Sgr A*.
  • The Space Telescope Science Institute, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, the Johns Hopkins University, European Southern Observatory, and Associated Universities, Inc. are organizing a Memorial Symposium to celebrate the life and work of Riccardo Giacconi. The Symposium will cover the various phases of Riccardo’s career and achievements. It will be held in Washington, DC at the National Academy of Sciences (2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W.) on 29-30 May 2019.
  • The 17th Divisional meeting of the High Energy Astrophysics Division took place on 17-21 March 2019  at the Portola Hotel in Monterey, CA. See what people were tweeting about via our official #HEAD2019 hashtag.  Thanks to all the attendees who help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the HEAD, along with the celebrations of XMM-Newton, Chandra and Fermi, and who presented excellent science results.
  • The HEAD Bylaws have been revised. We'll be discussing the changes in the revised bylaws at the Business Meeting at the Monterey meeting, and members will then have the opportunity to vote to approve adoption.  
  • The HEAD 2018 election is now closed.  Frits Paerels has been elected as HEAD Treasurer, Mike Corcoran will continue as HEAD Secretary, and Erin Kara and Alexander van der Horst have been elected as members of the Executive Committee.  Congratulations to Frits, Erin, and Alexander, thanks to all who were willing to be nominated, and thanks to Keith Arnaud, outgoing treasurer, and Niel Brandt and Laura Lopez for their service to the Division. 
  • We're happy to announce that Josh Sokol has won the 2019 HEAD David Schramm Award for Science Journalism for his article, "Star-Swallowing Black Holes Reveal Secrets in Exotic Light Show" which appeared in Quantum Magazine.  Josh will be giving the public talk at the 17th Divisional Meeting in Monterey. Please see the press release for details. 
  • We're happy to announce the winners of the  HEAD Science prizes for 2019.  Brian Metzger and Dan Kasen have been awarded the Bruno Rossi Prize,  Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz has been awarded the Mid-Career Prize, and Jennifer Barnes has been awarded the Dissertation prize.  Please see the press release for details, and our congratulations to Brian and Dan, Enrico and Jennifer.
  • Upcoming HEA Meetings
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Have a picture relevant to high-energy astrophysics you'd like to see on the HEAD page? Contact the webmaster to submit with an image and short description.