Reports on Astronomy
Three years ago the Reports on Astronomy were for the first time published in three separate parts whereby related astronomical topics were collected in one volume and each volume was kept to a size of no more than about 250 pages. The a~m was to facilitate a wider distribution of individual volumes among astronomers and other scientists interested in specific subjects of astronomy. The same system was adopted for the present volume A of the IAU Transactions which covers the activities in astronomical research from January 1976 to December 1978. The Commission Presidents were invited to restrict their reports, to present a selection of the most important developments in the field of astronomy covered by their Commission, and to avoid overlaps with other Commission reports. As a re sult of the restriction in the number of pages some Commissions presen.t a large, concentrated list of references with little discussion, whereas others review some of the most exciting recent research developments in their subject. The distribution of the Commission Reports into the three parts of volume XVII A is as follows: VOL. XVII A PART 1 commission 4. Ephemerides 5. Documentation 6. Astronomical Telegrams " 7. Celestial Hechanics " 9. Instruments and Techniques 14. Fundamental Spectroscopic Data " 15. Physical Study of Cornets, Hinor Planets and Meteorites 16. Physical Study of Planets and Satellites " Working Group on Planetary System Nomenclature 17. The Moon " 19. Rotation of the Earth " 20.