In addition to being co-sponsors of the MPC, IAU Division III also has a Working Group on Near Earth Objects (Chair D. Morrison). It is not as a WG directly involved in observations (though individual members may of course be observers), its role is to further the science and understanding of Near Earth Objects. It consists of a number of experts in the field and so many of its members, quite naturally, also often are approached by the Press for comment.
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) was founded in 1919. Its mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation. Its individual members are professional astronomers all over the World, at the Ph.D. level or beyond and active in professional research and education in astronomy. However, the IAU maintains friendly relations also with organizations that include amateur astronomers in their membership. National Members are generally those with a significant level of professional astronomy. The IAU is composed of 8,858 Individual Members in 85 different countries worldwide out of which 62 are National Members (according to statistics of August 2006).


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