October 16-21, 2006; Xi'an, China


           This is a reminder for deadline registration,hotel reservation and travel tips.


This is a reminder that the DEADLINE for registration is 21 July 2006, which is one week away. We have managed to locate a bigger lecture hall that can accomodate a larger number of participants, and so we have relaxes the original limit of 150 participants in order to accommodate the demand. Nevertheless, there is a very high oversubscription for oral presentations, and if you wish your request to be considered, you must register by the deadline. The final program will be drafted by the SOC immediately after the deadline. We will notify the registered participants whether they have been assigned a talk or a poster soon thereafter.

A number of you have registered but have not sent in a title and abstract;please do so now. We need this information to prioritize the requests for talks. If you have sent in your title and abstract already, please check them carefully to make sure that they actually appear properly (under the list of participants or link to the abstract booklet). If there is any missing information, contact Fan Zhang ( immediately.




We also remind you that the DEADLINE for hotel registration is 01 August, but once again we encourage you to register as soon as you can. We are currently negotiating with the hotel to see if we can obtain an even better discount for the participants (40% instead of 20%). This is not yet certain, but the more rooms we can book early the better price we can secure. It so happens that October is a very busy season for travel in Xi'an. In fact, there is a large business convention the week prior to our meeting, which we fear might affect the availability of rooms for our meeting.


Finally, a note on visas. Remember that almost all nationalities require a visa to enter China. For many nationalities (including US), you do not need any special paperwork (e.g., invitation letter) to request a tourist visa, which is all that is required for the purposes of attending a meeting. For details on how to apply for a visa in the US, see, e.g.,  If you want to avoid the hassle of applying on your own, there are a number of agencies that can handle it for you for a fee; see, e.g., Also, most travel agencies in or near Chinatowns would be happy to help you get a visa for a modest fee. In any case, we advise you to take care of  this early; remember that you have to temporarily give up your passport.

Air China and China Eastern Airlines seem to be offering the best fares from major US cities to Xian, usually by connecting through Beijing or Shanghai. Some China Eastern flights are co-shared with American Airlines, so for US astronomers who might need to use a US carrier, this would qualify. You can often get a better deal than what you can get on the internet by going to a Chinese-operated travel agency, if you can find one. A final tip: many agencies would also be willing to give you an invoice stating that you are using a US-based carrier, even if you are not.