Introduction to the International Meteor Organization

Founded in 1988, the International Meteor Organization (IMO) is an international scientific non-profit making organization with members all over the world. The IMO was created in response to an ever growing need for international cooperation of amateur meteor work. As such, the IMO's main objectives are to encourage, support and coordinate meteor observing, to improve the quality of amateur observations, to disseminate observations and results to other amateurs and professionals and to make global analyses of observations received world-wide.

Unlike other branches of astronomy, such as variable star observing, international coordination of amateur meteor work has never really existed, which is a pity, since meteor work is an area of astronomy to which amateurs with little more than a good practical knowledge of the constellations in the sky can make a valuable contribution. Astronomical enthusiasts who wish to participate in significant scientific programs concerning meteor phenomena will therefore find IMO membership very rewarding. Starting regular meteor observations requires neither long training nor special skills. Providing you follow the IMO guidelines carefully, only a few weeks of practice should be sufficient to allow you to produce valuable observations. Just a few hours of sky-watching every month will soon contribute to the study of the dust complex in our Solar System!

The IMO's main instrument to achieve its goals is its bimonthly journal WGN. All IMO members receive this journal. Annually, it contains over 220 pages of general meteor news, observing program guidelines, reports and analyses of observations, and more general articles on meteoric phenomena, some of them by professionals in the field. WGN also makes membership worthwhile to those readers who wish to keep in touch with meteor science, without being an actual meteor observer.

The IMO also organizes, or provides assistance to the organization of, International Meteor Conferences, publishes handbooks, composes observing programs, collects observations and feeds them to international databases in order to analyze them quickly. IMO also maintains good contacts with professional meteor astronomers, many of whom are very interested in the work and results in WGN.

So, if you as an amateur take astronomy seriously, you have every reason to join the IMO! In these pages, you will find some more information on the IMO and its activities. If, after reading this, you wish to become a member, just fill out the application form and return it to the address indicated. However, if you still have questions, do not hesitate to write us at the same address; we will be happy to answer them! Furthermore, commission directors can give you concrete information on the numerous observing programs our organization has to offer.