Two Thematic Studies produced jointly by ICOMOS and the IAU present an overall vision on astronomical heritage, attempt to identify what constitutes “outstanding universal significance to humankind” in relation to astronomy, and identify broad issues that could arise in the assessment of cultural properties relating to astronomy.
The first Thematic Study (“TS1”), published in 2010, was the first in any field of science heritage. Its 41 case studies range from early prehistory to modern observatories.
The second Thematic Study (“TS2”) was published in June 2017. This explores a number of more complex issues in greater detail, including the recognition and preservation of the value of dark skies at both cultural and natural sites and landscapes.
A third Thematic Study focusing on space heritage is planned in the future.