Not only is he the new AAS Secretary, but Fritz Benedict is a coauthor with his UT Austin colleague Barbara McArthur on a paper describing the discovery that Upsilon Andromedae’s planets don’t all orbit the star in the same plane. The finding was featured in a Monday press conference.
Tom Bania (Boston Univ.), Loren Anderson (Marseille), and Jay Lockman (NRAO) prepare to meet the press on Wednesday morning. Bania and Anderson found lots of previously unknown H II regions in our galaxy using Spitzer and the GBT. Lockman reported that disk-halo clouds have been blown out of the galactic plane by supernovae and fierce young stellar winds. Photo by Rick Fienberg, © 2010 AAS.
In addition to keeping chaos at bay in the press room, AAS Deputy Press Officer Inge Heyer (JAC) moderated several news briefings. Photo by Rick Fienberg, © 2010 AAS.
It’s unofficial but inevitable: On the last night of every AAS meeting, attendees ranging from undergraduates to Society presidents head to a local club for Out of the Rain Productions’ afterparty, during which astronomers shake their booty with the volume turned up to 11. Photo by Rick Fienberg, © 2010 AAS.
At the AAS/AAE K-12 Educators Reception, Ignacio Ugarte-Urra (NRL/GMU) chatted with Westin, Florida, schoolteacher Lisa Milesckovic and her family, including daughter Zoe, son Hal, and husband Victor.
College students Jerica Green (Univ. of Washington) and Bekki Dawson (Harvard) get some career advice from AAS Treasurer Peter Stockman (STScI) during the Student Reception.
Why bother meeting in Miami if you can’t hold your opening reception outside, under the palm trees, on the waterfront? Attendees on the patio of the Hyatt Regency Miami watched in amazement as pleasure boats repeatedly motored by carrying groups of young revelers wearing the latest in beach fashion—or not wearing it.
Outgoing AAS President John Huchra (CfA, right) prepares Dennis Matson (JPL) to kick off the scientific sessions with his Monday-morning invited talk on what the Cassini-Huygens mission has taught us about the most titanic and Earth-like of Saturn’s moons.
AAS Press Officer Rick Fienberg (left) describes the excitement of modern astronomy to Agencia EFE reporter Ivan Cruz.
At a press conference on Monday morning, Ned Wright (UCLA, right) and Tommy Grav (JHU, middle) presented early scientific results from the WISE infrared sky survey. Erick Young (USRA/SOFIA) offered some independent commentary and looked ahead to SOFIA and JWST.
Marcia Neugebauer (left) proudly displays the George Ellery Hale Prize certificate handed to her just moments earlier by SPD chair Shadia Habbal (IfA). After the award presentation, Neugebauer gave her prize lecture, “A Whole-Heliosphere View of the Solar Wind.”
Jim Ulvestad, newly appointed Director of the NSF Division of Astronomical Sciences, reviewed NSF-sponsored astronomy programs and answered questions from AAS members at the always popular NSF Town Hall.
Exoplanet discoveries feature prominently in every AAS meeting these days. At a Monday-afternoon press conference, Barbara McArthur (UT Austin), Konstantin Batygin (Caltech), and Rory Barnes (Univ. of Washington) presented new findings on non-coplanar planets, puffy “hot Jupiters,” and exoplanetary habitability. Phil Armitage (CU-Boulder), who would give an invited talk on the exoplanetary zoo the next day, helped put the discoveries in context.
At each of its meetings the SPD sponsors a series of 30-minute Parker Lectures (named after pioneering solar physicist Eugene Parker) that highlight active fields of solar research. Mats Carlsson (Univ. of Oslo, Norway) led off in Miami with a review of the hottest topics in chromospheric physics.
Surely the most popular display in the Exhibit Hall was a giant flat-screen monitor showing the latest images and movies from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), launched in February and the subject of numerous oral and poster presentations.
With reams of data from ground- and space-based telescopes in hand and a trove of new results anticipated from ESA’s Planck mission and the South Pole observatories, this is a good time to take stock of what we’ve learned so far about the cosmic microwave background and what the future may hold. John Carlstrom (Univ. of Chicago) did just that during his invited talk.
WISE-guy Ned Wright (UCLA) gave a tantalizing glimpse of the spectacular images and other data being gathered by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, which is nearly finished with its all-sky survey at near- and mid-infrared wavelengths.
No, it’s not a revival meeting—it’s Dean Pesnell (NASA/GSFC) leading the audience in a simulation of the solar magnetic field during his public talk on SDO, our newest space-based eye on the Sun.
In his Tuesday-morning invited talk, Gustavo Bruzual (CIDA, Venezuela) reviewed recent observational and theoretical advances in the study of stellar populations in our galaxy and others.
Neal Hurlburt, Alan Title, and Karel Schrijver (all Lockheed Martin) joined Dean Pesnell (NASA/GSFC) at a Tuesday-morning news briefing to unveil the first scientific results from the Solar Dynamics Observatory. It turns out that small localized flares produce observable effects across huge regions of the Sun.
During a NASA Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, Jon Morse (NASA HQ) fielded questions and addressed anxieties about prospects for future support of astrophysics missions at NASA.
Joan Schmelz (Univ. of Memphis) moderated a Town Hall discussion on 21st-century careers sponsored by the Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy. Also during the meeting, the CSWA held a special session on recognizing and dealing with unconscious gender bias.
At a Tuesday briefing, Zhiyuan Li and Christine Jones (both CfA) reported finding that the supermassive black hole in M31 is sputtering in X-rays. Eric Perlman and Daniel Batcheldor (both Florida Tech) then described their discovery that the one in M87 is off-center.
In the Exhibit Hall, Rebekah Evans (GMU) makes a point to Antonia Savcheva (Boston Univ.) and Rona Oran (Univ. of Michigan) concerning her poster on how Alfven waves help heat the solar corona.
In her Tuesday-afternoon invited talk, Annie Baglin (LESIA, Paris) explained how ESA’s CoRoT mission is not only finding extrasolar planets, but also making sensitive probes of stellar structure and activity cycles.
Confronting planet-formation theory with observations of our own solar system and hundreds of other planetary systems, Phil Armitage (Univ. of Colorado) emphasized that when it comes to exoplanets, what we see is what we get only after lots of post-formation evolution.
Reporter Guido Meyer (German Public Radio) interviews Dave Dearborn (LLNL) after the latter’s public talk on using nuclear explosions to divert asteroids on a collision course with Earth.
SPD Studentship Awards fund travel to the annual SPD meeting for outstanding undergraduate and graduate students who plan to pursue careers in solar physics. This year’s recipients included Yixuan Li (NJIT), Sung-Hong Park (NJIT), Rebekah Evans (GMU), Rona Oran (Univ. of Michigan), Robert Duffin (GMU/Univ. of Maryland), Qingrong Chen (Stanford Univ.), Hamish Reid (Univ. of Glasgow), and Lucas Tarr (Montana State Univ.).
Brian Welsch (UC Berkeley) receives the Karen Harvey Prize from SPD chair Shadia Habbal (IfA) before his lecture on what high-quality, high-cadence photospheric magnetograms can teach us about dynamo processes and other aspects of solar activity.
For his SPD Parker Lecture, Peter Foukal (Heliophysics, Inc.) shines some light on what studies of irradiance tell us about solar and stellar convection and magnetism.
Are Peter Mack (ACE, Inc.) and graduate student Cyrus Nejat (USC) checking their e-mail or playing Battleship? Either way, Nejat was a winner, as he earned a Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Student Award for his poster on solar-sail spacecraft control.
In his invited talk on Wednesday morning, Kevin Luhman (Penn State) took on the challenging task of explaining the observational and theoretical differences between low-mass brown dwarfs and high-mass planets and their formation mechanisms.
AAS Executive Officer Kevin Marvel offered a sobering primer on the federal budget during his not-too-optimistically titled presentation “Astronomy Policy: The Coming Dry Season.”
After six years as AAS Secretary, John Graham (Carnegie Inst.) turns the office over to Fritz Benedict (UT Austin). Graham received a standing ovation in honor of his devoted service to the Society.
At the annual business meeting on Wednesday, May 26th, outgoing AAS President John Huchra turned over the reins of the Society ― and his gavel ― to incoming AAS President Debbie Elmegreen.
Sushanta Tripathy (NSO), Frank Hill (NSO), David Hathaway (NASA/MSFC), and Julia Saba (NASA/GSFC, not pictured) agreed that the Sun has been peculiarly inactive lately, but they couldn’t agree on an explanation at the sixth and final press conference of the Miami meeting.
ESA’s Herschel infrared observatory sports the largest astronomical telescope in orbit. Goran Pilbratt (ESA) shared some of the mission’s early scientific findings, which were unveiled a few weeks earlier at a symposium in the Netherlands.
Cathy O’Riordan (AIP) presents the AIP Andrew Gemant Award to Daniel Altschuler (Univ. of Puerto Rico) for his contributions to the cultural, artistic, or humanistic dimension of physics. Altschuler followed with a public lecture entitled “Science, Pseudoscience, and Education.”
For her Parker Lecture, Alysha Reinard (Univ. of Colorado) explored how advances in helioseismology could lead to improved space-weather predictions.
In the final invited talk of the Miami meeting, on Thursday morning, Ata Sarajedini (Univ. of Florida) gave attendees a guided tour of globular clusters in the Local Group.