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AAS Electronic Announcement #163 – August 2006

AAS Electronic Announcement #163 – August 2006

[Mailed from aas.org on 10 August 2006]

CONTENTS:

  1. CORRECTIONS – AUGUST AAS NEWSLETTER
  2. 2007 AAS MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORY
  3. AAS MEMBERSHIP CALENDAR
  4. SMA CALL FOR PROPOSALS
  5. CALL FOR NOMINATIONS, 2007 NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES PRIZES IN THE AREA OF ASTRONOMY
  6. DEADLINE FOR NASA TIME ON THE KECK TELESCOPES
  7. CALL FOR REGULAR NRAO OBSERVING PROPOSALS
  8. NRAO LARGE PROPOSAL CALL FOR 2 OCTOBER 2006 PROPOSAL DEADLINE
  9. GBT 2007 SUMMER SHUTDOWN - SPECIAL CALL FOR PROPOSALS
  10. SPRINGER’S ASTRONOMY PROGRAM

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1. CORRECTIONS – AUGUST AAS NEWSLETTER

Joseph Weber Award for Astronomical Education Page seven of the AAS August Newsletter incorrectly refers to the Joseph Weber Award for Astronomical Education. The Weber Award is, of course, for Astronomical Instrumentation.

Prize nominations, including those for the Joseph Weber Award for Astronomical Instrumentation, are due to the AAS Secretary's Office by 1 October 2006. The Prize Nomination form may be found on the AAS Members Only webpages, members.aas.org.

Amateur Achievement Medals
Contrary to what was stated in the last issue of the AAS Newsletter, the medals that I have established for Amateur Achievement are made of pure silver rather than some composite alloy. They are 76 mm in diameter and weigh 224 grams. The gold medals to be awarded for Astronomical Writing are struck in solid 10 K gold (42% pure). They are 51 mm in diameter and weigh 70.5 grams.
-Carlson R. Chambliss

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2. 2007 AAS MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORY
All updates due: 1 September 2006

Important! Important!

Changes in member information for the Directory must be received in the Executive Office by Friday, 1 September 2006!!

To ensure your listing is correct, please take a moment and log into the Member Only website https://members.aas.org to review your information. Any changes can be made directly on that page. The Directory is created from the membership database using an automated process so information will be listed as is.
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3. AAS MEMBERSHIP CALENDAR
Deadline: 1 September 2006

There are five months still available in the Membership Calendar. Groups interested in sponsoring a month may contact Crystal Tinch (mailto:crystal@aas.org) for more information and pricing details for the 2006 calendar. Deadline for sponsorship is 1 September 2006.

The Calendar is free to members, economical for sponsors and invaluable to the community. The Calendar includes important proposal and grant deadlines. Please forward any 2006 deadlines to crystal@aas.org by 1 September 2006.
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4. SMA CALL FOR PROPOSALS
Deadline: 7 September 2006

The Submillimeter Array (SMA), the radio interferometer on Mauna Kea built by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, makes available a fraction of the observing time to principal investigators from the astronomical community (worldwide).

The proposal deadline is 7 September 2006 for the observing semester 6 November 2006 through 30 April 2007. More information, technical details, and instructions and tools for proposal preparation and submission can be found at http://sma1.sma.hawaii.edu/, the SMA Observer Center web site.
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5. CALL FOR NOMINATIONS
2007 NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES PRIZES IN THE AREA OF ASTRONOMY
Deadline: 11 September 2006

The National Academy of Sciences requests nominations for two awards being presented in 2007 in the area of Astronomy.

The James Craig Watson Medal is awarded every three years to honor contributions to the science of astronomy.

The NAS Award in Scientific Reviewing will be presented in the field of Astronomy in 2007. The award recognizes authors, whose reviews have synthesized extensive and difficult material, rendering a significant service to science and influencing the course of scientific thought.

For more information on the awards and lists of past winners, please visit:

James Craig Watson Medal
www.nasonline.org/site/PageServer?pagename=AWARDS_watson

NAS Award in Scientific Reviewing
www.nasonline.org/site/PageServer?pagename=AWARDS_scirev

Neither award has restrictions with regard to citizenship or country of residence.

The deadline for nominations is 11 September 2006. Nomination forms and requirements are available at www.nasonline.org/awards.

The recipients will be announced in January, 2007. The award will be presented on Sunday, 29 April 2007 at the Academy's Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.

For more information, contact:
Phone: (202) 334-1602
Fax: (202) 334-1682
E-mail: awards@nas.edu
Web: www.nasonline.org/awards
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6. DEADLINE FOR NASA TIME ON THE KECK TELESCOPES
Deadline: 15 September 2006

Applications will open on 15 August and are due on 15 September 2006 for NASA time on the Keck telescopes, for the period February 2007 - July 2007. The NASA time is focused on the discovery and characterization of planetary systems and investigation of their origin and evolution. Telescope time will be awarded within three discipline areas: detection of extrasolar planets, origin and nature of planetary systems, and investigation of our own solar system. The proposal process is being handled by the Michelson Science Center at Caltech.

Please see the website at http://msc.caltech.edu for further information. Observers will receive financial support for travel to the W.M. Keck Observatory.
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7. CALL FOR REGULAR NRAO OBSERVING PROPOSALS
Deadline: 1 October 2006

Astronomers are invited to submit regular proposals for observing time on the NRAO Green Bank Telescope (GBT), Very Large Array (VLA), and Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA):

Instrument Deadline Observing Period Note
----------- ---------- -------------------- ----

GBT ....... 2006 Oct 2 2007 Feb - 2007 April *
VLA ....... 2006 Oct 2 2007 Feb - 2007 May +
VLBA ...... 2006 Oct 2 2007 Feb - 2007 May

Notes: (*) GBT Trimester 07A will be truncated one month earlier than usual to accomodate azimuth track refurbishments.
(+) D configuration with a maximum baseline of 1 km.

For the VLA configuration cycle in 2007/2008, there is presently considerable uncertainty about the duration of each configuration as well as about the ordering of the configurations. This is because of the possibility of increased observing time for large proposals and because of the requirements of EVLA commissioning. Upcoming AAS newsletters will keep the community informed about configuration cycle plans. The call for Large Proposals for NRAO telescopes is described in the following article.

Users of NRAO instruments from most U.S. institutions may request travel support for observing and data reduction trips, as well as page charge support. In addition, a program to support GBT research by students at U.S. universities covers student stipends, computer hardware purchases, and student travel to meetings to present GBT results. Applications to this program are tied to GBT observing proposals. Awards of up to $35,000 are possible.

The NRAO and the European VLBI Network jointly handle proposals for observing time on the Global VLBI Network at centimeter wavelengths; the deadline is 2006 Oct 1 for the session in 2007 Feb/Mar. Also, the NRAO and a set of European observatories jointly handle proposals for VLBI observing time at a wavelength of 3mm; the deadline is 2006 Oct 1 for the session in 2007 May. The NRAO also handles proposals for the High Sensitivity Array for VLBI at the same deadlines as for the VLBA; this Array includes the VLBA, VLA, GBT, and Arecibo in the U.S., plus Effelsberg in Germany.

Further information on NRAO instruments, proposal submission routes, and user support is available via the NRAO website at www.nrao.edu
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8. NRAO LARGE PROPOSAL CALL FOR 2 OCTOBER 2006 PROPOSAL DEADLINE

In order to facilitate science projects that require significant amounts of telescope time, the NRAO encourages the submission of Large Proposals. Large Proposals may be addressed to legacy projects that are of interests and value to the community generally or to key projects addressing major scientific problems and issues. Large Proposals can also be aimed at long term time-domain problems.

Depending on proposal pressure and quality, it is NRAO's intention to grant more Large Proposal time than in past cycles, with as much as 25% to 50% of the total telescope time granted to Large Proposals over the next year and in the future.

Prospective proposers are reminded that the next Large Proposal deadline for the NRAO telescopes will be on 2006 Oct 2. At this deadline, we are adding the GBT to the Large Proposal call in addition to the VLA and VLBA. Large Proposals are those proposals requesting 200 or more hours of observing time. Proposals requiring more than one NRAO telescope to accomplish their scientific objectives will also be considered as Large Proposals if the total time requested is 200 or more hours.

This summer we will be reviewing our Large Proposal process and policy, re-looking at such issues as page limits, proprietary period, required data products, funding, etc. The results of this review will be announced by 2006 Aug 1, via email to the NRAO proposer community and via the NRAO Large Proposal page at www.nrao.edu/administration/directors_office/largeprop.shtml

For the three operational telescopes, the NRAO website at www.nrao.edu has information on the telescopes' general capabilities and proposal submission routes. Special aspects of this Large Proposal call are as follows:

VLA: For this call, we will consider VLA Large Proposals only if they request predominantly A and B configuration observations. In order to facilitate more observing time for Large Proposals and also to phase the configuration cycle properly for EVLA testing, we expect to spend more time than normal in the next A and B configurations, perhaps as much as eight months per configuration rather than the traditional four months per configuration. The exact time spent in each VLA configuration will depend strongly on the quality and pressure of the Large Proposals. The Aug 1 announcement will summarize the VLA's ability to carry out Large Proposals, as it is transitioning to the EVLA.

GBT: In addition to the normal operation of the antenna, we are planning a four month shutdown during the summer of 2007 to refurbish the azimuth track. The telescope will be available for some periods during this time, but with reduced capabilities (e.g. as a transit telescope). Further details relevant to the Large Proposal call will be provided with the Aug 1 announcement.
(A special call for GBT proposals during the shutdown is described in the following article.)

We anticipate that there will be another call for Large Proposals next year to include the GBT, the VLBA, and the more compact VLA configurations. The deadline for that call will likely be 2007 Jun 1, to ensure that the results are known prior to the NSF proposal submission deadline.
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9. GBT 2007 SUMMER SHUTDOWN - SPECIAL CALL FOR PROPOSALS

Normal operation of the GBT will be suspended for approximately four months, starting in 2007 May, to allow for the azimuth track remediation work. For most of this time, the telescope will be parked at a fixed azimuth, and for certain periods no operation will be possible. However at other times it will be possible to use the GBT with reduced capabilities (e.g. as a transit telescope). We are still finalizing the detailed plans for the shutdown period. Once these are complete, we will announce a specific call for proposals for the shutdown period, to be submitted for the 2006 Oct 2 proposal deadline. Full details will be announced by 2006 Aug 1, via email to the NRAO proposer community and via the NRAO website at www.nrao.edu ___________________________________________________________

10. SPRINGER’S ASTRONOMY PROGRAM

Springer the world’s leading commercial Astronomy publisher and Sustaining Corporate Member of the AAS has unveiled its new web pages for its extensive Astronomy program: Springer.com/astronomy. At this site and the subsequent pages, you’ll find news about free journal access, details about new Springer Astronomy books, and more!
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