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AAS Electronic Announcement #188 - September 2008

[Mailed from aas.org 10 September 2008]

View Online: http://www.aas.org/publications/elaarchive/Exploder_188_2008_09_Septembe...

CONTENTS:

1. FROM JOHN HUCHRA, AAS PRESIDENT

2. 2009 MEMBERSHIP ONLINE RENEWALS

3. LONG BEACH ABSTRACT DEADLINE

4. LONG BEACH MEETING NEWS

5. LONG BEACH HOTEL INFORMATION

6. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TO SORT ABSTRACTS FOR THE LONG BEACH MEETING

7. NEW SUBMISSIONS FOR APJ AND APJS

8. SPREAD GOODWILL AND GET THOSE PRIZE NOMINATIONS IN BEFORE 1 OCTOBER 2008

9. CHAMBLISS AWARDS

10. A DOUBLE CONFERENCE IN VIRGINIA BEACH: THE IAU SYMPOSIUM No 261 AND THE ANNUAL DDA MEETING No 40

11. SURVEY OF ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS (ASTRO2010)

12. NOAO SURVEY PROGRAM

13. NOAO STANDARD PROPOSALS FOR 2009A

14. NASA INFRARED TELESCOPE FACILITY OBSERVING PROPOSALS

15. MOST U.S. GUEST OBSERVER PROGRAM - CYCLE 1

16. KEPLER GUEST OBSERVER PROGRAM - CYCLE 1

17. INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH EXPERIENCE FOR US GRADUATE STUDENTS

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1. FROM JOHN HUCHRA, AAS PRESIDENT

The next few months promise to be "interesting times" for both astronomy and science in general. First up we have the final Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission, SM4, currently scheduled for the early morning of October 10th, weather and equipment permitting. As usual, this will be one of the most complex activities NASA has ever undertaken with two new instruments to be installed, the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) and Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), repairs scheduled for both the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) and the workhorse Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), and perhaps most important of all, refurbishing the telescope itself with new gyros, new batteries, a new Fine Guidance Sensor plus a number of other small repairs and additions, including the module to deorbit the telescope at the end of its life. I am not sure I am a fan of the word "deorbit," but we are unlikely to be able to operate both HST and JWST simultaneously for more than a year or two. Hubble has been an incredible boon to astronomy as measured both by research productivity and support of young investigators so lets all keep our collective fingers crossed for a successful mission and at least five more years of science. HST will provide the only significant access to the near vacuum ultraviolet for the foreseeable future.

Less than a month later we will see, and hopefully participate in if we can, the 2008 US general election. The last few years have been tough ones for science and disappointing ones for astronomy. Driven in large part by tight discretionary budgets and other government imperatives, Federal support for science has been falling far below inflation. Our community has had to delay most of the high priority projects from our last decadal survey, now the better part of a decade old. Whichever political party wins the Presidency in November we can expect changes in people, policies and priorities. A rough estimate from the National Academy is that there are approximately 350 science related positions to be filled (or reappointed) by a new administration ranging from the Presidential Science Advisor, the NASA Administrator and the NSF Director to officials with responsibility for science in OMB. Both Presidential candidates have made statements about NASA and its mission and Congress is on track to bring a moderately favorable NASA Reauthorization Bill to George Bush in the fall. Congress has passed a FY2008 Supplemental Appropriations bill which includes some relief for the NASA, NSF and DOE budgets. There is a growing understanding both in Congress and amongst the candidates that the current NASA mission is underfunded, and, perhaps more importantly, that the connection between American competitiveness and both R&D and education is important for the country's future. Whether the enthusiasm can be converted from "Authorization" to "Appropriations" in time for it to make a difference will be the hard question; the NSF's Science and Engineering Indicators report shows that the fraction of GDP spent on the physical sciences has been falling steadily since 2001. (Note that you can find out a lot more about these issues at the AAS policy blog maintained by our John Bahcall Science Policy Fellow, Marcos Huerta ---http://blog.aas.org/.)

I want to urge all of the US members of the AAS to be part of the process. Communicate with your Representatives and Senators, especially about our shared values of the importance of basic research and science education. If you have a chance to talk to candidates or their advisors, or better yet, if you actually are an advisor, go for it. And if you are asked to serve in any capacity, please do so! Perhaps the largest difficulty the astronomical community faces is the dearth of good and experienced people willing to serve in government. As scientists I know that we are often afraid of getting involved in something that seems as illogical as the political process, but now is not the time to be shy. And if you do contact any of your congress people, keep in mind the guiding principles adopted by the AAS Council and the Committee on Astronomy and Public Policy, www.aas.org/policy/capp_guiding_principles.php.

Thank you!

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2. 2009 MEMBERSHIP ONLINE RENEWALS

The 2009 renewal period is here! Be an early bird and renew online today. Fifty percent of the membership renewed online during the 2008 renewal period, saving the Society considerable expense. We consider 2008 a great success and look forward to additional member participation this year. Renewing early and online saves the AAS substantial costs and increases the funding available for our programs.

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3. LONG BEACH ABSTRACT DEADLINE

The deadline to submit AAS abstracts is Wednesday, 1 October 2008, 9pm EDT.

Abstract forms are available on the AAS website http://members.aas.org/abstracts.

Abstract correspondence originates from abstractsonline.com. Please set your SPAM filters to allow email from abstractsonline.com

LaTeX mark-up is no longer required for abstract submission. Abstract text may be submitted by uploading word processing files, cutting and pasting or typing directly into the abstract form. A character pallet of common symbols is provided.

See the online Meeting Announcement for further details and access to abstract form, www.aas.org/meetings/aas213/abstracts.php

Please remember if you are requesting a splinter (private) meeting you will need to complete a room request form and return it to Lisa Idem (lisa.idem at aas.org) by 1 December 2008. These splinter meetings are reserved on a first come, first served basis.

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4. LONG BEACH MEETING NEWS

Preliminary meeting information is now available on the AAS website at www.aas.org/aas213.

Important deadlines for the Long Beach Meeting:

The Long Beach Abstracts Deadline: Wednesday, 1 October, 9 pm EDT

Early Registration Deadline: 15 October 2008

Late Abstract Deadline: 1 December 2008

Splinter Meeting Requests: 1 December 2008

Registration for now available at https://members.aas.org/source/meetings/cMeetingProcessSearch.cfm.

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5. LONG BEACH HOTEL INFORMATION

The AAS has secured rooms at area hotels. Please visit www.aas.org/aas213/travel_and_lodging.php for details. The deadline to make reservations is 7 December 2008.

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6. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TO SORT ABSTRACTS FOR THE LONG BEACH MEETING

We are seeking volunteers from the general membership to create the program of contributed abstracts for the 213th Meeting in Long Beach, CA.

With our online abstract system, we are able to have sorters electronically sort abstracts from their own computer, allowing a broader volunteer group. Sorters no longer have to be present in the AAS Executive Office to help with this important task.

Sorting day will be Thursday, 9 October 2008 and orientation and training will be done via conference call throughout the day. The designated time for conference calls will be assigned by time zone. Support staff will be in the AAS Executive Office all day to assist you.

Of course, sorters are always welcome to sort abstracts in the Executive Office conference room. Just bring your laptop or let us know if we need to provide one for you.

If you are interested, please respond to sorters at aas.org and indicate, by number, which of the scientific categories you feel most comfortable in working with. We will use this indication to assure that an appropriate range of expertise is represented. Please also indicate your location or time zone for sorting day. Scientific categories can be viewed by visiting www.aas.org/meetings/aas213/abstracts_full.php#category.

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7. NEW SUBMISSIONS FOR APJ AND APJS

As of September 1, new submissions to The Astrophysical Journal and the ApJ Supplement are being handled by IOP Publishing. To submit a new paper, use the online sites at http://authors.iop.org/apj for ApJ submissions or http://authors.iop.org/apjs for ApJS submissions. If you wish to revise an ApJ or Supplement manuscript already in peer review and submitted before 1 September 2008, continue to use http://mss.uchicago.edu/ApJ.

New and revised submissions to the ApJ Letters should continue to be submitted via http://mss.uchicago.edu/ApJ until October 15.

When you are ready to send your next paper, please create an account if you don't already have one, before you begin your submission. There are several benefits in having an account, including a personal author homepage and speedier manuscript processing - the system automatically builds a PDF file of your paper and sends it to the ApJ Editorial Office. From your personal author homepage you can monitor the progress of your article, make revisions and check proofs.

If you have any comments or questions or need assistance with your submission to ApJ or ApJS, please write to custserv at iop.org.

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8. SPREAD GOODWILL AND GET THOSE PRIZE NOMINATIONS IN BEFORE 1 OCTOBER 2008

This year, nominations are being received for the Annie Jump Cannon Award, the Newton Lacy PiercePrize, the Helen B. Warner Prize, the Dannie Heineman Prize, the George Van Biesbroek Prize, the Education Prize, the Joseph Weber Award for Astronomical Instrumentation, and the Henry Norris Russell Lectureship. See the AAS Members Pages for a downloadable nomination form.

Nominations must arrive at the AAS Secretary's Office by 1 October 2008.

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9. CHAMBLISS AWARDS

Chambliss Student Achievement Awards for Undergraduate and Graduate Posters are awarded at each AAS meeting. If you are a student (or know a student) who will be submitting a\ poster for the 213th AAS Meeting in Long Beach, you can choose to have your presentation considered for one of the awards. Further information is available at aas.org/grants/awards.php.

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10. A DOUBLE CONFERENCE IN VIRGINIA BEACH: THE IAU SYMPOSIUM No 261 AND THE ANNUAL DDA MEETING No 40

The 2009 Meeting of the AAS Division on Dynamical Astronomy is to be held on 2-5 May, 2009, in the resort city of Virginia Beach, VA. The venue is the Cavalier Hotel www.cavalierhotel.com. The DDA web site dda.harvard.edu contains all the DDA meeting details as we learn them.

This year the DDA Meeting will be preceded, at the same venue, by IAU Symposium No 261, "Relativity in Fundamental Astronomy: Dynamics, Reference Frames, and Data Analysis", to be held 27 April to 1 May, 2009. The IAU Symposium has a website: www.aas.org/divisions/meetings/iau.

The two back-to-back conferences will bring together a broad community of scientists from many dynamical fields and are a splendid opportunity for fruitful cross-fertilization.

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11. SURVEY OF ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS (ASTRO2010)

NAS President Ralph Cicerone has asked Roger Blandford of Stanford University to chair the next survey of astronomy and astrophysics (Astro2010). Prof. Blandford has accepted the appointment and he renews the request to the community for suggestions for members of the survey committee and panels (see www.nationalacademies.org/astro2010 ). A special session has been scheduled for the January 2009 AAS meeting in Long Beach and that will provide an opportunity for you to meet the committee.

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12. NOAO SURVEY PROGRAM

Proposals due: 15 September 2008

The NOAO Survey Program is accepting proposals for new surveys to start in the 2009A/B semesters. This program supports large observational projects that allow the identification of complete, well-defined samples that can yield both conclusions based on statistical analysis of the survey data itself and also provide important subsets for more detailed observations with larger telescopes.

Investigators must have submitted a letter of intent to propose for the NOAO Survey Program to be eligible to propose for an NOAO Survey Program commencing in the 2009A semester. Proposals are due 15 September 2008.

For further information on the NOAO Survey Program, see http://www.noao.edu/gateway/surveys/

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13. NOAO STANDARD PROPOSALS FOR 2009A

Due: 30 September 2008

The National Optical Astronomy Observatory announces the availability of observing time for the 2009A semester (February – July 2009). Time is available on both the Gemini North and South telescopes of the International Gemini Observatory, the two 10m telescopes of the W.M. Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea, the 6.5-m telescopes of the MMT and Magellan Observatories, and the telescopes of Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory and Kitt Peak National Observatory. Details of instrumentation, observing modes, schedules, and proposal submission instructions are available at: http://www.noao.edu/gateway/

Proposals are due no later than 11:59pm MST (Mountain Standard Time) on Tuesday, 30 September 2008.

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14. NASA INFRARED TELESCOPE FACILITY OBSERVING PROPOSALS

Deadline: 1 October 2008

Due date for the February 1 to July 31, 2009 semester is Wednesday, 1 October 2008. See http://irtfweb.ifa.hawaii.edu/observing/applicationForms.php for our new ONLINE submission form. Available instruments include: (1) SpeX, a 1-5 micron cross-dispersed medium-resolution spectrograph (up to R=2,500); (2) CSHELL, a 1-5 micron high-resolution spectrograph (up to R=30,000); (3) MIRSI, a 5 to 25 micron camera and low-resolution spectrometer (R=100 to 200), (4) NSFCAM2, a 2048×2048 pixel, 1-5 micron camera with a 0.04 arcsec/pixel scale and a circular variable filter; and (5) PI-instruments including a low-resolution 3-14 micron spectrograph and high-resolution spectrographs for 8-25 microns. Information on available instruments can be found at: http://irtfweb.ifa.hawaii.edu/Facility/.

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15. MOST U.S. GUEST OBSERVER PROGRAM - CYCLE 1

Proposals due: 6 October 2008

This program solicits proposals for the acquisition and analysis of new scientific data from the MOST (Microvariability and Oscillations of STars) observatory through a partnership between NASA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). Observations associated with the MOST U.S. Guest Observer - Cycle 1 solicitation will begin on or around 1 February 2009 and awards will have a 12-month duration. The MOST mission is designed to conduct photometric studies with high precision sufficient to perform stellar asteroseismology studies and other variability analyses of stars and exoplanet systems. GO investigations may address any area of astrophysics and are not restricted to asteroseismological studies. Investigations may range from the study of a single target to many targets per field, and should optimize the amount of science that can be derived from a single pointed observation (field).

Further information can be found at mostgo.arc.nasa.gov. The full announcement of opportunity is part of the NASA Research Announcement "Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 2008" (NNH08ZDA001N) and can be found on the NASA research opportunity homepage at http://nspires.nasaprs.com/ (select "Solicitations" then "Open Solicitations" then "NNH08ZDA001N"). Questions about this program can be directed to the MOST Guest Observer Office at mostgo at mail.arc.nasa.gov.

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16. KEPLER GUEST OBSERVER PROGRAM - CYCLE 1

Proposals due: 24 October 2008

This program solicits proposals for the acquisition and analysis of new scientific data from the Kepler mission, which will be the tenth mission to be launched under NASA's Discovery Program. Observations associated with the Kepler Guest Observer - Cycle 1 solicitation will begin immediately following the successful scientific commissioning of the spacecraft. During its 3.5-year prime mission, Kepler will continuously monitor a ~100 square degree field-of-view (FOV) in the Cygnus region, with the objective of photometrically detecting transits of Earth-size planets in the habitable zone. The instrument's high-precision photometry capability, with two available cadence modes (1 minute and 30-minute) is also sufficient for asteroseismology research and other variability analyses of both Galactic and extragalactic sources. Proposals submitted to this program should be for new observations only and should address areas of astrophysics outside of the exoplanet transit survey Key Project already planned by the mission.

Further information can be found at keplergo.arc.nasa.gov. The full announcement of opportunity is part of the NASA Research Announcement "Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 2008" (NNH08ZDA001N) and can be found on the NASA research opportunity homepage at http://nspires.nasaprs.com/ (select "Solicitations" then "Open Solicitations" then "NNH08ZDA001N"). Questions about this program can be directed to the Kepler Guest Observer Office at keplergo at arc.nasa.gov.

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17. INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH EXPERIENCE FOR US GRADUATE STUDENTS

Study Astronomy/Astrophysics in India - Summer 2009

The program is administered by the National Solar Observatory (NSO), sponsored by the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE), and is open to US graduate students in any discipline of astronomy or astrophysics who are US citizens or permanent residents, age 21 years or older, and have a passport. Now in its second year, the main goal of the program is to expose potential researchers to an international setting at an early stage in their careers. The program will take place in Bangalore, India, under the auspices of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), a premier national center devoted to research in astronomy, astrophysics and related physics.

The program will support four full-time summer research positions for eight weeks starting 10 June 2009. For each participant, the program will provide round-trip air-coach travel to and from Bangalore, India, a stipend of $500 US per week, accommodation, miscellaneous travel (field) and incidental expenses, and medical expenses and insurance.

Additional information and application materials are available on the web at http://eo.nso.edu/ires/. All application materials must be received by 16 January 2009.

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