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AAS Electronic Announcement #198 — July 2009

AAS Electronic Announcement #198 - July 2009

Mailed on 10 July 2009

CONTENTS:

1. AAS COUNCIL SEEKS INPUT ON ETHICS STATEMENT

2. 2010 MEMBERSHIP ONLINE RENEWALS STARTING IN SEPTEMBER

3. AAS MEMBERSHIP CALENDAR

4. STILL TIME TO NOMINATE FOR CHAMBLISS AMATEUR ACHIEVEMENT AWARD AND WRITING AWARDS

5. NSF DIRECTOR AND DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE DIVISION OF ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCES

6. NSF MPS ASSISTANT DIRECTOR SEARCH COMMITTEE SELECTED

7. NOAO SURVEY PROGRAM LETTERS OF INTENT DUE 31 JULY 2009

8. CARMA CALL FOR PROPOSALS, SEMESTER 2010A

9. SEED GRANTS FROM THE ASP

10. EXOPLANET EXPLORATION PROGRAM ANALYSIS GROUP (EXOPAG)

11. BOLOCAM GALACTIC PLANE SURVEY DATA RELEASED

12. FROM THE EARTH TO THE UNIVERSE

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1. AAS COUNCIL SEEKS INPUT ON ETHICS STATEMENT

The Council of the AAS has developed and endorsed the following draft ethics statement, pending input from our members. It is intended to represent a consensus, and thus necessarily may not include every issue that is important to each member of the AAS. It is our hope that it will be a useful starting point for discussion of professional ethics with students moving into a professional career. It may also prove useful as a reference to standard practice in US astronomy in some cases where there is an issue that arises, perhaps in the context of cultural differences between areas of science or parts of the world.

While the text of the ethics statement remains the responsibility of the AAS Council, we are interested in hearing from members before we make a final version public. To this end, we have opened a forum on the Ethics Statement at http://forums.aas.org. This will be open from now through 15 August. Comments will then be compiled and considered by the Council in preparing the final version.

The draft Ethics Statement is also posted on the AAS web site and comments may be sent directly to the moderator, Lee Anne Willson, AAS Vice President. Unless you specify otherwise, she will assume you intend your comments to be posted on the forum.

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2. 2010 MEMBERSHIP ONLINE RENEWALS STARTING IN SEPTEMBER

The 2010 renewal period will begin in September. More than fifty percent of the membership renewed online during the 2009 renewal period. We considered 2009 a success and look forward to having more than 80 percent renew online for 2010. Renewing early saves the AAS substantial cost and increases the funding available for our programs.

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3. AAS MEMBERSHIP CALENDAR

Deadline: 1 September 2009

Sponsors and potential sponsors for future AAS calendars are reminded that sponsorship space is provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Groups interested in sponsoring a month may contact Crystal Tinch (crystal at aas.org) for more information and pricing details for the 2009 Calendar. Deadline for sponsorship is 1 September 2009. 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 2010 deadlines to crystal at aas.org by 1 September 2009.

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4. STILL TIME TO NOMINATE FOR CHAMBLISS AMATEUR ACHIEVEMENT AWARD AND
WRITING AWARDS

Through the generosity of Carlson Chambliss, the AAS is happy to award on an annual basis awards for Amateur Achievement and Writing. These relatively new prizes recognize the contributions of an amateur astronomer in astronomical research and the work of an author(s) of textbooks in astronomy for upper level undergraduate or graduate education. Please take a moment to consider whether you know any eligible nominees and then visit the appropriate web page (aas.org/grants/awards.php#writing or http://aas.org/grants/awards.php#amateur ) to submit your nomination for these awards.
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5. NSF DIRECTOR AND DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE DIVISION OF ASTRONOMICAL SCIENCES

The National Science Foundation announces that the application deadline has been extended for both the Director and Deputy Director of the Division of Astronomical Sciences, from 30 June to Friday, 14 August 2009. While we continue to try to fill these important positions, we hope you will be patient and tolerant of your understaffed division.

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6. NSF MPS ASSISTANT DIRECTOR SEARCH COMMITTEE SELECTED

The members of the search committee for the Assistant Director for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) has been chosen. The members are:

* Michael Witherell, Chair
* Keith Baker
* Carl Lineberger
* Monica Olvera de la Cruz
* Sidney Wolff
* Margaret Wright

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7. NOAO SURVEY PROGRAM LETTERS OF INTENT DUE 31 JULY 2009

The NOAO Survey Program will be accepting proposals for new surveys to start in the 2010A and 2010B 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. In addition, surveys are expected to provide coherent datasets that will be useful for other researchers.

Investigators must submit letters of intent to propose for the NOAO Survey Program to surveys at noao.edu by 31 July 2009 to be eligible to propose for an NOAO Survey Program commencing in the 2010A semester.

For more information, go to www.noao.edu/gateway/surveys/

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8. CARMA CALL FOR PROPOSALS, SEMESTER 2010A

Deadline: 5 August 2009

Proposals for observations using CARMA during the period 1 December 2009 to 31 May 2010 are due on 5 August 2009. CARMA comprises 23 antennas operating on a 2200-m elevation site, Cedar Flat, in the Inyo Mountains of California. This semester, proposals will be accepted for 15-antenna observations at 3mm and 1mm in the A, B, C, and D antenna configurations. These configurations have resolution ~ 0.15", 0.3", 0.7", 1.7" at 230 GHz. The A and B configurations will primarily be devoted to tests of a new phase calibration technique, and so the time available for conventional observing will be extremely limited. Proposals will also be accepted for the 8-antenna array (the SZA) in a compact configuration at 1cm and 3mm.

CARMA is operated by the Universities of California (Berkeley), Chicago, Illinois, and Maryland, and the California Institute of Technology, under a cooperative agreement with the University Radio Observatory program of the National Science Foundation. Approximately 30% of the observing time will be awarded to PIs outside the partner universities.

Proposals should be submitted using the electronic form at http://carma.astro.uiuc.edu/proposals/ before 17:00 CDT (22:00 UT) 5 August 2009. Detailed information, including sensitivities and proposal submission instructions, are available at http://www.mmarray.org . Questions may also be addressed to Dr. Nikolaus Volgenau (volgenau @ mmarray.org).

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9. SEED GRANTS FROM THE ASP

Thanks to the support of the Planck and Herschel Missions, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) is offering SEED Grants for 2009 to active researchers in astronomy, astrophysics, or space science to engage in public outreach, K-14 formal education, or informal education programs or activities. Maximum grants are $2,500; funds may be used to purchase equipment related to the proposed EPO activity, or to defray expenses associated with carrying out the activity. Given the nature of the Planck and Herschel Missions, SEED Grant proposals involving cosmology, galaxy and star formation studies, solar system investigations, and space science will be given special consideration. Proposal submission deadline is 31 July 2009, with announcement of awards by 15 September 2009. To learn more and to review the simple guidelines for proposals, go to www.astrosociety.org/education/grants/grants.html.

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10. EXOPLANET EXPLORATION PROGRAM ANALYSIS GROUP (EXOPAG)

Dear Colleagues:

The Astrophysics Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate is pleased to announce the establishment an Exoplanet Exploration Program Analysis Group, or ExoPAG. The ExoPAG will be an open, interdisciplinary forum for gathering community input into NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program (ExEP), and for conducting analyses in support of ExEP science objectives and their implications for planning and prioritization of Program activities. The ExoPAG will communicate its findings and the results of its analyses to NASA through the Agency’s formal advisory structure in the form of reports to the Astrophysics Subcommittee of the NAC (NASA Advisory Council) Science Committee.
To carry out its role, the ExoPAG will:
* Articulate the key scientific drivers for exoplanet research;
* Evaluate the expected capabilities of potential ExEP missions for achieving the science goals of the Program;
* Regularly evaluate ExEP goals, objectives, investigations and required measurements on the basis of the widest possible community outreach;
* Articulate focus areas for needed mission technologies; and
* Identify related activities that enhance the ExEP mission portfolio such as ground-based observing, theory and modeling programs, and community engagement.
 

Further information about the structure and function of the ExoPAG can be found on the Web at http://exep.jpl.nasa.gov/exep_exoPAG.cfm. The purpose of this open letter to the scientific community is to solicit nominations for membership on the ExoPAG Executive Committee.

The ExoPAG will be led by a Chairperson drawn from the membership of the Astrophysics Subcommittee. The inaugural ExoPAG Chair will be Prof. James F. Kasting of Penn State University. Prof. Kasting will be supported in this role by an Executive Committee representing the broad exoplanetary science community. Together, the ExoPAG Chair and Executive Committee will be responsible for capturing and organizing community input, overseeing ExoPAG analyses, reporting ExoPAG findings and inputs to the Astrophysics Subcommittee, and keeping the scientific community apprised of ongoing activities and opportunities within NASA’s ExEP. The ExoPAG Executive Committee will be selected to achieve a functional balance among observers, theoreticians, instrumentation experts, and technologists, as well as a scientific balance across the disciplines of astrophysics, exoplanetary and planetary science, and astrobiology.

Nominations for the ExoPAG Executive Committee should be submitted via email to the address: ExoPAG at nasa,gov. Nominations must include both a cover letter and a one-page CV summarizing the nominee’s relevant background. The cover letter should provide a description of the nominee’s area of expertise and qualifications for service on the ExoPAG Executive Committee. Self-nominations are welcome. The deadline for receipt of nominations is 4 September 2009, with announcement of selections anticipated for early October 2009.
The first ExoPAG meeting is planned to be held in conjunction with the 215th AAS Meeting in Washington, DC, January 2010. Travel and lodging expenses for the ExoPAG Chair and Executive Committee members (only) will be paid by the ExEP, in accordance with NASA regulations. Further details about the inaugural ExoPAG meeting will be posted on the ExoPAG web site as the information becomes available.

We look forward to working with all of our stakeholders to develop a robust and compelling Exoplanet Exploration Program.

Sincerely,

Douglas Hudgins, NASA HQ
Exoplanet Exploration Program Scientist

Lia LaPiana, NASA HQ
ExoPlanet Exploration Program Executive

Jon Morse
Director, Astrophysics Division, NASA HQ

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11. BOLOCAM GALACTIC PLANE SURVEY DATA RELEASED

The Bolocam Galactic Plane Survey (BGPS) is a 1.1 mm continuum survey of the northern Galactic Plane made using Bolocam on the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory. The survey team is pleased to announce the release of the survey data and source catalog through the NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive (IRSA): http://irsa.ipac.caltech.edu/data/BOLOCAM_GPS/

Millimeter-wavelength thermal dust emission reveals the repositories of the densest molecular gas, ranging in scale from clumps(parsec-scale regions in molecular clouds) to cores. By pinpointing these regions with the BGPS, the connection of this gas to nascent and ongoing star formation may be explored. The BGPS survey and catalog provide an important database for future sub/millimeter observations with the Herschel Space Observatory, ALMA, SCUBA-2, APEX, and others.

The BGPS coverage totals 170 square degrees with 33" FWHM effective resolution. The survey is contiguous over the range -10.5 = l = 90.5, -0.5 = b = 0.5. The contiguous region is augmented with increased latitude coverage (to +/- 1.5 degrees) toward the Cygnus X spiral arm (l~80) and in four strips at l = 3, 15 30 and 31. The total area of this section is 133 square degrees. In addition to the contiguous region, four targeted regions in the outer Galaxy were observed: IC1396 (9 square degrees), a region towards the Perseus Arm (4 square degrees centered on l = 111, b=0 near NGC7538), W3/4/5 (18 square degrees) and Gem OB1 (6 square degrees). The survey has detected approximately 8400 sources to an rms noise level in the maps ranging from 30 to 60 mJy/beam.

The data release includes fully reduced FITS map files, noise maps, and a catalog of sources produced by a custom catalog algorithm. BGPS sources are usually extended asymmetric structures, so the catalog reports source positions based on the maximum of emission in each source. The maxima are likely the best targets for follow-up observations of these millimeter continuum sources. Source centroids, sizes, and flux densities are also reported. Full details of the survey and catalog methods are available from the IPAC site.

The BGPS project is supported by the National Science Foundation through NSF grants AST-0708403 (U.C. Boulder) and AST-0607793 (U. Texas). Observing runs were partially supported by travel funds provided by NRAO.

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12. FROM THE EARTH TO THE UNIVERSE

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