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AAS Electronic Notification Service - Announcement #63 01/1999

[Mailed from aas.org at 9:50am 9 January 1999]

CONTENTS

  1. DARK SKIES FACE POTENTIAL THREAT IN SOUTHERN ARIZONA
  2. NATIONAL ACADEMY SPECIAL ASTRONOMY PROCEEDINGS
  3. NSF LIFE IN EXTREME ENVIRONMENTS PROGRAM
  4. CELEBRATING THE ASTRONOMICAL ALMANAC
  5. 2MASS SAMPLER DATA RELEASE
  6. LEONID METEOROID STORM AND SATELLITE THREAT CONFERENCE II

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1. DARK SKIES FACE POTENTIAL THREAT IN SOUTHERN ARIZONA

In recent editorials in Southern Arizona papers (Tucson Citizen 1/6/99 and Arizona Daily Star 1/8/99) and an insightful article in the Arizona star (12/22/98), a threat to the dark skies near Mount Hopkins has come to light. A local developer is hoping to change the zoning of a relatively large parcel of land. This rezoning would allow enough light-emitting structures to be built that the observatory facilities on nearby Mount Hopkins would be affected.

Members are encouraged to find out the details at the Tucson Citizen's Southern Arizona Website (http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/news/stories/story1072637.html) and another site detailing the situation (http://www.treefort.org/~sykes). The Pima County Board of Supervisors was scheduled to vote on the matter on 12 January 1999, so quick action is suggested. For further information, contact
Kevin Marvel (marvel@aas.org), the AAS Associate Executive Officer for Policy Programs.

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2. NATIONAL ACADEMY SPECIAL ASTRONOMY PROCEEDINGS

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences will be running three special issues on Astronomy on 13 April, 27 April and 11 May 1999. These issues will be made available at the American Astronomical Society's 194th Meeting in Chicago, IL, on 30 May - 3 June 1999. Submission of research papers to be considered for publication in these issues, or enquires about submission, should be sent, as soon as possible and preferably on or before 1 March, to Guy Riddihough, 1055 Thomas Jefferson St NW, Suite 2013, Washington DC 20007 (tel: 202 334 1370; fax 202 334 2738; griddiho@nas.edu). All submissions will be handled quickly.

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3. NSF LIFE IN EXTREME ENVIRONMENTS PROGRAM
Proposal Deadline: 5 March 1999

The National Science Foundation announces the FY99 Special Competition for Life in Extreme Environments (LExEn) Program. Two research areas of the LExEn program may be of special interest to the astronomical community.

1)The LExEn Interdisciplinary Research Program Topics in this focus area include:
** formation of Earth, other planets and their satellites
** remote sensing of planets and their atmospheres
** studies of interstellar grains and meteorites to establish criteria for the presence of biogenic substances
** studies of interstellar and cometary chemistry, particularly of biologically relevant molecules
** the relationship between interstellar organic molecules and the origin of life

2)Methods and Capabilities for LExEn Research Includes support of projects to develop or apply new methods or technologies, including :
** sensors and sensing techniques to probe extreme environments on Earth or other planets
** methods to investigate the potential for habitable environments on other planets (including theory and modeling)

For more information consult the program announcement at http://www.nsf.gov/home/crssprgm/lexen or contact Dr. Eileen Friel, efriel@nsf.gov, (703) 306-1826.

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4. CELEBRATING THE ASTRONOMICAL ALMANAC
By Heidi B. Hammel

A small symposium is being organized to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Nautical Almanac Office in March 1999. I've been asked to make a brief presentation about "How I Use the Astronomical Almanac for Astronomy" (other uses will include the air force, civilian  navigators,  navigation, and timing), and I'll also be drafting a paper in conjunction with the presentation. I'd like to be able to broaden the presentation and paper beyond simply my own experiences. If you have interesting anecdotes to share about using the AA, or would like to make sure your favorite astronomical use is represented, please drop me a note at hbh@alum.mit.edu, or call me at 203-438-3506.  Contact me before 1 February 1999, please, and thanks for any input!

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5. 2MASS SAMPLER DATA RELEASE

The Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) announces the public availability of the 2MASS Sampler Data Release. The Sampler data products can be accessed from the IPAC/2MASS Web site at http://www.ipac.caltech.edu/2mass/ or directly from the NASA/Infrared Science Archive site at http://irsa.ipac.caltech.edu/.

The objective of the 2MASS Sampler is to introduce the astronomical community to the content and format of the 2MASS datasets, and to the web-based Access Tools, to provide an opportunity for the 2MASS project to receive community feedback in preparation for a large 1999 Spring data release, and to enable the community to carry out scientific investigations with the 2MASS dataset for the first time.

The 2MASS Sampler consists of a Point Source Catalog containing 227,197 objects, an Extended Source Catalog containing 2,133 resolved sources, and 5,658 compressed 512x1024 pixel (1"/pixel) images, covering about 63 square degrees of the northern sky.

The 2MASS webpage contains general information and documentation about this data release. Assistance with the Sampler is available via the 2MASS Help Desk at 2mass@ipac.caltech.edu.

A CD-ROM containing the Sampler data is also available.

The Two Micron All Sky Survey is a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, funded by the NASA and the NSF.

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6. LEONID METEOROID STORM AND SATELLITE THREAT CONFERENCE II

Announcement - Call for Papers
Leonid Meteoroid Storm and Satellite Threat Conference II
11-13 May 1999 Los Angeles
Abstract Deadline 15 January 1999

A symposium devoted to all aspects of meteoroids and their effects on spacecraft. For further information see:

http://www.aiaa.com/calendar/lmsas99cfp.html
http://www.aero.org/conferences/leonid/

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An AAS Electronic Announcement is mailed to all members around the 10th of each month. Included are important items that do not fit into the schedule of the AAS Newsletter.

Items for possible inclusion in this announcement series should be sent to johnson@aas.org. Keep announcement short and refer readers to sources of additional information.

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