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All Posts by Richard Tresch Fienberg

AAS Members Win 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics for Discovery of Cosmic Acceleration

Three members of the American Astronomical Society have been named recipients of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced today that half of the SEK 10 million ($1.44 million) award will go to Saul Perlmutter (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory & University of California, Berkeley) and half will be shared by Brian P. Schmidt (Australian National University) and Adam G. Riess (Johns Hopkins University & Space Telescope Science Institute). The 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics is being given “for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe through observations of distant supernovae.”

AAS Issues Statement on Proposed Cancellation of James Webb Space Telescope

The American Astronomical Society (AAS) today issued a strong statement protesting yesterday’s proposal from the House Appropriations Committee to cancel the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), Hubble’s successor and the centerpiece of U.S. space astronomy for the next two decades. “The proposed cancellation of JWST is a bad idea,” says AAS Executive Officer Dr. Kevin B. Marvel. “Several billion dollars have already been spent developing new cutting-edge technology, and the last thing the American people want is for Congress to throw good money away. The U.S. will rightly be proud of the accomplishments of JWST, but first we need to finish it and launch it.”

Steve Maran to Receive 2011 AIP Gemant Award for Interpretation of Physics

Dr. Maran is an astronomer and science writer with decades of experience in the space program. The author or editor of 12 books and more than 100 popular articles on astronomy and space exploration, and many more scientific publications, he retired from NASA on October 1, 2004, after more than 35 years with the agency. On August 31, 2009, he retired after 25 years (most of them overlapping with his NASA service) as AAS press officer.

Blogs, Tweets, and News Reports from AAS 217 in Seattle, WA

Interested in staying on top of what's happening at the 217th AAS meeting in Seattle, Washington, 9-13 January 2011? This is the place to start! Just follow the links below to view blog postings, tweets, and news articles from/about the meeting. (Note to bloggers and journalists: If you're covering the meeting and don't see your link here, please send it to AAS Press Officer Dr. Rick Fienberg.)

Kepler Mission Leaders to Receive Inaugural Lancelot Berkeley Prize

The American Astronomical Society (AAS) is pleased to announce that the first Lancelot M. Berkeley – New York Community Trust Prize for Meritorious Work in Astronomy is being awarded to William J. Borucki and David G. Koch. Both at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, Borucki and Koch (rhymes with "Bach") serve as principal investigator and deputy principal investigator, respectively, of the Kepler space mission, which — in the words of the prize committee's citation — "is discovering new exoplanets while making major advancements in the search for terrestrial planets around other stars."

Archived AAS Press Conference Webcasts

American Astronomical Society Endorses Astro2010 Decadal Survey

The American Astronomical Society (AAS), the major organization of professional astronomers in North America, today endorsed the decadal survey recommending priorities for the most important scientific and technical activities of the next 10 years in astronomy and astrophysics. These include a balance of small, medium, and large initiatives, with ground- and space-based telescopes across the electromagnetic spectrum. The report of the Astro2010 Survey Committee, more than two years in the making, was released this morning during a briefing and webcast at the Keck Center of the National Academies in Washington, DC.

Distinguished Astronomers Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Four members of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. The election was held on Tuesday, April 27th, during the 147th annual meeting of the Academy. Election to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors that can be accorded a scientist or engineer.

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