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3 April 2013

Dr. Rick Fienberg
AAS Press Officer
+1 202-328-2010 x116; cell: +1 857-891-5649

The Indy 500 happens twice this year: once in late May, when the world's elite auto racers converge on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and again a week later, when more than 500 astronomers, educators, journalists, and guests converge on downtown Indianapolis for the 222nd meeting of the American Astronomical Society, 2-6 June 2013, at the Indiana Convention Center, 100 S. Capitol Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46225.

The AAS offers complimentary press registration to bona fide working journalists and public-information officers (PIOs); see details below.

Gathering with the AAS in June is its new Laboratory Astrophysics Division (LAD), whose seven "Bridging Laboratory & Astrophysics" sessions span four days. There are also two multisession Meetings-in-a-Meeting: "WIYN Observatory: Building on the Past, Looking to the Future" and "Outer Limits of the Milky Way."

Among the highlights of every AAS meeting are invited talks by distinguished astronomers, offered in plenary sessions to avoid any possible schedule conflicts. Speakers in Indianapolis include David Latham (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) on the search for habitable worlds, former AAS president Caty Pilachowski (Indiana University) on the secret lives of globular star clusters, and Dawn Sumner (University of California, Davis) on the latest results from the Curiosity Mars rover. Hundreds of oral and poster presentations are on the schedule, along with public-policy town halls offering opportunities to meet with representatives from NASA and the National Science Foundation.

Our meeting hotel, the 4-star Westin Indianapolis, is connected to the convention center and the Circle Centre Mall by a covered sky bridge, providing easy access not only to all AAS and LAD sessions but also to more than 100 shopping, dining, and entertainment venues. Many of the city's most popular attractions, including the NCAA Hall of Champions, the Indianapolis Zoo, and Lucas Oil Stadium (home of the Colts), are just a short walk away. Both Forbes and rank downtown Indianapolis, revitalized at the turn of the 21st century, as one of the best city centers in the United States.

Travel & Lodging

General information about travel and accommodations, including airline and rental-car discount codes, is online.

To reserve a room at the Westin Indianapolis at the special AAS meeting rate ($182/night), click on the corresponding link or dial the phone number provided on that page.

Deadline for hotel reservations at the AAS meeting rate: 10 May 2013.

Complimentary Press Registration

The AAS offers complimentary press registration to bona fide working journalists and PIOs, as described on our press-credentials page.

To request complimentary press registration, send an e-mail message to AAS Press Officer Dr. Rick Fienberg with your name and media affiliation (or "freelance" if applicable). Upon confirming your eligibility, he'll send you the URL of an online registration form and the required press-registration code. Although press registration will be available on site at the meeting, we strongly advise you register in advance to avoid lines at the registration booth. Please send your e-mail request for press registration as soon as you know you're coming to the meeting.

Press Arrangements

The AAS will operate a press office in Room 108 on Level 1 of the Indiana Convention Center, with working space, telephone, photocopier, printer, power strips, and Internet connectivity for reporters. Each registered journalist and PIO will have a mailbox there to receive all press releases distributed as hard copies at the meeting (most releases will be distributed only electronically).

Press conferences will be held around the corner from the press office in Room 110, which will be equipped with a sound system, mult-box, and Internet connectivity. Briefing audio, slides, and video will be available live via webcast to accredited journalists unable to attend in person; online participants will be able to ask questions of the presenters via text chat with an on-site press officer. Details will appear in a subsequent advisory.

Press Tour, Sunday, 2 June 2013

One of the meeting's sponsors is Bowen Technovation, an Indianapolis-based company that designs, installs, and supports systems and software for unique audio and visual experiences. Many of their flagship installations are at planetariums and science centers. We're planning a tour for press registrants, either at the company's facility northeast of downtown or at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, which is closer to the convention center and whose SpaceQuest Planetarium features one of Bowen's state-of-the-art audio-visual systems. While details are still being finalized, we expect this press tour to occur on Sunday afternoon, June 2nd, so please plan your travel to Indianapolis accordingly.

Press Dinner, Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Plans are afoot for a no-host press dinner on Tuesday evening, June 4th, at the Skyline Club, within walking distance of the convention center. In addition to excellent food, the restaurant features a panoramic view of Indianapolis from 36 floors up. Details will be announced in a subsequent advisory.

AAS Press-Release-Distribution Service

If you don't already receive astronomy-related press releases forwarded by e-mail from the AAS Press Office, you should sign up now to guarantee that you receive future meeting advisories as well as electronic copies of all press releases issued during the meeting. To sign up for the AAS press-release-distribution service, for which there is no charge, please send an e-mail to Rick Fienberg with your name, media affiliation, mailing address, and phone, fax, and mobile numbers. Only accredited journalists and public information officers are eligible to receive press releases forwarded by the AAS, as described on our press-credentials page.