AAS Meeting Sessions & Content

During winter meetings, iPosters are displayed for the full meeting, posters are displayed for one day and late abstracts are usually displayed on the final day of the meeting. During summer meetings, iPosters and posters are displayed for the full meeting, and late abstracts are usually scheduled into existing iPoster sessions.

At the Winter and Summer of the AAS there are several kinds of sessions depending on the kind of topic to be presented. Guidelines for proposing sessions are listed below. Different guidelines apply to AAS Topical Conference Series and Regional Meetings and you can learn more on the pages for those events.

All members are entitled to present one contributed paper [link] at each of the AAS Winter and Summer Meetings.

Sessions dedicated to specific topics can be proposed by any Full Member. These are reviewed by the Committee on Meetings which is composed of the three Vice-Presidents, the Executive Officer (or designee) and the President (ex-officio); the chair of the Committee on Meetings is the senior Vice-President. Approved proposals are scheduled by the AAS Staff, in consultation with the session organizer identified in the proposal. Details on the types of sessions that can be proposed are listed below. Please note that the deadlines, and some of the guidelines, differ between Winter and Summer meetings. 

Types of Sessions at AAS Meetings

See guidelines for each type of session for how to contribute a paper, or propose an entire session or workshop.

Contributed Sessions

Contributions may be either oral, iPoster Plus, iPoster or poster (all types are referred to individually as "papers"). All members may contribute presentations, which are sorted and grouped by a committee of volunteers shortly after the abstract deadline for each meeting.

Further rules governing the submission of contributed papers, including proper submission guidelines and deadlines, are published on the AAS webpages a few months before the meeting.

Special Sessions

Special Sessions are for current observatories, missions and facilities to discuss scientific results and plans, and for discussion of education and state-of-the-profession topics. There is no required format, and they may feature multiple speakers, a panel discussion, or other presentation formats. Town-Hall type events should not be proposed as Special Sessions. 

  • Scheduled in response to proposals from AAS Full Members
  • Held at both the winter and summer meetings
  • Have a length of 90 minutes
  • Scheduled in parallel with the mid-morning and mid-afternoon contributed sessions 
  • They may be scheduled on any of the four meeting days

Meeting-in-a-Meeting Sessions

A Meeting-in-a-Meeting provides an opportunity at summer meetings for extended discussion of current space missions and ground-based facilities, or science topics of current interest. It comprises a coordinated set of sessions covering a single overall theme. 

  • Held only at summer meetings
  • Scheduled in response to proposals from Full AAS Members 
  • Have a length of two to seven sessions, 90 minutes each
  • Proposals are reviewed by the Committee on Meetings
  • Scheduled in parallel with other special and contributed sessions
  • Have no required format, but an opening introductory talk for a non-specialist audience is highly recommended

Town Hall Meetings

Town Halls are intended for federal agencies and national observatories to present policy information and to solicit feedback from their user communities. Missions and facilities (current and future) that wish to focus on science capabilities and results should select one of the other session categories to propose to (Special Session, Splinter Meeting, Workshop, or Exhibit).

  • Scheduled in response to proposals from AAS Full Members
  • Held at winter and summer meetings
  • One hour and are typically held from 12:45 pm to 1:45 pm, or 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm
  • Scheduled on any of the four meeting days
  • Other events may be scheduled in parallel

Workshops

An AAS Workshop is a focused meeting, typically with a small group of invited participants, usually on an educational, programmatic or career topic. Workshops are typically collaborative and interactive. Examples include tutorials on use of astronomical software, and tools related to scheduling and data analysis for observatories and missions. Formal Working Group meetings for observatories and missions are usually scheduled as Workshops.

  • Scheduled in response to proposals from AAS Full Members.
  • Workshops are considered part of the main AAS Meeting, and are not free-standing. Participants must register for the current meeting.
  • Held on Saturday and/or Sunday at both winter and summer meetings. Topics for sessions in the main AAS Meeting (4 days) should be proposed for one of the other session types.
  • Have a length of a half-day, full-day, or two full-days.
  • Scheduled in parallel with other workshops.
  • A summary of the meeting topic and content must be submitted.
  • The Workshop organizer must complete the online form in full, and provide information to assist AAS staff in scheduling and logistics.
  • Individual speaker abstracts are not published for Workshops.
  • Costs associated with the administration fee, catering and equipment rental are the responsibility of the Workshop organizer. The fees will be invoiced by the AAS once the meeting closes and is audited.

Splinter Meetings

Splinter Meetings are science or programmatic meetings that do not fit the definition of Special Session (e.g., longer than 90 minutes, or with a by-invitation audience). Proposers should consider whether a weekend Workshop, or a summer Meeting-in-a-Meeting might meet their objectives.

  • Splinter Meetings are held at winter and summer meetings
  • Splinter Meetings can be scheduled before, during, or after AAS meeting days
  • Additional fees may apply to meetings scheduled after the AAS meeting closes.
  • Any AAS Full Member can request a Splinter Meeting
  • Splinter Meetings are considered part of the main AAS Meeting and are not free-standing; participants must register for the current meeting.
  • A summary of the meeting topic and content must be submitted.
  • Splinter Meetings can be proposed as Private (by invitation) or Open to AAS attendees
  • Public Splinter Meetings sessions will scheduled not to conflict with AAS Invited Talks.
  • Private (invitation only) Splinter Meetings can be scheduled at any time.
  • The identified session organizer must be an AAS Member and should submit complete contact information, including onsite contact information.
  • Public Splinter Meetings can be published in the Meeting program with the approval of the AAS Executive Office.
  • Costs associated with the AAS Administration fee, catering and equipment rental are the responsibility of the Splinter Meeting organizer. The fees will be invoiced by the AAS once the meeting closes and is audited.
  • Meeting requests are honored and assigned on a first come, first served basis depending on meeting room availability.
  • Meeting organizers will be notified via email of proposal acceptance and logistic details such as specific room assignments by 15 December for Winter meetings and 15 May for Summer meetings.
  • All requests submitted after the deadline will be assigned based upon availability and will not be included in the printed meeting program.