AAS Meeting Sessions & Content

The winter and summer meetings of the AAS feature a variety of sessions and content, and we rely on proposals from the community to build each meeting program. This page describes the different types of content at AAS meetings, as well as how to propose meeting content and how that content is selected.

Meeting Sessions

AAS meetings are composed of several different types of sessions: Contributed Sessions, Special Sessions, Meeting-in-a-Meeting Sessions, Town Hall Meetings, Workshops, and Splinter Meetings. See the descriptions below to learn about the different types of sessions at AAS meetings and to view guidelines for how to propose each type. Note that different guidelines apply to AAS Topical Conference Series events and Regional Meetings; you can learn more on the pages for those events.

Plenary Talks

Plenary talks are featured talks that take place in dedicated 50-minute slots at AAS meetings. These talks typically cover topics that are of broad interest to the wider AAS community. Every summer and winter meeting includes a selection of plenary talks, along with lectures associated with AAS prizes.

Plenary speakers and/or topics are nominated by the community on a rolling basis and selected for each meeting by the AAS Vice Presidents. Nominated plenary presenters should be dynamic speakers who can deliver engaging, visual-rich presentations to a general audience of astronomers, on topics that are of broad interest to the community. To submit a nomination, use the button below.

Nominate a Plenary Speaker

Public Interest Events

Public Interest Events are events of interest to the general public, held concurrently with our meetings to engage the local community in astronomical science and education. Such public events help support the AAS's mission "to advance and share humanity's scientific understanding of our universe as a diverse and inclusive community."

Public Interest Events can be proposed by all members on a rolling basis, and they will be reviewed by the Vice Presidents. To submit a proposal, use the button below.

Propose a Public Interest Event

Press Conferences

AAS meetings typically feature 4–8 press conference sessions throughout the week, during which panels of 3–5 scientists present their recent research results in plain language to the news media attending the meeting (and anyone else who wishes to attend!).

All meeting presenters are potentially eligible to give press conference briefings at AAS meetings. If you plan to present an abstract at an upcoming AAS meeting and believe it would make a good press conference briefing, be sure to indicate that you consider your abstract to be newsworthy by checking the corresponding box during abstract submission. Note that doing so does not guarantee you will be invited to give a press briefing, only that the AAS Press team will give it consideration.

For more information about how press conference participants are selected and how the AAS press conferences are run, please see this post:

How AAS Press Conferences Happen


The various meeting sessions described above are made up of invited and contributed presentations. Every presentation at the AAS summer and winter meetings is accompanied by an abstract no more than 2,250 characters long that describes the research being presented. Meeting attendees wishing to present — whether via a talk or a poster — must submit a proposed abstract by the set abstract deadlines.

How to submit: Submission deadlines and a link to the abstract submission page are published on each AAS meeting web page in advance of the meeting.

Please carefully review the sections below for additional information about types of abstracts, eligibility requirements, and submission guidelines.