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One-Day Program for Amateur Astronomers & the Public

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 professional astronomers, educators, journalists, and guests converge on downtown Indianapolis for the 222nd meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS), 2-6 June 2013, at the Indiana Convention Center, 100 S. Capitol Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46225.

For the first time ever, the AAS is opening its meeting to amateur astronomers and other interested members of the public, who may take advantage of a special one-day registration rate of $50 per day on Monday, 3 June, or Tuesday, 4 June, or both days (in which case the cost will be $100). Conference hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. EDT.

Registration includes access to all scientific sessions, including invited and prize talks, oral and poster presentations, and public-policy "Town Hall" meetings with representatives from the National Science Foundation (Monday) and NASA Headquarters (Tuesday). Your badge also gets you in to the exhibit hall, where you can meet scientists working on major ground- and space-based telescopes, check out some of the newest astronomy books and products, and even immerse yourself in a digital planetarium experience. See our exhibitor list to find out who's coming, and see our science program for a complete schedule of daily activities.

Among the highlights of every AAS meeting are plenary lectures by distinguished astronomers. There will be four such presentations on both Monday and Tuesday. Among the scheduled speakers are David W. 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 Anthony J. Beasley (National Radio Astronomy Observatory) on the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), our newest window on the universe.

In addition, there will be five presentations and a "star party" designed especially for amateur astronomers and the public:

Monday, 3 June, 9:30 to 10:00 a.m. EDT
Hubble Space Telescope Astrometry — Still Useful After All These Years
Fritz Benedict, University of Texas
Monday, 3 June, 1:30 to 2:00 p.m. EDT
Interstellar Destinations: Nearby Earth-size Exoplanets
Ed Guinan, Villanova University
Monday, 3 June (Evening)

Star Party with the Indiana Astronomical Society.

Come see the Saturn and the stars high in the sky and meet professional astronomers. The AAS will co-host a star party with the Indianapolis' home amateur organization: the Indiana Astronomical Society. Depending on the weather, there will be telescopes right on the Convention Center Plaza. Saturn will be up in the sky, and we'll easily see its glorious rings. Suitable for adults and kids of all ages, telescopes will be provided by members of the AAS and the IAS. It's a great opportunity to see the stars with professional astronomers and meet the local astronomers in your hometown.

Monday, 3 June 2013 (if cloudy Tuesday, 4 June 2013) at 9:00PM
Convention Center Plaza – Corner of South Capitol Ave. and West Maryland St.
Attendance is FREE and open to the public.

Star Party Updates, including weather and logistic updates, will occur on Facebook.  Follow us

AAS Contact for the Star Party:

Jason Kendall

Local Contacts:
Doug Brown and Bill Conner
Indiana Astronomical Society

Tuesday, 4 June, 9:30 to 10:00 a.m. EDT
A Glimpse of Galaxies at the Dawn of the Universe
Debra Elmegreen, Vassar College
Tuesday, 4 June, 1:30 to 2:00 p.m. EDT
Pluto's Demise and Resurrection
Angela Speck, University of Missouri
Tuesday, 4 June, 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. EDT
Discovering Planets From Your Sofa: Adventures in Citizen Science
Chris Lintott, Oxford University & Adler Planetarium

Attendance at the 222nd AAS meeting in Indianapolis offers an unprecedented opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the world's leading astronomers and to hear the latest cosmic news from the newsmakers themselves. If you're interested, please complete our special One-Day Registration form. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Tracy Beale.