239th meeting

Press Information

Salt Lake City, UT
239th meeting of the American Astronomical Society
Salt Lake City, UT
9 – 13 January 2022

5 January 2022 (Materials updated 13 January 2022)


Dr. Susanna Kohler
AAS Press Officer
+1 202-328-2010 x127

Dr. Kerry Hensley
AAS Deputy Press Officer
+1 202-328-2010 x138

AAS 239 Press Conferences Set for 10-13 January

Despite the cancelation of the 239th meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS), the press program that was planned will still go forward. Next week, 10-13 January, roughly 40 speakers will present timely and exciting research results and new developments in the astronomical sciences.

These presentations will be hosted virtually via Zoom webinars; no registration is required, and journalists and public information officers (PIOs) are invited to attend via the Zoom webinar links included in the schedule below (labeled “Join the Zoom webinar”). Note that each session has a unique Zoom link; you will need to join each press conference via its specific link.

In addition, the press conferences will be live-streamed to the AAS Press Office YouTube channel, and we encourage anyone who is not a journalist or PIO to view the briefings there. Note that to ask questions, however, you will need to participate in the conferences via the Zoom webinars.

Special thanks are due to the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) for generously sponsoring the AAS 239 virtual press office.

AAS 239 Press Program

News briefings will be held twice each day Monday, 10 January, through Thursday, 13 January, via Zoom, with an extra briefing on Tuesday, 11 January. Although they are designed for the press, they are open to all interested persons. Recordings of the press conferences will be archived on the AAS Press Office YouTube channel afterward.

Following is the press conference program, which remains subject to change. Briefings are scheduled as follows (all times are MST = GMT/UTC - 7 hours):

All findings are embargoed until the time of presentation at the press conference. See the complete AAS embargo policy for more information.

Note: All new discoveries are subject to confirmation by independent teams of scientists. Inclusion here does not imply endorsement by the American Astronomical Society. The AAS does not endorse individual scientific results.

Monday, 10 January 2022, 10:15 am MST

Galaxies & Quasars (Briefing video)

A Map of the Molecular Ring and Arms of a Spiral Galaxy
Jessica Sutter (Universities Space Research Association)
Press Release

A Multiwavelength View of IC 860: What Is in Action Inside Quenching Galaxies?
Yuanze Luo (Johns Hopkins University)

Uncovering a Hidden Mini-Monster: A Heavily Obscured Active Galactic Nucleus in a Dwarf Star-Forming Galaxy
Ryan Hickox (Dartmouth College)
Press Release

A New Population of Supermassive Black Holes in Dwarf Galaxies
Mallory Molina (Montana State University)
Press Release

Monday, 10 January 2022, 2:15 pm MST

Black Holes & Transient Phenomena (Briefing video)

NASA’s Newest X-Ray Eyes: An Update on the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE)
Martin C. Weisskopf (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center)

Tidal Disruption Events in the Very Large Array Sky Survey
Vikram Ravi & Jean Somalwar (California Institute of Technology)
Press Release

The Most X-Ray Luminous Fast Blue Optical Transient
Yuhan Yao (California Institute of Technology)
Press Release

Tuesday, 11 January 2022, 12:15 pm MST

Satellite Constellations and Dark & Quiet Skies

This session has been cancelled

Tuesday, 11 January 2022, 12:15 pm MST

SDSS: Passing the Torch to Phase 5 (Briefing video)

Almost a Million Stars and Counting: Mapping the History of the Milky Way with APOGEE and Beyond
Rachael Beaton (Princeton University)
Press Release

Galaxies, Assemble: MaNGA Team Releases Largest-Ever Collection of 3D Maps of Nearby Galaxies
Karen Masters (Haverford College)
Press Release

SDSS-V Robots See First Light
Juna Kollmeier (Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Toronto)
Press Release

Tuesday, 11 January 2022, 2:15 pm MST

Stellar Nurseries, Clusters & Streams (Briefing video)

A New Window on Star Formation History at the Galactic Center
Zhuo Chen (University of California, Los Angeles)

Giant Molecular Clouds: Storytellers of the Galactic Center's History in the Past Few Hundred Years
Shuo Zhang (Bard College)
Press Release

Identifying Hidden Globular Clusters in the Centaurus A Galaxy
Allison Hughes (University of Arizona)
Press Release

Twelve for Dinner: The Milky Way’s Feeding Habits Shine a Light on Dark Matter
Ting Li (University of Toronto)
U. Chicago Press Release | U. Toronto Press Release | Lowell Observatory Press Release

Wednesday, 12 January 2022, 10:15 am MST

Evolving Stars & Their Activity (Briefing video)

Detection of White Dwarf Companions to Blue Lurkers in Star Cluster M67
Andrew Nine (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Press Release

A Unique Gamma-Ray-Bright Neutron Star Binary with an Extremely Low Mass Proto-White Dwarf
Samuel Swihart (Naval Research Laboratory)
Press Release

Discovery of Extreme Superflares on the Recurrent Nova V2487 Ophiuchi
Bradley Schaefer (Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge)
Press Release

Wednesday, 12 January 2022, 2:15 pm MST

Mapping Local Structure & More Evolving Stars (Briefing video)

1,000-Light-Year-Wide Bubble Surrounding Earth is Source of All Nearby, Young Stars
Catherine Zucker (Space Telescope Science Institute & Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian)
CfA Press Release | STScI Press Release

Mapping the Interstellar Medium in Our Rear-View Mirror: The Million Year History of the Heliosphere
Seth Redfield (Wesleyan University)
Press Release

Wolf-Rayet Stars Exploding as Supernovae
Avishay Gal-Yam (Weizmann Institute of Science)
Weizmann Inst. Press Release | ZTF Press Release

The Fates of Wolf-Rayet Stars, the Strangest Supernovae, and the Origins of Massive Black Holes
Daniel Perley (Liverpool John Moores University)
Press Release

Thursday, 13 January 2022, 10:15 am MST

Exoplanets & Their Atmospheres (Briefing video)

Revealing the Stormy, Turbulent Nature of Giant Exoplanet Analogs
Johanna Vos (American Museum of Natural History)
NASA JPL Press Release | AMNH Press Release (coming soon)

Observing Seasons on a Migrating Giant Exoplanet with the Retired Spitzer Space Telescope
Lisa Dang (McGill University)
NASA JPL Press Release | McGill U. Press Release | U. Montreal Press Release

The Hottest Jupiters Orbiting Evolved Stars
Samuel Grunblatt (American Museum of Natural History / Flatiron Institute)
Keck Observatory Press Release | U. Hawaiʻi Press Release

A Mirage or an Oasis? A Tentative Detection of Water Vapor in an Exoplanet Atmosphere
Jonathan Brande & Ian Crossfield (University of Kansas)
Press Release

Discovery of Debris Disks in Kepler Habitable Small Planet Candidates
Jian Ge (Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences); Amanda Hao (Aragon High School), Justin Hou (Henry M. Gunn High School) & Kevin Willis (Science Talent Training Center)
Press Release

Thursday, 13 January 2022, 2:15 pm MST

Intriguing Stars & Citizen Discoveries (Briefing video)

Betelgeuse, the Great Dimming: Before and After
Andrea Dupree (Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian)

Living with a Red Dwarf: Improved Relationships for M Dwarfs
Scott Engle (Villanova University)

Discovery of a TESS Giant Planet on a 261-Day Orbit Enabled by Citizen Science
Paul Dalba (University of California Riverside)
UC Riverside Press Release | NASA Press Release | U. New Mexico Press Release

Discovery of the Widest Known Brown Dwarf Binary
Emma Softich (Arizona State University) & Adam Schneider (United States Naval Observatory, Flagstaff Station; George Mason University)
Press Release

Galaxy Zoo Clump Scout: Surveying the Local Universe for Giant Star-Forming Clumps
Nico Adams (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)
Press Release


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