240th meeting

Press Information

240
Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena, California
240th meeting of the American Astronomical Society
Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena, California
12 – 16 June 2022

14 April 2022

Contact:
Susanna Kohler
AAS Press Officer
+1 202-328-2010 x127

Media Invited to 240th AAS Meeting in Pasadena in June

Astronomers will be gathering in Pasadena, California, this June for the first in-person meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in two and a half years. From 12 to 16 June 2022, astronomers, students, educators, and journalists will gather at the Pasadena Convention Center (300 E Green St, Pasadena, CA 91101) for the 240th AAS meeting. With an expanded science program, a fully hybrid setup, and more than double the typical number of summer-meeting presentations and registrants expected, this meeting is sure to make up for lost time! Social media hashtag: #aas240.

The AAS offers complimentary press registration — with both in-person and virtual options available — to bona fide working journalists and public-information officers (PIOs), as explained below. A highlight of AAS 240 for press registrants will be a press tour to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Friday, 17 June; see below for details.

AAS 240 Meeting Links

Press Registration

The AAS offers complimentary press registration to bona fide working journalists and PIOs, as described on the AAS press website.

There will be two options available to press registrants at AAS 240:

  1. Virtual Participation Press Registration
    This option provides online access to virtual meeting content, which will include live-streamed plenary talks, town halls, oral sessions, and press conferences; the iPoster gallery; and the AAS 240 Slack workspace. Content excluded: in-person receptions, some in-person-only Splinter Sessions and workshops, meeting excursions and press tour.
  2. In-Person Press – Full Meeting Registration
    This option provides admittance to all in-person meeting events, sessions, and spaces, and it includes access to all virtual content. Note that all in-person attendees must provide proof of vaccination prior to registration. We ask that you only select the full registration if you do intend to go to Pasadena, so that we can obtain an approximate on-site head count in advance.

Be sure to plan ahead — press registration for AAS 240 will take a little extra time! The process will consist of three steps:

  1. Request complimentary press registration by sending an email message to AAS Press Officer Dr. Susanna Kohler at susanna.kohler@aas.org with your name and media affiliation (or “freelance” if applicable). Upon confirming your eligibility, she’ll send you the url of the online registration form and the required press-registration code.
  2. If you plan to attend in person, submit proof of your vaccination status via the secure, third-party site provided, and await a verification code that you’ll need for registration. Note that it can take up to 48 hours for vaccination verification to be processed before you will be able to register.
  3. Use the press registration code from step 1 and the vaccination verification code from step 2 to submit your registration for the meeting.

Advance press registration deadline: Sunday, 5 June 2022. If you wait until the meeting is under way, we may not be able to process your registration in time for you to attend that day’s events. We strongly advise you register in advance to avoid last-minute complications; please send your email request to susanna.kohler@aas.org as soon as you know you’re coming to the meeting.

Full instructions and registration links are available on the AAS 240 press information page.

Press Facilities
USRA Logo

The AAS will operate a press office in Room 208 on the upper level of the Conference Center of the Pasadena Convention Center, with working space, printer/photocopier, power strips, and internet connectivity for reporters and PIOs. Thanks to the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) for generously sponsoring the press office with refreshments for on-site press registrants!

Press conferences will be hosted daily Monday – Thursday, 13–16 June, to showcase some of the most exciting recent astronomical discoveries. We expect two briefings most days, each lasting around an hour. The briefings will be held on-site and live-streamed on Zoom for virtual meeting participation. They will also be live-streamed on the AAS Press Office YouTube channel (where you will not be able to ask questions; to do that, you will need to participate via Zoom) and archived there.

Briefing schedule, topics, and speakers will be announced via another media advisory closer to the meeting date.

A dedicated press interview space, Room 215, will be available Sunday through Thursday for use by press registrants; use the online signup sheet here to reserve this room for use at specific dates and times.

Press Tour

NASA JPL

Press registrants will have the opportunity to join for a special tour after AAS 240 of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), geared specifically toward science journalists. JPL is a federally funded research and development center and NASA field center; its many active projects include the Perseverance Mars rover and the Ingenuity helicopter, the Juno spacecraft orbiting Jupiter, the NuSTAR X-ray telescope, and the forthcoming Psyche asteroid orbiter. You can read more about past JPL endeavors here and get a virtual preview of some of the things we’ll be seeing on our tour here.

The Psyche spacecraft in a JPL clean room

The tour will be held on Friday, 17 June. We estimate it will last approximately 3.5 hours, including 2 hours touring the laboratory followed by a 90-minute opportunity to talk in more detail with some of the leads on JPL’s astrophysics missions. Further details about the tour content and timing will follow at a later date. In the meantime, to sign up and ensure you receive news about this tour, please fill out the online expression of interest form.

Note that if you wish to attend the JPL press tour, you should not register for the AAS 240 attendee excursion to Mt. Wilson on Friday; these two events will conflict.

Program Points of Interest

Division Meetings

This summer’s AAS meeting will be jointly held with three AAS divisions: the Historical Astronomy Division (HAD), the High Energy Astrophysics Division (HEAD), and the Laboratory Astrophysics Division (LAD).

The HAD meeting will include events such as the special session “Centennial of an Eclipse: The 1922 Expedition that Clinched the Case for General Relativity,” and a splinter meeting on the preservation of astronomical heritage. Astro-historian William H. Donahue (St. John’s College / Green Lion Press) will give a prize lecture on Tuesday, 14 June, as the recipient of HAD’s 2022 LeRoy E. Doggett Prize for his decades-long career of scholarship and translations of critical and complex scientific works.

HEAD’s special sessions will include one in which the winners of the 2020 and 2021 Shaw Prize in Astronomy and Astrophysics — Roger Blandford, Victoria Kaspi, and Chryssa Kouveliotou — will talk about the work that won them the award. Francis Halzen (University of Wisconsin-Madison) will present the HEAD Bruno Rossi Prize lecture about the IceCube Collaboration’s discovery of a high-energy neutrino flux of astrophysical origin.

The LAD meeting will include several sessions throughout the week, including “The Salty Solar System” and “A Universe of Carbon.” Evelyne Roueff (Paris Observatory) will give the 2022 Laboratory Astrophysics Prize lecture, titled “The Molecular Outlook in Astrophysics: Past, Present, and Future.”

Prize Lectures & Invited Talks

In addition to the lectures mentioned above, AAS 240 will offer more than a dozen further prize and invited talks by distinguished astronomers. The meeting opens on Monday morning, 13 June, with the Kavli Foundation Plenary Lecture, which will be presented by Jane Greaves (Cardiff University) on her team’s unexpected discovery of phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus. The closing plenary talk, on Thursday afternoon, 16 June, is the Lancelot M. Berkeley – New York Community Trust Prize lecture, to be given by the CHIME/FRB team. The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment fast radio burst (FRB) team has discovered more than 500 new FRBs, providing valuable insight that has helped astronomers pinpoint the origins of these enigmatic signals.

Nicholas Scoville (Caltech) will present the Henry Norris Russell Lecture about his contributions to our understanding of molecular gas and star formation in the Milky Way and other galaxies. Via an exchange with the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), we’ll hear from Jocelyn Bell Burnell (University of Oxford, UK), winner of 2021 RAS Gold Medal in Astronomy for her research work that established the field of pulsar astronomy.

The Dannie Heineman Prize for outstanding mid-career work in the field of astrophysics is given jointly by the AAS and the American Institute of Physics. The 2022 Heineman Prize lecture will be co-presented by David Weinberg (Ohio State University) and Robert Lupton (Princeton University), who were honored for their essential contributions to facilitating, guiding, and participating in transformative science resulting from modern large-scale astronomical surveys at optical wavelengths.

Rounding out the prize lectures at AAS 240, Courtney Dressing (University of California, Berkeley) will give the Newton Lacy Pierce Prize plenary on multiplanet systems and pathways to habitable worlds; Rebekah Dawson (Pennsylvania State University) will present the Helen B. Warner Prize lecture on multifaceted views of planetary systems; Laura Kreidberg (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Germany) will present the Annie Jump Cannon Award plenary on the characterization of exoplanet atmospheres; and Sami Solanki (Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research) will give the Solar Physics Division’s George Ellery Hale Prize lecture on the Sun’s magnetic field, activity, and variability.

In addition, we’ll hear invited plenaries by Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate; Allison Strom (Princeton University) on the chemistry of galaxies across cosmic time; Héctor Arce (Yale University) on the future of radio science with Arecibo Observatory; and Gail Zasowski (University of Utah) on what we do and don’t know about our own Milky Way galaxy.

Town Halls, Special Sessions, Splinter Meetings

Additional programming includes eleven lunchtime and evening Town Hall meetings on astronomy and public policy featuring representatives from major astronomy organizations, facilities, and missions. Among the many Special Sessions and Splinter Meetings, a few highlights that may be of interest to the media are:

  • Addressing the Impact of Satellite Constellations on Astronomy: The Pathway Forward
  • AAS Policy Advocacy for Astro2020
  • An Update on Astrophysics and Cosmology from Cosmic Microwave Background Measurements in the Next Decade
  • The New Great Observatories
  • After the 2020 World-Wide Protests: Progress and Failures of Implementing Substantial Change in Astronomy

A Note on Visas and COVID-19 Restrictions for Travel to the United States

Visa requirements for international travelers to the USA have become more stringent, and COVID-19 travel restrictions and measures are currently in place for both US citizens and international citizens entering the country. If you are an international traveler, you are responsible for determining the current COVID-19 travel restrictions and visa requirements that apply to you. Additional information is available from the US State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you need a letter for a visa application certifying that you are registered for the meeting, please request your complimentary press registration as soon as possible; only after you complete it can AAS Press Officer Susanna Kohler send you such a letter.

AAS Press List

If you don't already receive press releases by email from the AAS Press Office, you should sign up now to guarantee that you receive future meeting advisories as well as other important announcements. To sign up for the AAS Press List at no charge, please fill out and submit the form you'll find linked from our Join the AAS Press List page. With few exceptions, only accredited journalists and PIOs are eligible to receive press releases from the AAS, as described on our press-credentials page.