242nd meeting

Registration & Field Trips

Albuquerque, New Mexico
242nd meeting of the American Astronomical Society
Albuquerque, New Mexico
4 – 8 June 2023

Please note that workshop participation is only available for meeting registrants; all workshop participants must be registered for the meeting in some capacity.

Some workshops are only available to in-person registrants and some are hybrid.

Open Science 101: Introduction to Open Science
Saturday 3 June, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
No cost / In Person

Open science, conducting science openly from project initiation through implementation, increases access to knowledge, expands opportunities for new voices to participate, and thereby accelerates discovery. The result is the inclusion of a wider, more diverse community in the scientific process as close to the start of research activities as possible. This increased level of commitment to conducting the full research process openly and without restriction enhances transparency and reproducibility, which engenders trust in the scientific process. It also represents a cultural shift that encourages collaboration and participation among practitioners of diverse backgrounds, including scientific discipline, gender, ethnicity, and expertise.

Success, however, depends on all of us working to change the paradigms and frameworks from which we operate. This is why NASA is pursuing an open-source science ethos; open-source science embraces the principles of open science and activates it in a way that unlocks the full potential of a more equitable, impactful, efficient, scientific future.

What is needed is cultural change. Opening up the scientific process requires that we shift to a paradigm that encourages open science behaviors and practices. To help catalyze and support cultural change within the scientific community, NASA has launched the Open-Source Science Initiative (OSSI), a long-term commitment to open-source science. To spark change and inspire open science engagement, OSSI has created the Transform to Open Science (TOPS) mission and declared 2023 as the Year Of Open Science.

But what does open science look like in practice? How does it lead to better results? How does it foster more diverse and inclusive scientific communities and research practices? In the NASA TOPS Introduction to Open Science workshop, we will introduce the ethos of open science. Learners will become familiar with the definitions central to open science and explore some concrete examples of the benefits to researchers, the pace and quality of science, and the public. The module will include best practices for building open science communities, increasing collaboration, and introducing open principles to project design, as well as an overview of open science norms. This module will also explore the historical impact of “closed” science, and how open science seeks to create a more diverse and equitable scientific community.

This workshop ultimately provides dialogue and training around open science, providing participants with an opportunity to gain skills that challenge the current norms and create a community which designs its scientific endeavors to be open from the start.

Small Ground and Space Telescopes in the New Era of Big Telescope Survey (Two days)
Saturday, 3 June, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday, 4 June, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
$35 / Hybrid

The era of big-data surveys by a few, large, well-funded, ground and space telescopes is upon us. Gaia, TESS, and the Vera Rubin Observatory immediately come to mind. What, in this new era, will be the role of the numerous small ground telescopes, as well as the growing number of small space telescopes? How, in the future, could these smaller telescopes best contribute to science? Small robotic ground telescopes, up to 1-meter in aperture, are now produced in quantity. Although small, general-purpose space telescopes are yet to be produced in quantity, this seems likely before the end of this decade. Many of the observational areas where small ground telescopes predominated in the past—such as variable star astronomy, transient event discovery, and asteroid tracking—will now be shared with the firehose of fully automated observations spewing forth from the large survey telescopes. This two-day AAS Albuquerque workshop will explore the capabilities, limitations, and gaps of both the large survey telescopes and the small ground and space telescopes. The workshop will also consider how these observational resources could best complement each other. Talks will be followed by working sessions to explore opportunities for cooperative research. The workshop is open to professional researchers, educators, students, and citizen scientists. If interested in attending either in-person or online, please contact any one of the organizers.

JWST Proposal Planning Workshop
Sunday, 4 June, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
$50 / In Person

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is revolutionizing our understanding of the universe with its unprecedented sensitivity and angular resolution at infrared wavelengths. This workshop will provide an overview of the JWST proposal and planning tools with a specific focus on the Exposure Time Calculator (ETC) and the Astronomer’s Proposal Tool (APT). In addition to seeing guided demonstrations, participants will take part in hands-on sessions and exercises to plan observations for selected science cases and observing modes. At the end of the workshop, a participant will be ready to use the JWST proposal tools to develop and submit a General Observer proposal.

Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.

An Introduction to the Julia Programming Language
Sunday, 4 June, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
$50 / Hybrid

The Julia programming language can be considered the successor to Scientific Python (SciPy). The language is designed for scientific computing by having built-in multidimensional arrays and parallel processing features. Yet, it can also be used as a general-purpose programming language like Python. Unlike Python, Julia solves the two-language problem by using just-in-time (JIT) compilation to generate machine code from high level expressions. In most cases, Julia is as fast as C, and in some cases faster. Julia is also a composable language, so independent libraries or packages usually work well together without any modification. These important features make Julia a very productive language for scientific software development by reducing the number of lines of code. Objectives: The objectives of this tutorial are to introduce astronomers and software developers to the basic language syntax, features, and power of the Julia programming language, and to show that Julia provides an easy migration path from languages such as Python. In other words, it is not necessary to rewrite all of your code all at once.

Structure: The tutorial will begin with simple interactive command-line (REPL) examples that emphasize important concepts and features of the language; namely, unicode characters, multidimensional arrays, data types or structures, functions, multiple dispatch, and namespaces. It will then combine these basic concepts to demonstrate some important features of the language; namely, composability, the two-language problem and benchmarking, the standard library, plotting, interfacing to other languages, symbolic manipulation, package management, and parallel processing and GPUs.

NASA ROSES Proposal Writing Workshop
Sunday, 4 June, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
$35 / In Person

The success of scientists depends upon their ability to obtain funding. One of the largest challenges is to create strong proposals. Using Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) from NASA Science Mission Directorate as a template, this presentation will focus on teaching the audience key points to communicating science through successful proposal writing. As a result of this session, participants will be able to understand the proposal writing, reviewing, and selection process for federally funded research. How to understand one’s values and maintain those throughout this process will also be focused on. We greatly appreciate support for this (and other upcoming workshops) from the NASA Science Mission Directorate!

Making Space for Art: Watercolor Workshop
Thursday, 8 June, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
$45 / In Person

This half-day workshop celebrates the overlap between astronomy and art, inviting participants from any background level to experience the joy of creating art in a welcoming, criticism-free space. Participants will paint their own work of art (inspired by astronomy and the night sky) to bring home from the meeting. This workshop will be led by AAS President and watercolor artist, Kelsey Johnson and AAS Vice President and permanent amateur artist, Adam Burgasser. The registration fee covers the space fee and all necessary art supplies.

For artists with less experience: Workshop leaders will walk participants through the process of painting their own watercolor piece of artwork inspired by astronomy and the night sky. We will start with an introduction to techniques and materials, followed by step-by-step instructions for creation of original art pieces. Templates will be provided for people wanting more guidance (at least one of which will be inspired by the New Mexican landscape), but participants are welcome to follow their own muse at any point!

For artists with more experience: We know there are several experienced artists who use a range of media in the AAS community, and we hope this workshop can serve as a convening space for creative cross-pollination and idea generation. This workshop is a great venue to creatively connect with colleagues, play with new techniques, develop new ideas, and close out the AAS meeting with imaginative flair. You are welcome to take off in your own direction from the start or work through step-by-step examples and support less-experienced artists. Feel free to bring samples of your own artwork for participants to study and enjoy!

Accessing NASA's Astrophysics Archives Using Python
Thursday, 8 June, 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
$35 / In Person

NASA's astrophysics archives preserve many terabytes of multi-wavelength images, catalogs, and spectra. While many astronomers are familiar with web-based tools that are convenient for searching and visualizing these data, programmatic interfaces through Python are increasingly in demand. This hands-on workshop will introduce participants to the programmatic data access tools available and the tutorial notebooks we offer. Note that we use NASA data in our examples, but the tools and methods are generic. We will describe science scenarios that combine multi-wavelength data from the HEASARC, IRSA, NED, and MAST that participants will then be encouraged to work through themselves. Workshop organizers will be available to help participants with them or adapt them for custom projects.