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Revive Yourself with Some Afternoon Astronomy Coffee!

Monday, July 17, 2017 - 08:29

You are cordially invited to "Afternoon Astronomy Coffee" at 3 pm Eastern time on the second and fourth Thursday of every month. These online events, attended by working scientists and the general public alike, are part of a weekly series highlighting the amazing research being done by the astronomical community. The discussions are informal, modeled after "science coffees" held in universities and research organizations everywhere — but with a twist. We explore — with members of the teams doing the investigations — the motivations for various lines of research, the tools and techniques used in ground- and space-based studies, and the latest headline-making discoveries.

Over the past year we have probed the solar system, exoplanets, black holes, the early universe, quasars, and life in the universe along with the technologies used to explore these objects and phenomena. We have also taken time to reflect upon the significance of current work in the astronomical sciences and to anticipate some of the discoveries expected from forthcoming telescopes on mountaintops and in orbit. 

Typically we have between 500 and 1,500 participants in our hangouts. They don't just sit and watch — they can submit questions during the session. The conversation is guided by moderator Tony Darnell (Deep Astronomy) assisted by one of our hangout science team: Carol Christian (STScI), Alberto Conti (Northrop Grumman), or Harley Thronson (NASA Goddard).

Live streams are provided simultaneously through multiple channels, including Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, and Periscope, and participants can interact with us through those platforms and others, including Twitter (hashtag #AstroCoffee). Each session is archived on YouTube, where viewers number 3,000 to 8,000 per video. Interest in each newly posted hangout persists for many months.

The weekly hangouts are supported by the AAS and the American Astronautical Society (the other AAS), thereby representing scientists and engineers involved in astrophysics and space science. The full series includes "Afternoon Astronomy Coffee" (second and fourth Thursday), "Footsteps to Mars" (first Thursday), and "Future in Space" (third Thursday).

We get ideas for programs from peer-reviewed journals, news sites such as AAS Nova, and press releases. We would love to hear from you about your research and your willingness to participate in one of our hangouts. We are especially eager to hear from young, emerging talent in the astronomical sciences and related engineering fields. We also encourage students at all levels to join us in our live Thursday-afternoon discussions and to check the archive for new episodes as well as earlier ones you might have missed.

See you online!

Carol A. Christian
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