16 February 2022

Join Us at AAS 240 in Pasadena

Kevin Marvel

Kevin Marvel American Astronomical Society (AAS)

AAS 240 banner image

Southern California is a powerhouse of astronomical research. From the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to the Mount Wilson and Palomar Observatories, Big Bear Observatory, IPAC, Owens Valley Radio Observatory, the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy, and Griffith Observatory; from UC San Diego to UC Los Angeles, Caltech, UC Santa Barbara, UC Riverside, and UC Irvine; the list of institutions and people contributing to the advancement of astronomy, planetary science, and heliophysics goes on and on. This dense cluster of research activity is just one reason why the 240th AAS meeting is going to be such an amazing conference.

Another is the fantastic scientific program the AAS Vice Presidents (VPs), staff, and community members have put together following the unfortunate cancelation of AAS 239. There will be a wide range of Workshops, Splinter Sessions, Town Halls, and contributed sessions along with an engaging exhibition space representing our community and the institutions and companies that support our research. Nearly all the prize speakers, including the Russell lecturer, have agreed to present their talks in Pasadena this June at AAS 240. To accommodate the additional talks, the meeting has been expanded to four full days from the normal summer format of three and half days. This will allow 16 plenary and prize talks in addition to more sessions than we normally have at our summer meeting.** We will also be meeting jointly with the Historical Astronomy Division, High Energy Astrophysics Division, and Laboratory Astrophysics Division, each bringing their own dynamic program to share with the broader community.

National Science Foundation

In addition to the exceptional science happening at AAS 240, few places can match Pasadena in early June for comfortable weather, clear skies (most of the time!), and a welcoming array of restaurants and enjoyable side activities to pursue before the meeting or during some downtime (Huntington Gardens or Getty Center, anyone?). But the meeting itself will be jam-packed with great scientific content and provide ample opportunity for networking with friends and colleagues.

In anticipation of possible disruption due to the coronavirus, we are planning the meeting as a fully hybrid conference. This means that almost all content will be available to all attendees, whether you register for the in-person meeting or the virtual format (Workshop and Splinter organizers can decide whether they want to choose the hybrid option). We will therefore be able to convert to a fully virtual meeting if another wave of the pandemic arises. To enable this ability to switch to fully virtual, all posters will be in iPoster format, and no physical posters will be displayed at the meeting. We’ve also made enhancements to the iPoster platform, including the ability to upload a PDF version of a poster, record voice-over narration for the iPoster, and schedule timeslots to interact with people interested in your research. We believe that the additional functionality really boosts the impact of iPosters, while making it easier than ever to share your research in this format. This strategic positioning will carry additional costs, but these costs are well worth the ability to bring virtual participants fully into the meeting and to pivot seamlessly to an entirely virtual meeting should the need arise.

AAS 240 is going to be an amazing gathering that you will not want to miss. We hope you will join your friends and colleagues in contributing to (and enjoying) a truly dynamic and engaging scientific program in the lovely weather and welcoming environment of Pasadena. See you there 12-16 June!


**As much as we want this summer meeting to be as big and busy as a normal winter meeting, the physical space available at the Pasadena Convention Center and at our meeting hotels is insufficient to accommodate all possible sessions, including some proposed Special Sessions, Workshops, private and public Splinter Meetings, and Meetings-in-a-Meeting. We apologize if some proposed sessions will need to be turned down for this meeting due to space limitations, and we encourage all proposers to also consider the winter meeting in Seattle in January 2023 (AAS 241) as an opportunity to host such sessions.