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Guidelines for Spark Contributors


Spark publishes original articles on astronomy education about, or related to, the education programs and activities of the American Astronomical Society and its members. Reading previous issues will give you an idea of the types of articles that appear in the newsletter. Opinion pieces, reviews, letters to the editor, and newsworthy items are all welcome, subject to the guidelines below.

Authors are expected to be AAS members or affiliates at the time of publication; exceptions are at the discretion of the editors.

Unsolicited Contributions

Please contact the editors (see above) with a brief description of your proposed contribution. If the editors accept your proposal, they will let you know an appropriate length and format for the article.

Contributions from AAS Divisions and committees are welcome. Submissions must be received from individuals who are identifiable as chairs or education representatives of the Divisions or committees in question. Submissions should be made by email to the editors (see above); be sure to include the name of the relevant Division or committee.

Solicited Contributions

When inviting specific articles, the editors will inform authors of the suggested word or page length (pages are approximately 400 words) and the deadline by which the article is needed.

Text & Formatting

Submissions are preferred in Microsoft Word format (.doc or .docx) or equivalent.

Article text should start with the article title followed by the author's/authors' name(s) and affiliation(s).

Authors should limit formatting to the use of underlining, italicization, and/or boldface for emphasis. If tables, symbols, or bulleted lists are used, please alert the editors so that they pay special attention to preserving such formatting in the final version. References, when appropriate, may be included following AAS journal guidelines.

Images & Illustrations

Color, grayscale, and black-and-white images and illustrations will be considered for inclusion; please send a small but legible JPEG of each suggested graphic or image to the editors for consideration. For each accepted graphic or image, the editors will request a high-resolution TIFF for use in preparing the newsletter for publication. Each graphic or illustration should be provided as a separate file.

Each author should also provide a color or grayscale "mug shot" in portrait (vertical) format with a 2:3 ratio of width to height. Minimum size: 100 x 150 pixels.

Each graphic should be accompanied by a short caption and a credit to the source; the author(s) will be responsible for securing rights/permissions to use graphics provided by third parties.

Submitting Your Text & Graphics

The article text and accompanying image/illustration files should be submitted via email to both of the editors: Jake Noel-Storr ( and Gina Brissenden (