One of the largest and most prestigious astronomy conferences is coming to Flagstaff in 2014.
Lowell Observatory and its hometown, Flagstaff, Arizona, were recently selected to host the next "Cambridge Workshop on Cool Stars, Stellar Systems, and the Sun", also known as Cool Stars. This biennial conference began in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1980, and is now held at locales around the world.
Cool Stars 18 will take place at the High Country Conference Center, June 8-14, 2014. More than 400 astronomers from around the world are expected to be in attendance. Journalists will be offered complimentary press registration; details will be provided in a future advisory.
"This is a major feather in Flagstaff's cap," says the Observatory's director, Dr. Jeffrey Hall. "From modest beginnings, Cool Stars has grown to become one of the more substantial astronomical conferences, with international renown that attracts the world's top researchers in the field. We're delighted to have them here for a week sharing all the latest discoveries and enjoying everything Flagstaff and northern Arizona have to offer."
Cool Stars gathers worldwide experts in low-mass stars, solar physics and exoplanets, creating a stimulating cross-disciplinary exchange environment in these fields. Cool Star meetings have a long tradition of presenting cutting-edge science, as shown by outstanding results such as the discovery of the first extrasolar planet, or exoplanet, and the first confirmed brown dwarf, which were both first announced at Cool Stars 9 in Florence, Italy in 1995. Lowell astronomer Gerard van Belle is chairing Lowell's Cool Stars effort. "It is a real honor to have been competitively selected to host this prestigious meeting series," Dr. van Belle said. "It says a lot about how Lowell is viewed with high esteem in the world astronomy community."
Since 1993, Cool Stars hosts have alternated across the Atlantic; previous Cool Stars venues include Athens, GA; Barcelona, Spain; Boulder, CO (2 times); Cambridge, MA (4 times); Florence, Italy; Hamburg, Germany; Pasadena, CA; Santa Fe, NM; Seattle, WA (2 times); St. Andrews, Scotland; Tenerife, Spain; and Tucson, AZ.
Cool Stars 17 (CS17) was held this year in Barcelona, Spain. Dr. Mercedes Lopez-Morales, the chairwoman of CS17, noted, "The selection committee in Barcelona was thrilled by Lowell's proposal to organize Cool Stars 18 in Flagstaff. The combination of science and location were just perfect."
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Lowell Observatory (http://www.lowell.edu) is a private, non-profit research institution founded in 1894 by Percival Lowell. The Observatory has been the site of many important findings including the discovery of the large recessional velocities (redshift) of galaxies by V. M. Slipher in 1912-1914 (a result that led ultimately to the realization the universe is expanding), and the discovery of Pluto by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930. Today, Lowell's 20 astronomers use ground-based telescopes around the world, telescopes in space, and NASA planetary spacecraft to conduct research in diverse areas of astronomy and planetary science. The Observatory welcomes about 80,000 visitors each year to its Mars Hill campus in Flagstaff, Arizona for a variety of tours, telescope viewing, and special programs. Lowell Observatory currently has four research telescopes at its Anderson Mesa dark-sky site east of Flagstaff, and recently completed a four-meter class research telescope, the Discovery Channel Telescope.