Press Release

201st Meeting of the American Astronomical Society January 5-9, 2003 in Seattle, Washington

By SpaceRef Editor
December 10, 2002
Filed under ,

The American Astronomical Society announces the Prize Lecturers,
Invited Speakers, and Special Sessions for its 201st national meeting,
January 5-9 at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center Center,
800 Convention Place, Seattle, WA 98101. Besides these highlights,
there will be several very newsworthy press conferences (details to be
announced) a Seminar for Science Writers on Infrared Astronomy (to
review some of the major science problems in this field prior to the
launch of NASA’s SIRTF observatory), and a press trip to the gravity
research laboratory at the University of Washington, where experiments
test the law of gravity on small scales and may even inform on the Fifth
Dimension. The press trip is on the afternoon of January 9.

About 1300 scientific papers will be presented at the meeting, with
an expected attendance of 2000 astronomers. The AAS is meeting jointly
with its High Energy Astrophysics Division, so there will be many
reports on black holes, X-ray and gamma-ray astronomy, and cosmic rays.

EXCITING NEWS at the AAS meeting is expected in the areas of extrasolar
planetary systems, new features of the Milky Way, gravity, dark matter,
and the “dark ages” in the early history of the Universe.

There will be newsworthy reports from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey,
the National Science Foundation’s Very Long Baseline Array and Very
Large Array, operated by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, from
NASA’s premier facilities including the Hubble Space Telescope and
its recently installed Advanced Camera for Surveys, and from the
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the U.S. Naval Observatory.

It is strongly recommended that journalists make hotel reservations
immediately. The principal hotels at an AAS meeting sell out long
before the meeting. Lodging information is on page 2.

PRESS CONFERENCES begin on Monday January 6 at 9:30 AM PST and extend
through Thursday morning, January 9. The Press Tour to the gravity
lab will depart the Convention Center at 1 PM PST Jan. 9 and return
by about 5 PM. Press Vans courtesy of the University of Washington.

PRIZE LECTURES. The Warner Prize Lecture on “Seeking Higher-redshift
Supernovae, Searching for the Epoch of Deceleration,” will be
presented by Adam G. Reiss (Space Telescope Science Institute).
George Wallerstein (U. Washington) will deliver the Russell Prize
Lecture, on “The Origin and Composition of the Galactic Halo.” The
Rossi Prize Lecture features recent findings from NASA’s most advanced
orbiting X-ray telescope; Leon P. VanSpeybroeck (Harvard-Smithsonian
Center for Astrophysics) will speak on “Examples of Significant
Chandra Imaging Observations.” And the Chandra observatory is featured
in the Pierce Prize Lecture on “Supermassive Black Holes in the
Distant Universe,” by Amy Barger (U. Wisconsin & U. Hawaii).

MORE INFORMATION: Dr. Steve Maran, AAS Press Officer, 301 286-5154
through January 2; from the afternoon of January 3, c/o Hilton Seattle
Hotel, 206-624-0500. From Noon, January 5, c/o AAS Press Room,
Washington State Convention Center, 206 219-4601, -4602, & -4603,
FAX 206-219-4604; ask for Steve Maran or Prof. Larry Marschall,
Deputy Press

SpaceRef staff editor.