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Archive for 2013

The Chelyabinsk Meteor: Can We Survive a Bigger Impact?

Dr. David MorrisonNovember 6, 2013

Dr. David Morrison (SETI Institute and NASA Ames Research Center)

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In February 2013, a rocky projectile entered the Earth’s atmosphere and its explosion, at an altitude of 14 mi, released energy equivalent to a couple dozen Hiroshima-sized atom bombs. About two minutes later, the shock wave reached the ground in Chelyabinsk, Russia, breaking windows and injuring about 1500 people from flying glass. Has this event served as a kind of cosmic wake-up call for planetary defense? NASA recently announced a “grand challenge” to find all asteroids that could threaten human populations, and to figure out how to deal with them. David Morrison, a nationally-recognized expert about asteroids, discusses the Russian impact and evaluates ways we might meet the grand challenge to protect our population from space debris.


2013 ASP Annual Report

2013 Annual Report (pdf, 3.1 MB)


How the Universe Went from Smooth to Lumpy: The Modern Origins Story

Dr. Eliot QuataertOctober 2, 2013

Dr. Eliot Quataert (University of California, Berkeley)

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Dr. Eliot Quataert provides an overview of the modern understanding of our origins in astrophysics. The story begins in the infant universe, which we now know was remarkably smooth compared to what we see around us today, with only tiny differences in its properties from one part to another. By contrast, in the present universe there are enormous differences in the properties of matter in different locations. Dr. Quataert describes how the universe has evolved to its current state, emphasizing how gravity reigns supreme and builds up the planets, stars, and galaxies required for biological evolution to proceed.


The Astronomical Society of the Pacific Invites Nominations for the Organization’s 2014 Annual Awards

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) is accepting nominations for the organization’s national annual awards which recognize special achievements in astronomy research, technology, education, and public outreach. More »


ASP Executive Director Opening

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) is seeking interested applicants for its Executive Director position. More »


Astronomical Society of the Pacific Executive Director Announces Plans to Depart

James Manning, ASP Executive Director, has announced plans to resign from the position effective February 7, 2014—the 125th birthday of the ASP. Manning has served as Executive Director since 2007. More »


Priscilla & Bart Bok Awards for Astronomy Presented to High-School Students at Intel International Science & Engineering Fair

One American high school student and one high school student from Slovakia are the winners of the 2013 Priscilla and Bart Bok Awards for their astronomy projects presented at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in May. More »


Prepare for the August Perseid Meteor Shower

Are you ready for the Perseids? Perhaps you have already seen some of them. This shower, part of the debris stream of comet Swift-Tuttle, actually starts in mid to late July and extends for most of August. However, while there will only be a few meteors each hour most of those nights (if you are lucky!), the peak time for viewing the shower (August 11-12) will bring many, many more. More »


The Astronomical Society of the Pacific Announces 2013 Award Recipients in Astronomy Research and Education

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), one the largest and most innovative astronomy and science education organizations in the U.S., is proud to announce the recipients of its 2013 awards for excellence in astronomy research and education. The awards will be formally presented at an ASP Banquet on July 23 in San Jose, CA as part of ASP’s Annual Meeting. More »


Astronomical Society of the Pacific Honors Dr. James E. Gunn with Prestigious Bruce Gold Medal Award

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), one of the most respected astronomy and astronomy education organizations in the U.S., has announced that Dr. James E. Gunn is the 2013 recipient of its prestigious Catherine Wolfe Bruce Gold Medal. Dr. Gunn, of Princeton University, is recognized for his lifetime achievements in astronomical theory, observation and instrumentation. More »