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Archive for 2013

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 »


Free Public Science Talks as Part of ASP’s 125th Annual Meeting on San Jose State University Campus

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), one of the most innovative and respected astronomy education organizations in the U.S., will host a series of public science talks in July by preeminent astronomers from NASA Ames, U.C. Davis and U.C. Berkeley. More »


Being a Mars Rover: What It’s Like on the Surface of Mars

May 15th, 2013

Dr. Lori Fenton (SETI Institute)

Listen (mp3 file, 25.1 MB)

The complex, yet flawless landing of the rover Curiosity on Mars in August 2012 led to worldwide acclaim. What has NASA’s youngest robot been up to since then, and what has it discovered? Where on Mars did it land and why was that site chosen above all others? Dr. Fenton gives an overview of the rover’s capabilities, accomplishments, and plans on Mars, and describes what it’s really like on the surface of the red planet.


The ASP’s Statement Regarding the Obama Administration’s GFY14 Budget Proposal Relating to NASA SMD EPO Funding

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), speaking from the perspective of 124 years of advancing science and science education, expresses its profound concern over the Obama Administration’s fiscal year 2014 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education restructuring proposal. More »


Free-floating Planets: When You’re Just Too Small to be a Star

Dr. Gibor BasriApril 17, 2013

Dr. Gibor Basri (University of California, Berkeley)

Listen (mp3 file, 34.4 MB)

The least massive star is six times heavier than the most massive known planet. In between is the realm of the mysterious “brown dwarfs.” The first of these was discovered only in 1995, the same year astronomers found the first planet beyond our solar system. Since then we have found hundreds of each, and new techniques are giving us even more power to probe the properties of these enigmatic bodies. Dr. Basri, one of the discoverers of brown dwarfs, summarizes the progress we have made in understanding the domain of cosmic objects that don’t qualify as stars.


2012 ASP Annual Report

2012 Annual Report (pdf, 1.8 MB)


Astronomy from the Stratosphere: NASA’s SOFIA Mission

Dr. Dana BackmanMarch 6, 2013

Dr. Dana Backman (Director of Education & Public Outreach, SOFIA Project, NASA Ames Research Center)

Listen (mp3 file, 28.1 MB)

Why did NASA buy a used passenger airliner, cut a 10′ x 10′ hole in the fuselage, add a roll-back door, and install a 17-ton telescope inside? Dr. Backman introduces us to the engineering marvel called SOFIA — the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy. This remarkable airborne telescope began scientific research flights in 2010 and is already returning exciting discoveries about the birth of stars, interstellar chemistry, the atmospheres of giant planets, the environment around supermassive black holes, and other branches of astronomy.


First Blog post

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2013 Board of Directors Nominations

The Nominations Committees of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific have announced the candidates for election to the ASP Board of Directors. More »


Abstracts Now Being Accepted for 2013 Annual Meeting

The ASP is now accepting abstract proposals for its 2013 Annual Meeting, “Ensuring STEM Literacy.” More »