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ASP E-Newsletter


April 2012

Communicating Science - A National Conference on Science Education and Public Outreach.

ASP Celebrates Astronomy Day Across the U.S.

Sky Rangers Workshop.

Solar Gazing with Night Sky Network.

AFGU Educator of the Month: Patrick Hagarty.

Explore "How it Began" with ASP Board Member Chris Impey's New Book!



ASP meeting logo

Communicating Science: A National Conference on Science Education and Public Outreach
Tucson, Arizona, August 4-8, 2012

Registration open! Abstracts welcome! Join us in Tucson, national astronomy destination for scientists, educators, communicators and amateur astronomers alike, for a three-day symposium on the joys and challenges of:

  • Communicating our understanding of the universe across diverse audiences
  • Keeping pace with ever-evolving communication technologies
  • Debunking the doomsayers’ end-of-days scenario
  • And much more!

Among other leading science voices, the Annual Meeting will feature Philip Christensen, Michael Mann, Sheila Tobias, David Morrison and Charles Petit.




Send Your Favorite Teacher to Mars – or at least to Tucson!

A hands-on astronomy workshop August 4-5 for teachers in grades 3 – 12 from the Galileo Teacher Training Program and part of the 124th ASP Annual Meeting

Celebrating NASA’s Year of the Solar System & the Landing of the Curiosity Rover on Mars!

Workshop will include:

  • Teaching astronomy in the context of the Framework for K-12 Science Education and upcoming new science standards
  • Mars exploration and planetary science, basic astronomy concepts (size and scale, Earth motion, calendars and seasons, lunar phases and eclipses)
  • Evidence-based argumentation and misconceptions (2012, astrology)
  • Hints for engaging students from diverse cultures. Participants will receive their own copy of The Universe at Your Fingertips 2.0 (an extensive collection of astronomy teaching resources on DVD-ROM) and other classroom resources
  • And more …!

Join us for two days of active engagement in and exploration of the universe and how to bring it all to your students!

Full conference information.

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ASP meeting logo

ASP Celebrates Astronomy Day Across the U.S.

ASP staff will represent the organization at diverse events across the country in celebration of Astronomy Day, Saturday, April 28: Northeast Astronomy Forum in Suffern, NY, California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, and 2nd Annual Science & Engineering Festival in Washington DC!





Sky Rangers at Yosemite

Sky Rangers Workshop

ASP staff have been busy training interpreters in parks to share the sky with their visitors through the Astronomy from the Ground Up program. A Sky Rangers Online Workshop took place January 23 - March 16. Each of the 54 participants received a free toolkit of materials for a variety of outdoor astronomy activities, spent time under the night sky learning to star hop among the constellations, and completed an assignment to develop and present a short constellation tour.

Then on March 18, ASP education manager Suzy Gurton presented a 90-minute workshop at the Region 9 section of the National Association of Interpretation for a dozen attendees in Yosemite National Park. After an historical review of the upcoming annular solar eclipse and transit of Venus, a newly developed Our Magnetic Sun toolkit was featured as a source of interpretive materials to support their events, with an emphasis on the idea that through monitoring solar activity, we are discovering new connections to Sun that have a major impact on our way of life.

A two-week Interpreting Our Magnetic Sun online workshop for park rangers and museum educators is scheduled to run April 30 – May 11. The workshop will cover the use of the toolkit materials and the background science, as well as how to organize daytime astronomy events. 101 participants representing 96 institutions will be participating.

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Adult and child using telescope and solar glasses
Photo: Roger Kennedy

Solar Gazing with Night Sky Network

These solar gazers were on a tour from Mexico via El Paso, Texas, and stopped by during the Albuquerque Astronomical Society's Solar Sunday outreach activity at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History. Solar gazing is a great way to engage families in astronomy outreach and the ASP is happy that NSN club members are reaching international audiences!

The club also used Shadows & Silhouettes and Exploring the Solar System, ASP/NSN activities that you can find on the NSN website. Remember to mark your calendar for these events. NSN clubs will be doing lots of solar gazing using the Our Magnetic Sun ToolKit.

April 28, 2012, Astronomy Day/Global Star Party
May 20, 2012, Ring of Fire Solar Eclipse
June 5, 2012, Transit of Venus

Follow NSN on Twitter http://twitter.com/nightskynetwork and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/nightskynetwork.

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Patrick Hagarty

AFGU Educator of the Month: Patrick Hagarty

Congratulations to the Astronomy From the Ground Up (AFGU) Educator of the Month, Patrick Hagarty, a Field Teacher at Camp Campbell Outdoor Science School in Boulder Creek, CA. Patrick uses activities such as the NASA Night Sky Network's Pocket Solar System, Cosmic Survey, and Earth as a Peppercorn/Planet Walk. He learned about these activities at the AFGU Fall 2010 Sky Rangers workshop in Yosemite, California. Find out more about Patrick's program and how he improvises on these great activities. Try them yourself or pass them on to a friend!

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How it Began book

Explore "How it Began" with ASP Board Member Chris Impey's New Book!

We congratulate ASP Board member Chris Impey on the recent publication of his new book, “How it Began – A Time Traveler’s Guide to the Universe” (Norton, 434 pages, $27.95). Reviewed in March by The Wall Street Journal, Manjit Kumar writes:

In clear, enthusiastic and occasionally lyrical prose, [Dr.] Impey takes the reader on a mind-blowing tour back through eons, stopping along the way to explain the formation of the solar system, the birth and death of stars, white dwarfs, supernovas, spiral galaxies, cosmic inflation, string theory, black holes and M-theory—an extension of string theory featuring 11 space-time dimensions that can be curled up into the four we're familiar with in 10500 (1 followed by 500 zeros) ways. Each such solution leads to another potential universe, but ours is the one that interests [Dr.] Impey.

A more in-depth look at “How it Began” will soon follow in an upcoming Astronomy Beat. Congratulations Chris! 

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kid wearing spacesuit

Help foster scientific curiosity, science literacy and the joy of exploration & discovery through astronomy … for tomorrow’s science, technology and academic leaders! Share the gift of membership in the ASP!


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Universe at Your Fingertips 2.0

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Courtesy of MWT Associates

Join us on our tour of Australia for the 2012 total eclipse.
November 2012

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Spring Fund Drive Underway!

Your support of our 2012 Spring Fund Drive furthers our mission to foster scientific curiosity, advance science literacy, and share the joy of exploration & discovery - for tomorrow's science, technology and academic leaders. The ASP is a 501c3 nonprofit organization and your donation is tax deductible as provided by law.


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