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ASP E-Newsletter

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June 2012

EVENTS
Twice in a lifetime ... Transit of Venus

ASP at Lawrence Hall of Science for Transit Day!

ASP NEWS
Vermin of the skies? A new look at asteroids!

ASP 2012 Annual Meeting: Abstracts Aplenty

Thoughts? Suggestions? Feedback? The ASP wants to hear from YOU. Member survey on its way!

ASP CHAMPIONS
Thank you, Noelle Filippenko and Sam Sweiss

 

EVENTS

 
transit of Venus
Image courtesy of David Cortner

Twice in a lifetime ... Transit of Venus

Two astronomers observed it in 1639. Hundreds viewed it in 1769. Hundreds of thousands of spectators caught at least a glimpse of it in 1882. No one knows how many millions — perhaps even hundreds of millions — witnessed it in 2004. And June 5/6, 2012, is your only opportunity to see it. So, where will you be during this year’s transit of Venus? Join ASP at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley! (See article below.)

The phrase “once in a lifetime” denotes a rare event. A Venus transit is actually a twice-in-a-lifetime event, because two transits occur within a span of eight years. But each transit pair is separated from the next (and previous) pair by more than a century. Since the invention of the telescope, only three transit sets have occurred: 1631 and 1639; 1761 and 1769; and 1874 and 1882. Miss 2012 and you’ll have to wait 105 years — until December 11, 2117 — for the start of the next transit pair (2117 and 2125)!

More than 100 Night Sky Network clubs all over the US will be sharing this special event with their communities and using the newest solar outreach ToolKit to enhance the experience. You won’t want to miss it!

 For more information, please visit ASP Transit of Venus.

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The Lawrence Hall of Science

ASP at Lawrence Hall of Science for Transit Day!

Join the ASP and observe the Transit of Venus at the Lawrence Hall of Science. Although the last transit of Venus was in 2004, it happened in the middle of the night for the West Coast, so it was impossible to observe directly without traveling. This time, the transit is visible from Berkeley, starting at 3:06 p.m. PT until sunset.

Past transits of Venus helped astronomers determine the size of our Solar System, and explorers literally risked their lives and fortunes to observe one. Today, observing is not a risky venture, but it should be no less exciting. The Hall will have several solar telescopes for viewing the transit of Venus safely on the main plaza of the Lawrence Hall of Science. Try out new solar activity kits developed by the ASP, with staff available to answer many of your transit questions.

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ASP NEWS

 
kids using solar glasses
The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will launch in 2016, spend 505 days at 1999 RQ36 and return a sample of the asteroid to Earth In 2023.

Vermin of the skies? A new look at asteroids!

Long ago astronomers used to call asteroids “vermin of the skies.” These small rocky bodies “got in the way” of “important” objects of study. But now asteroids are one of the hottest topics of interest for researchers, students and policy makers. They are destinations, remnants of earliest materials, sources for precious minerals, possible threats and even targets for human colonization. In this edition of Universe in the Classroom, find out about asteroids and the insights they can provide into the origins of the solar system, and how the OSIRIS-REx mission will return a sample of an asteroid to Earth for study by scientists.

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ASP meeting logo

ASP 2012 Annual Meeting: Abstracts Aplenty

The ASP has accepted over 160 abstracts for the “Communicating Science” conference that will be the centerpiece of our Annual Meeting this summer in Tucson. The Program Committee has accepted 26 hands-on workshops, 12 special interest group discussion sessions, 9 sessions of 10-minute oral presentations (up to 5 per hour), and so far 80 poster presentations. There is still time to submit additional poster paper abstracts until June 11th.

In addition to the plenary speakers and panels that have already been announced, we will have sessions on such topics as the next generation of science standards, the importance of math literacy, evaluation strategies, writing effective press releases, a portable human orrery, Native American skywatching and storytelling, digital tools about climate change, communicating science to girls, hands-on video journalism, family learning activities and dealing with science misconceptions.

Very reasonable hotel rates have been arranged for this meeting, but rooms are going fast. We encourage you to check out meeting details today!

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member survey postcard front


The ASP wants to hear from our members!

As a highly valued member of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, your feedback and perspective are crucial to the health of the organization and the furthering of our mission.

A new member survey will soon be en route to you and should take no longer than 5 to 10 minutes to complete. Please keep an eye out for a special postcard and follow-up email with further instructions.

As a way of thanking you for your time, respondents who provide their name will be entered into a special drawing for an autographed copy of ASP board member Chris Impey’s new book “How it Began – A Time Traveler’s Guide to the Universe.”

Not a member and wish to provide feedback to us? Please join the ASP today and we’ll make sure the survey reaches you, too.

Thank you for your support of ASP!

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ASP CHAMPIONS

 
Thank You!


Thank you friends of the ASP: Noelle Filippenko and Sam Sweiss

Every so often, the ASP likes to recognize the unsung heroes associated with the organization whose active championship of our mission results in increased exposure and raised funds. This past January, the ASP hosted A Stellar Evening which featured planet hunter Dr. Geoff Marcy from UC Berkeley. The event was a great success in introducing the ASP to many new friends in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. The ASP wishes to thank volunteer Noelle Filippenko for her dynamo organizational efforts, and Sam Sweiss of ScopeCity for his silent auction contributions.

Mark your calendars now for our 2013 winter mini-gala: Friday, January 25!

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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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Courtesy of MWT Associates

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

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ASP Legacy Giving

Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another
-- Plato

Leave a universal legacy...

Astronomy shows us that we are part of something much greater than ourselves, and that our actions on earth have a lasting impact. A legacy gift to ASP as part of your estate plan reflects this understanding, and will support future generations as they reach for the stars.

ASP Legacy Giving

 

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