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Astronomical Society of the Pacific Newsletter
November 2013
  • Timothy Ferris to Keynote ASP’s 125th Anniversary Dinner on February 7, 2014
  • ASP’s 125th Anniversary Commemorative 2014 Calendar Now on Sale
  • Call for Nominations: ASP 2014 Annual Awards
  • Save the Date: 2014 Annual Meeting, August 2-6 in Burlingame, CA (South of San Francisco)
  • ASP Fall Appeal Underway: A Celebration of Teachers and How You Can Help!
  • What to Look Up for in November (ISON or off?)
  • Bring the Wonders of the Universe to Your Future Classroom
  • Build Your Own Telescope
  • MISSION: MARS, Exploring Mars with Pascal Lee
  • 2014 Bay Area Project ASTRO Introductory Workshop
  • Dr. George H. Herbig

Timothy Ferris to Keynote at ASP’s 125th Anniversary Dinner on February 7, 2014
The ASP is pleased and excited to announce that award-winning astronomy writer, journalist, lecturer, and educator, Timothy Ferris, will present the keynote address at the ASP’s 125th Anniversary Dinner Gala on February 7, 2014 in San Francisco. The evening will celebrate and showcase the ASP and the organization’s 125 years of empowering and inspiring astronomy education and outreach. Mr. Ferris’ talk will be entitled. “The State of the Universe,” weaving in historic and contemporary astronomy themes.
Timothy FerrisNominated for both the Pulitzer Prize and National Book award, Mr. Ferris is the author of a dozen books, among them “Seeing in the Dark,” “The Whole Shebang,” and “Coming of Age in the Milky Way,” which was translated into fifteen languages and named by The New York Times as among the leading books published in the twentieth century. A former newspaper reporter and editor of Rolling Stone magazine, he has written more than two hundred articles and essays for publications such as The New Yorker, National Geographic, The New York Review of Books, Forbes, Harper's, Life, Nature, Time, Newsweek, Readers' Digest, Scientific American, The Nation, The New Republic, and The New York Times.
Called "the best popular science writer in the English language" by The Christian Science Monitor and "the best science writer of his generation" by The Washington Post, Mr. Ferris has received the American Institute of Physics prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
An annual fundraising event for ASP programs and services, tickets for the 125th Anniversary Dinner are on sale via this link.
ASP’s 125th Anniversary Commemorative 2014 Wall Calendar Now on Sale
ASP Astronomy calendarIn honor of the ASP’s 125th anniversary in 2014, the organization is selling a limited edition commemorative wall calendar featuring stunning astrophotography submitted by our own Night Sky Network community members and other sources. In addition to “what to look up for” each month, the calendar will also include key dates, milestones, and “firsts” from the ASP’s extensive and diverse history. The calendar is being sold to help raise funds for ASP programs and services, and will make a perfect holiday or year-end thank you gift for friends, family members, colleagues and clients! Size: 13" x 10.5".
One calendar for $20
Three calendars for $15 each (25% discount)
Five calendars for $10 each (50% discount)
(Shipping and handling charges apply)
Please visit the ASP’s AstroShop for more details.
Call for Nominations: ASP’s 2014 Annual Awards!

Bruce MedalKnow an awesome astronomy teacher at the high school or college level? Someone making exciting strides in astronomy instrumentation or software? A dedicated, accomplished amateur astronomer? The ASP is now accepting nominations for the organization’s 2014 annual awards which recognize special achievements in astronomy research, technology, education, and public outreach. Nominations are welcome in seven categories, online or in writing, until January 1, 2014. Honorees receive a cash award and engraved plaque, as well as travel and lodging to accept the award at a banquet which takes place as part of the ASP’s Annual Meeting next summer. Please click here for award categories and the nomination process.
ASP 2014 Annual Meeting to take place August 2 to 6, South of San Francisco – Save the date!
ASP 125th Anniversary logoIn our 125th anniversary year, the ASP is excited to host our marquee conference for education and outreach professionals under the banner of “Celebrating Science: Putting Education Best Practices to Work.” The event will take place at the Hyatt Regency in charming Burlingame, CA, conveniently located near San Francisco International Airport. As you have come to expect from the ASP, we are organizing diverse and intellectually rigorous workshops and lectures, along with networking opportunities to provide E/PO professionals with the latest in formal and informal education best practices. Please visit the ASP Annual Meeting site regularly for early bird registration, exhibit information, sponsorship opportunities, and destination highlights.
ASP 2013 Fall Appeal Underway: A Celebration of Teachers and How You Can Help!
Why do teachers matter? What makes a great teacher? How can you support teachers in their pursuit of relevance and greatness in the classroom?
Few professions have a more lasting impact on our future than teachers, for they prepare young hearts and minds for the challenges and opportunities that will shape human destiny. At the ASP, we’ve been helping to determine this future for decades—by supporting the great work of teachers in astronomy and science.  You can help, too. Donors to the ASP put training and tools into the hands of educators at all grade levels to advance science understanding and literacy in order to prepare our next generation of leaders. Read more and donate here!
Look Up in November
Comet ISONDuring the month, Comet ISON will be speeding in toward the Sun. At the time this newsletter was written, brightness predictions were still uncertain. But astronomers do know where it will be. On the 22nd and 23rd, the comet (in the dawn sky) passes some 5° to the right of Mercury and Saturn, and on the 24th it’s 5° to the lower right of those two planets. Unfortunately, all three objects are a mere 5° above the east-southeast horizon some 45 minutes before sunrise. Use binoculars to find brighter Mercury, then dimmer Saturn below before hunting for ISON.
On the 26th, Mercury and Saturn are a mere ½° apart. Meanwhile Venus is about as high as it will get in the sunset sky this year, which isn’t saying much. Some 45 minutes after sunset, Venus is 15° above the southwest horizon. Fortunately it’s extremely bright and hence impossible to miss. The crescent Moon passes above it on the 6th.
Jupiter (in Gemini) rises in mid-evening and stands high in the south well before dawn. On the 21st the Moon rises just to Jupiter’s lower right. Mars rises after midnight and is well up in the southeast by dawn. The Moon, just past Last Quarter, is to Mars’s right as both rise on the 27th. Finally, on the 3rd a total eclipse of the Sun sweeps across central Africa. Observers on the east coast of North America will see the conclusion of a modest partial solar eclipse at sunrise.
[Image: Comet ISON. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)]

Teacher and studentsBring the Wonders of the Universe to Your Future Classroom!
Astronomy in the Classroom for Pre-service Teachers

When: Saturday, November 16, 9:00am – 12:30pm
Location: Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 390 Ashton Avenue, San Francisco, CA
Specifically designed for pre-service teachers, this workshop will engage participants in inquiry-based teaching methods for presenting earth and space science content; and NASA-developed education resources useful in the classroom. This professional development opportunity includes a general introduction to basic concepts in astronomy, including the pedagogy of conducting hands-on activities which emphasize science practices in the context of the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards, and connections to the Common Core Standards.
Each participant will receive ASP’s best-selling The Universe at Your Fingertips 2.0 DVD-ROM education resource, a $30 value.
Audience: Future Elementary, Middle, and High School Teachers who will include science content in their curriculum
Cost: FREE to individuals enrolled in a pre-service teacher program
Please click here to register.
For more information, please email Brian Kruse:

Build Your Own Telescope!
Using the Galileoscope to Teach Light and Optics in the Classroom

When: Saturday, January 11, 2014, 9:00am – 1:00pm
Location: College of San Mateo Science Building, 1700 West Hillsdale Blvd., San Mateo, CA
Learn about how telescopes work and how to use the Galileoscope in your classroom. Through hands-on activities in light and optics, workshop participants will learn about the behavior of light and build their own Galileoscope, modeled on the telescope Galileo used to observe mountains on the Moon, the moons of Jupiter, the phases of Venus, and more! Each teacher participant will receive a set of Galileoscopes for use in their classroom. Space is limited so register early!
Audience: 3rd - 9th grade teachers; interested educators of all grade levels
Cost: $30
Please click here to register.

MISSION: MARS, Exploring Mars with Pascal Lee
When: Saturday, January 25, 2014, 9:00am – 1:00pm
Location: SETI Institute, 189 Bernardo Ave #100, Mountain View, CA
Subzero temperatures, killer rays, raging dust storms…Mars is a hostile planet. Could anything survive there? One job for Future Mars Explorers: Stay alive and help search for alien life. The mission now: start training to become one of the first human explorers of the Red Planet. Guided by renowned Mars expert Pascal Lee and educators from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and the SETI Institute, workshop participants will get a look at what it will take to send humans to the Red Planet. They will discover how to gear up for survival, navigate a spaceship, search for alien life, and so much more. Participants will also get a sneak peek at the latest designs for future Mars ships, spacesuits, and exploration rovers. The future of space exploration starts now!
Bring the excitement of Mars exploration to your classroom with MISSION: MARS! Mars exploration activities in this workshop will help educators make a connection into the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core.
Audience: 3rd – 8th grade teachers; interested educators of all grade levels
Cost: $30
Please click here to register.

2014 San Francisco Bay Area Project ASTRO Introductory Workshop
When: Friday, July 25 9:00am – 4:30pm / Saturday, July 26 9:00am – 4:30pm (attendance on both days is required)
Location: College of San Mateo Science Department and Planetarium, San Mateo, CA
Project ASTRO is a program that matches teachers with astronomers in Bay Area schools and community organizations. Project ASTRO is looking for 3rd–9th grade teachers to work with volunteer astronomers who have a keen interest in sharing the wonders of astronomy with students. Together, teachers and their astronomer partner attend a free 2-day summer workshop to learn hands-on, inquiry-based astronomy activities designed to involve students in the excitement of scientific discovery.
Audience: Teachers in grades 3 – 9, and volunteer astronomers with a passion for sharing their love of astronomy
Cost: FREE!
Please click here to apply.

In Memoriam: Bruce Medalist Dr. George H. Herbig (1920–2013)
Dr. George H. HerbigDr. George H. Herbig, astronomer emeritus at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a member of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, has died at the age of 93. He joined the faculty of the UH Institute for Astronomy in 1987 after a long and distinguished career at the Lick Observatory, now part of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and he attained emeritus status at UHM in 2001.
He has been widely acclaimed for his pioneering studies of star formation and the properties and evolution of young stars. His contributions laid the foundation for much of what we know about the birth and early development of stars.
Dr. Herbig’s work on young stars is so fundamental and comprehensive that he is widely seen as the father of the field of star formation studies. He revolutionized the field by identifying and characterizing the physical features of stars that are so young they did not exist when our earliest human ancestors walked the Earth. He recognized that the T Tauri stars, as they are called, have roughly the same mass as our sun, but have much stronger versions of many of the sun’s features, such as magnetic activity, spectral emissions, and lithium content.
Dr. Herbig won numerous awards for his work, including the 1975 Henry Norris Russell Lectureship given for “a lifetime of eminence in astronomical research” by the American Astronomical Society and the 1980 Catherine Wolfe Bruce Gold Medal awarded by Astronomical Society of the Pacific for “a lifetime of outstanding research in astronomy.” But he was an extremely modest man who did not like to talk about himself and went out of his way to acknowledge the assistance others gave to him. Dr. Herbig received his PhD in 1948 from the University of California, Berkeley, and he continued his scientific work until nearly the end of his life.
[Image courtesy Prof. Herbig and University of California, Santa Cruz]

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