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Astronomy Beat

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Astronomy Beat is a monthly, on-line column written by “insiders” from the worlds of astronomy research and outreach.

Current issue: September 30, 2016

Celebrating Diversity: The ASP’s Arthur B.C. Walker II Award

Linda Shore (Astronomical Society of the Pacific)

This year, the ASP established the Arthur B.C. Walker II Award recognizing significant contributions made by an African American to astronomy and who has worked to increase diversity and inclusion in science. Our first recipient is celebrated NASA mathematician, Katherine Johnson, who calculated the orbits of virtually all the early NASA missions into space and to the Moon. For her achievements, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama in 2015. Two distinguished ASP Board members, Dr. Gibor Basri and Schyleen Qualls spearheaded the Arthur B.C. Walker II Award. In this issue of Astronomy Beat, we describe the life and achievements of this incredible scientist and educator and we reflect on the importance of the ASP’s new award.

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In 2014, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific celebrates its 125th anniversary year of communicating and educating about the universe around us. But back in 1889, the universe seemed a very different place–simpler, but perhaps no less mysterious. Jim Manning, departing executive director, takes a long moment to look the state of astronomy and the cosmos at the time of the Society’s founding, and how things have changed since then in the February 2014 issue of Astronomy Beat. Join him for a peek at the universe “125 years ago today.”

With our compliments, please enjoy the June 2013 issue of Astronomy Beat featuring Nancy Roman, an early pioneer in paving the way for female scientists at NASA. Among other accomplishments, and because of her tireless efforts in support of a space-based observatory, Nancy Roman is often considered the “mother” of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Download the following sample Astronomy Beat columns FREE to see what the series is like.

The Discovery of Pluto
by Clyde Tombaugh

The Discovery of the First Gravitational Lenses
by Ray Weymann

Origins of the Drake Equation
by Frank Drake and Dava Sobel

Stargazing Centaurs: The Astronomy of Harry Potter
by Kristine Larsen

And the Sun Stood Still: Dramatizing Copernicus
by Dava Sobel

How to Catch a Moon or Two of Pluto
by Mark R. Showalter