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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: May 31, 2016

The Amateur Astronomy Convention: A User Guide for the “Superfan”
David Prosper (Astronomical Society of the Pacific)

Whether you’re obsessed with Star Trek or PVC piping, there is a convention out there for you. ASP staff member David Prosper’s passion is amateur astronomy, and he describes conventions catering to that interest as “a wonderful blend of business and pleasure, straddling the line between the geeky joy of telescopes, imaging, public outreach, and space exploration, and the more serious business of networking, development, sales, and formal education.” Read about amateur astronomy conventions such as ALCon and NEAF in this month’s issue of Astronomy Beat.


ASP members can access Astronomy Beat through the ASP’s online portal. Not a member? Join today.

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