The January space and astronomy digest, from the RAS. Events this month include an oppposition of Mars, the closing event for IYA2009 and a scientific meeting on X-ray astronomy from Chandra and XMM-Newton.
SPACE AND ASTRONOMY DIGEST: JANUARY 2010
Royal Astronomical Society Press Release
Ref: RAS PN 10/01
Date: 4th January 2010
For immediate release
Dr Robert Massey
Press and Policy Officer
Royal Astronomical Society
Tel: +44 (0)20 7734 3307
Mob: +44 (0)794 124 8035
SPACE AND ASTRONOMY DIGEST: JANUARY 2010 (RAS PN 10/01)
This release summarises some of the astronomy and space science events taking place during January, particularly those with UK involvement. It is not intended to be fully comprehensive and dates and times may be subject to change.
3TH – 7TH JANUARY: 215TH AMERICAN ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY (AAS) MEETING, WASHINGTON DC
The January meeting of the AAS brings together more than 3000 delegates for the largest space science and astronomy conference in the world. The scientists will gather to discuss everything from the Sun and nearby stars to the structure and evolution of the Universe.
The AAS conference is supported by a press office that will host press conferences and distribute releases pertaining to results announced at the meeting.
Dr. Rick Fienberg
AAS Press Officer
Tel: +1 202 328 2010 x.116 / +1 202 745 2196
Mob: +1 857 891 5649
8TH JANUARY: RAS SPECIALIST DISCUSSION MEETING: ALFVÉN WAVES: FROM PREDICTION TO EVIDENCE
More than 50 years ago Swedish physicist Hannes Alfvén predicted the existence of a new breed of waves present in magnetised plasmas. These Alfvén waves can be generated in a wide range of situations throughout the Universe, including laboratory plasmas, the solar atmosphere and the Earth's magnetosphere. On the 8th January scientists will gather in the Lecture Theatre of the RAS in London to discuss the latest theoretical and observational advances in this field.
Bona fide members of the media who wish to attend this meeting should present their credentials at the reception desk of the RAS for free admission.
Dr Robert Massey
8TH JANUARY: RAS SPECIALIST DISCUSSION MEETING: THE X-RAY ASTRONOMY REVOLUTION: THE ONGOING IMPACT OF XMM-NEWTON AND CHANDRA
X-ray observations give scientists a unique view of high energy processes in the cosmos and help them understand a range of exotic objects, from black holes to the hot gas between galaxies. In 10 years of operation, the satellite observatories XMM-Newton and Chandra have revolutionised our knowledge of the Universe at X-ray wavelengths, providing major advances in our understanding of the physics and evolution of X-ray sources. On the 8th January astronomers will gather in the Lecture Theatre of the Geological Society in London to discuss the latest results from the two observatories and will consider how the probes have helped with key questions in astrophysics and cosmology.
Bona fide members of the media who wish to attend this meeting should present their credentials at the reception desk of the Geological Society for free admission.
Dr Robert Massey
9TH – 10TH JANUARY: INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF ASTRONOMY 2009 (IYA 2009): CLOSING CEREMONY: PADOVA, ITALY
The IYA2009 closing ceremony and ‘Astronomy Beyond 2009’ conference will bring together 275 invited delegates: scientists, professional historians and ‘Single Points Of Contact’ from the participating countries will review the impact and legacy of IYA2009.
CONTACT AND MEDIA REGISTRATION
IYA2009 Coordination Assistant
Tel: +49 89 320 06 965
Fax: +49 89 320 23 62
12TH JANUARY: RAS LUNCHTIME LECTURE: GLORIOUS RIVAL TO GREENWICH: HOW THE PARIS MERIDIAN WAS ESTABLISHED AND WHY LONDON DOES NOT KEEP PARIS MEAN TIME
At 1 p.m. on 12th January Professor Paul Murdin of the RAS and the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge will deliver the latest RAS public lecture. He will discuss how the scientists of the Paris Academy of Sciences surveyed the Paris meridian in order to determine longitude and ask why they then lost out to Greenwich when the United States insisted that the world choose a Prime Meridian.
Dr Robert Massey
29TH JANUARY: MARS AT OPPOSITION
On 29th January, the planet Mars will be directly opposite the Sun in the sky and appear in front of the faint stars of the constellation of Cancer. For a few days around this opposition date, Mars will be a little less than 100 million km distant from the Earth. Although this is further than previous oppositions earlier this century, during this time the red planet will still be one of the brightest objects in the night sky and details on the planet’s surface should be visible in medium-sized amateur telescopes.
JANUARY’S NIGHT SKY
Information on stars, planets, meteor showers and other celestial phenomena is available from the British Astronomical Association (BAA).
NOTES FOR EDITORS
THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY
The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), founded in 1820, encourages and promotes the study of astronomy, solar-system science, geophysics and closely related branches of science. The RAS organizes scientific meetings, publishes international research and review journals, recognizes outstanding achievements by the award of medals and prizes, maintains an extensive library, supports education through grants and outreach activities and represents UK astronomy nationally and internationally. Its more than 3000 members (Fellows), a third based overseas, include scientific researchers in universities, observatories and laboratories as well as historians of astronomy and others.