UAA is local host to 220th American Astronomical Society conference June 10-14

by Michelle Saport  |   

Over 1,000 astronomers will visit Anchorage for society's annual meeting

As the world looks to the sky this week to witness the transit of Venus, it's important to note that UAA's Department of Physics and Astronomy will serve as the local host for the American Astronomical Society's annual meeting in Anchorage next week, June 10-14, 2012. This year marks the society's 220th meeting.

Several public events will take place throughout the week, including a lecture by Brian Schmidt, Ph.D., a 2011 Nobel Laureate in Physics and 1985 graduate of Anchorage's Bartlett High School. Schmidt will talk about "Accelerating the Universe" on Tuesday, June 12, at 8 p.m., at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center.

A special public showing of "Space Junk 3D" will be held Wednesday, June 13, at 7:15 p.m., at the Regal Tikahtnu Stadium 16 IMAX Theater. The event is free but reservations are required due to limited seating. Reservations can be made online here.

"It is a privilege to be able to bring a meeting of this size to Anchorage," says UAA astronomy professor Travis Rector. "I've talked with many astronomers and they are excited to be coming to Alaska. I hope that people will take advantage of the astronomical expertise that will be here by attending the several public events scheduled during the week of the conference."

Established in 1899, the American Astronomical Society is the major organization of professional astronomers in North America with a membership of about 7,000 physicists, mathematicians, geologists, engineers and others whose research interests lie within the broad spectrum of contemporary astronomy. Learn more about the society at

Additional resources:
For more information, please contact UAA astronomy professor Travis Rector at
To learn more about the UAA Department of Physics and Astronomy, visit
Read a story reported by The Northern Light, UAA's student newspaper, about the upcoming conference.
Visit the AAS website for a complete listing of public events.

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