Media Invited to Attend ‘Superbowl of Astronomy’ Next Month

Dec. 20, 2007

AUSTIN, Texas — Astronomers from around the country and the world are meeting Jan. 8-11 at the Austin Convention Center to attend the 211th meeting of the American Astronomical Society. J. Craig Wheeler, society president and the Samuel T. and Fern Yanagisawa Regents Professor of Astronomy at The University of Texas at Austin, will preside over the meeting, and is available for interviews now and during the meeting.

Expect daily press conferences on everything from planets orbiting faraway stars, to colliding galaxies rife with mysterious dark matter, to discussions of the beginning and end of the universe. Two press conferences will feature University of Texas at Austin speakers with exciting announcements.

David Lambert, director of the university's McDonald Observatory, will deliver the Henry Norris Russell Prize lecture. Lambert was awarded the society's Russell Prize, its highest honor, for a lifetime of work uncovering the chemical contents of stars.

The university will host a press reception on the meeting's first night, and later in the week a press tour to the Texas Advanced Computing Center at the university's Jake Pickle Research Campus. See the fastest, most powerful supercomputer in academia. Called Ranger, it's under construction for a February debut. Afterward, attend a self-treat press dinner at The County Line on the Hill.

Meeting registration is free for press, but required. To register for the meeting and receive a full list of press events, contact the society's press officer, Steve Maran.

For more information, contact: Rebecca Johnson, Department of Astronomy, public information officer, The University of Texas at Austin, 512-475-6763; Steve Maran, press officer, American Astronomical Society; J. Craig Wheeler, president, American Astronomical Society, professor of astronomy, The University of Texas at Austin, 512-471-6407.