Archive for 2011
Fraknoi Becomes Honorary Member of the RASC
December 2011 – Congratulations to Andrew Fraknoi, former Executive Director of the ASP, currently chair of the Foothill College astronomy department, for his selection as an honorary member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Read more.
2010 ASP Annual Report
The ASP is pleased to provide a summary of our mission-based activities and events through the 2010 ASP Annual Report. We take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank our many benefactors, members, and friends for the support they provided to enable the Society to carry out its work.
2010 Annual Report (pdf, 2 MB)
Priscilla and Bart Bok Awards Announced
July 2011 – The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), in partnership with the American Astronomical Society (AAS), presented the annual Priscilla and Bart Bok Awards to two high-school students at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair held May 8 to 13 in Los Angeles, California. Full Press Release.
2011 ASP Award Winners Announced
June 2011 – The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) today announces the winners of its 2011 awards for excellence in astronomy research and education. Full Press Release.
Dr. Jeremiah P. Ostriker awarded the 2011 Catherine Wolfe Bruce Gold Medal
June 2011 – The Astronomical Society of the Pacific announces that Dr. Jeremiah P. Ostriker has been awarded the 2011 Catherine Wolfe Bruce Gold Medal for lifetime achievement in astronomy. Full Press Release.
Multiple Universes and Cosmic Inflation: The Quest to Understand Our Universe (and Find Others)
Dr. Anthony Aguirre (University of California at Santa Cruz)
Listen (mp3 file, 24 MB)
Our improving understanding of the cosmos points to an early epoch during which the universe expanded at a stupendous rate to create the vast amount of space we can observe. Cosmologist are now coming to believe that this “cosmic inflation” may do much more: in many versions, inflation goes on forever, generating not just our observable universe but also infinitely many such regions with similar or different properties, together forming a staggeringly complex and vast “multiverse”. Dr. Aguirre traces the genesis of this idea, explores some of its implications, and discusses how scientists are seeking ways to test this idea.
Our Explosive Sun: New Views of the Nearest Star and the Largest Explosions in the Solar System
Dr. Thomas Berger (Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Lab)
Listen (mp3 file, 18.2 MB)
Recent satellite missions are giving scientists dramatic new views of the Sun and the huge magnetic explosions in its outer layers that cause flares and the ejections of huge masses of superheated gas. Dr. Berger takes us on a beautiful tour through our Sun’s atmosphere with images and movies from these missions.
Saturn’s Moon Titan: A World with Rivers, Lakes, and Possibly Even Life
Dr. Chris McKay (NASA Ames Research Center)
Listen (mp3 file, 19 MB)
Titan, Saturn’s largest satellite, is the only moon with a thick atmosphere. In many ways, Titan is a cold twin of the Earth, with liquid methane playing the same role there as water plays on our planet. Life on Earth is based on liquid water; could there be life on Titan based on liquid methane? Dr. McKay (co-investigator on the Huygens probe that landed on Titan) discuss the new picture we have of this alien world, with its lakes, its rivers, and its rocks made of water ice.
How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had it Coming
Dr. Michael Brown (Caltech)
Listen (mp3 file, 19.9 MB)
Dr. Brown shares the inside story of how he discovered “other Pluto’s” out there beyond Neptune, including Eris, which is now known to be about the same size as Pluto. He named that new world for the goddess of discord, because, as he describes with his characteristic humor, its discovery resulted in a private and public controversy that led to a redefinition of what a planet is.