The American Astronomical Society announces the media events for its national meeting at the Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. June 8-12. News highlights include the official release of the latest observations from two new instruments installed in the Hubble Space Telescope by NASA astronauts in February, progress report on the instruments' status, new research on black holes, and more. All media events have been scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, June 9-10. Prominent scientists expected at the American Astronomical Society meeting include Yale University black-hole hunter Dr. Charles Bailyn, who was featured in the second episode of PBS's "Mystery of the Universe" TV series in April. He will present a press conference on his latest surprising findings at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday. Other eminent attendees include Dr. James Cronin, (University of Chicago) who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1980, and who will present the final talk at the meeting, on the theory of the highest energy cosmic rays, and Harvard's Dr. Alastair G.W. Cameron, who is being honored as the Society's Henry Norris Russell Lecturer for 1997. He'll speak on "Formation of Stars and Planets." Media headquarters for the meeting is the AAS Press Room, which will open by Noon Sunday, June 8 in Conference Room 2 at the Convention Center. The telephone numbers at the Press Room are 910-727-8463 and 910-727-8464. The fax number is 910-722-0537. For press credentials at the meeting or more information, contact ASS Press Officer Dr. Steve Maran at 301-286-5154 through June 6, at the Adam's Mark Hotel in Winston-Salem, 910-725-3500, on June 7, and at the Press Room thereafter. Besides the five news briefings, many press releases and photo releases on other discoveries, and one or two video releases, will be available at the Press Room. The press conferences will not be televised, but the audio from the Hubble Space Telescope briefing will be available to absentee reporters via a NASA communications facility (see briefings list, below). All press releases and scientific findings are strictly embargoed until presented at the meeting. Here is the schedule of press conferences; all briefings are in Conference Room 5 at the Benton Convention Center, 301 West 5th St., Winston-Salem: Monday, June 9: -- 9:00 a.m. The Origin of Star Clusters, with Dr. Bruce Elmegreen, IBM Watson Research Center -- 12:45 p.m. The Latest from the Hubble Space Telescope, with Drs. Bruce Woodgate, Mary Beth Kaiser, and George Sonneborn (all of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center), Rodger Thompson (University of Arizona), Nicholas Scoville (California Institute of Technology), and Edward Jenkins (Princeton University). Tuesday, June 10: -- 9:00 a.m. "Cookie Cutter" Black Holes, with Prof. Charles Bailyn, Yale University. If you've seen one black hole have you seen them all? -- 11:00 a.m. Gamma Ray Bursts, with a panel of experts from the U.S. and Europe. We may have solved a mystery that has puzzled astronomers for three decades. These remarkable flashes of radiation, each, for a brief moment, outshine the rest of the Universe in gamma rays. -- 2:30 p.m. Remarkable Reports from Amateur Astronomers. With Dennis di Cicco, who has discovered over 100 asteroids of our solar system with his backyard telescopes in a Boston suburb, Thomas Droege of Batavia, Illinois, who has organized and equipped The Amateur Sky Survey, and Columbia University's Dr. Joseph Patterson, whose network of cooperating amateur astronomers have proven that a remarkable double star follows orbits so small, they would fit inside the planet Jupiter. Newsworthy findings not featured in press conferences, but which will be announced in press releases at the meeting include a promising new theory for the origin of chondrules, the strange rounded objects found in ancient meteorites, which have defied explanation for generations, a striking new galaxy image from the WIYN Telescope in Arizona, observations and images from a DOD-sponsored satellite ultraviolet instrument, new evidence bearing on the origin of cosmic rays in the Milky Way, the first likely evidence for a special form of interstellar carbon-bearing molecule that may have been important to the development of life, and many others. Scientific sessions at the AAS meeting will continue through 12:30 p.m. Thursday, June 12. CONTACT: Dr. Steve Maran, Press Officer of the American Astronomical Society, 301-286-5154.
SOURCE American Astronomical Society