"Super Bowl of Astronomy" Touches Down in the Nation's Capital

Dec 31, 2013, 16:55 ET from American Astronomical Society

Public is invited to interact with astronomers at AAS meeting in National Harbor.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — If you ask most people what big event occurs in Washington, DC, every four years, they'll probably say the presidential inaugural. For astronomers and journalists who cover astronomy, though, the answer is the return of the American Astronomical Society's winter meeting — the "Super Bowl of Astronomy" — to the nation's capital. The 223rd AAS meeting, 5-9 January 2014, will gather more than 3,000 astronomers, educators, journalists, and others at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, 201 Waterfront St., National Harbor, MD 20745. Meeting website: http://aas.org/meetings/223rd-aas-meeting-washington-dc

The AAS is opening its meeting to amateur astronomers and other interested members of the public, who may take advantage of a special one-day registration rate of $50 per day on Monday, Tuesday, and/or Wednesday, January 6th, 7th, and/or 8th. Conference hours are 8:00 am9:00 pm EST daily.

Among the highlights of every AAS meeting are plenary lectures — invited and prize talks — by distinguished astronomers. There will be 14 such presentations from Monday through Wednesday. Registration includes access to all of those as well as admission to the exhibit hall, where visitors can meet scientists working on major ground- and space-based telescopes, check out some of the newest astronomy books and products, and become immersed in a digital planetarium experience.

In addition, there will be six special presentations and a FREE (no registration required) Tuesday-evening star party designed especially for amateur astronomers and the public. More information: http://aas.org/aas-223rd-meeting/one-day-program-amateur-astronomers-public

Attendance at the 223rd AAS meeting offers a rare opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the world's leading astronomers and to hear the latest cosmic news from the newsmakers themselves.

The AAS offers complimentary press registration to qualified local media representatives who wish to cover the meeting: http://aas.org/aas-223rd-meeting/press-information

The AAS, established in 1899 and based in Washington, DC, is the major organization of professional astronomers and planetary scientists in North America. Its membership of about 7,000 also includes physicists, mathematicians, geologists, engineers, and others whose research interests lie within the broad spectrum of subjects now comprising contemporary astronomy. The mission of the AAS is to enhance and share humanity's scientific understanding of the universe.

SOURCE American Astronomical Society