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Scientists Gather in Long Beach for "Super Bowl of Astronomy"

California Reps. Chu & Rohrabacher to give presentations open to the public.

LONG BEACH, Calif., Jan. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Long Beach is the "Waterfront Center of Southern California," and from 6 to 11 January 2013 it'll be the celestial center of attention too. That's when the American Astronomical Society (AAS) gathers for its 221st meeting at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90802. More than 2,800 astronomers, educators, students, and journalists are registered to attend, and more than 1,900 prize and invited talks, oral presentations, posters, and workshops will be presented. Attendees are tweeting from the meeting with the hashtag #aas221.

The public is invited to join the festivities by attending "Space Science and Public Policy," a special session featuring presentations by two members of Congress from California: Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), who has a Ph.D. and represents the district that includes Caltech and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), who serves on the House authorization committee with jurisdiction over NASA and the National Science Foundation, which fund most astronomy research in the United States. The session will be held on Wednesday evening, January 9th, at 8 p.m. PST in the Grand Ballroom at the Long Beach Convention Center and is free and open to the public.

The AAS offers complimentary press registration to bona fide working journalists and public-information officers (see http://aas.org/press/eligibility_for_press_credentials). Exoplanets, X-ray astronomy, and extragalactic outbursts will be among the exciting topics featured in 10 press conferences throughout the week; see http://aas.org/meetings/aas221/press_kit for the schedule.

On Wednesday, January 9th, at 5:30 p.m. PST, the American Institute of Physics (AIP) will host a press reception to honor Richard Panek, winner of the 2012 AIP Science Communication Award for his book The 4% Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality. On Friday, January 11th, from 9 a.m. to noon PST, press registrants are invited to visit Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in Redondo Beach, near LAX, for a behind-the-scenes tour focused on the forthcoming James Webb Space Telescope, which Northrop Grumman is building for NASA. Reporters and editors will need to sign up in the AAS press office (Room 203B) at the convention center by Wednesday, January 9th, via the sign-up sheet that will posted there, and will need to provide name, affiliation, date of birth, and citizenship, and to bring a government-issued photo ID, e.g., driver's license or passport, on the tour (http://aas.org/meetings/aas221/press_kit#press_tour).

SOURCE American Astronomical Society

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