For our undergraduate readers that have not yet had a chance to attend a AAS meeting, let me take a moment to convince you to go. Attending a AAS meeting is a wonderful opportunity to become involved in the US’s largest professional astronomy society. The summer meeting provides many of the same types of events as the better-known winter meeting, but it is a bit less crowded and thus can often feel more personal. Some of the exciting activities include:
- the exhibit hall (with lots of free giveaways from astronomy organizations, observatories, universities and astro-related companies)
- plenary talks from award-winning scientists
- oral sessions on specialized topics in astronomy
- press releases (everyone is invited to attend, not just the media)
- several receptions and town hall meetings that are great to sit in on and hear about the state of the field
- poster sessions (including yours?)
Perhaps most importantly, attending a AAS meeting lets you start building your astronomy network. You can meet other astronomy enthusiasts, from fellow undergraduates (i.e. future colleagues!), to researchers from other institutions that might be doing research you’re interested in, to employees of companies that build telescopes or instruments that can give you the inside scoop on an important part of the field of astronomy that you might not know much about.
We’ll be there live-blogging as usual, covering some of the sessions and press releases. We’d love to see you there too, so go ahead and submit your abstract today! And be sure to come to the first AAS Astrobites oral presentation in the Undergraduate and Graduate Education Session on Tuesday, June 4 from 10:00-11:30.