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What do we do?

Astrobites is a daily astrophysical literature journal written by graduate students in astronomy since 2010. Our goal is to present one interesting paper per day in a brief format that is accessible to undergraduate students in the physical sciences who are interested in active research.

Why read Astrobites?

Reading a technical paper from an unfamiliar subfield is intimidating. It may not be obvious how the techniques used by the researchers really work or what role the new research plays in answering the bigger questions motivating that field, not to mention the obscure jargon! For most people, it takes years for scientific papers to become meaningful.

Our goal is to solve this problem, one paper at a time. In 5 minutes a day reading Astrobites, you should not only learn about one interesting piece of current work, but also get a peek at the broader picture of research in a new area of astronomy.

If you’re new to Astrobites and aren’t sure where to start reading, check out a few selected posts from our first four years.

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What is astro-ph?

astro-ph is the astrophysics section of arXiv.org, where researchers post their latest work (often before official review and publication).  We always link back to the original arXiv post, where you can download the original article (for free).  Occasionally, we will take on special topics such as results presented at conferences, tips for applying to graduate school, or tutorials for specific research tools.

Who Writes Astrobites?

Astrobites is written by a team of graduate students at universities around the world. We bring a diverse set of research interests and backgrounds to our writing. Please visit the Meet the Authors to learn more about each author.

Astrobites Committees

In addition to writing daily posts, our authors are encouraged to serve on Astrobites committees. Those committees include:

Administrative Committee: Collectively responsible for ensuring that Astrobites committees, working groups and chairs are upholding their designated responsibilities; Act as intermediaries and advisors to members of the organization; Promote expansion of the collaboration’s work by e.g. promoting its use in classrooms, expanding its readership, or starting up extensions of the site for different media or target audiences.  Committee members: Haley Wahl, Ellis Avallone, Jenny Calahan, Mia de los Reyes, Michael Hammer, Gourav Khullar, Briley Lewis, Will Saunders, Huei Sears, Kate Storey-Fisher; Contact: info@astrobites.org

Advertising Committee: Dedicated to advertising Astrobites to new audiences. Committee members: Sabina Sagynbayeva, Michael Hammer, Ali Crisp, Emma Foxell, Katya Gozman, Catherine Manea, Haley Wahl, Sasha Warren; Contact: hello@astrobites.org

Climate Change Committee (new!): Dedicated to publishing ~1 post each month about astronomy’s impact on climate change; acts as an advocate for addressing the climate crisis in any way they seem fit. Committee members: Suchi Narayanan, Olivia Cooper, Ellis Avallone, Alice Curtin, Mia de los Reyes, Graham Doskoch, Michael Foley, Pratik Gandhi, H Perry Hatchfield, Ishan Mishra

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee: Aims to address issues of representation, marginalization, and community through education (acknowledging minoritized population issues in physics and astronomy, outreach to budding astronomical communities), advocacy (supporting diversity and inclusion initiatives in academic spaces) and efforts to make the Astrobites collaboration inclusive. Committee members: Catherine ManeaPratik Gandhi, Lili Alderson, Ellis Avallone, Mia de los Reyes, Graham Doskoch, H Perry Hatchfield, Macy Huston, Sumeet Kulkarni, Suchi Narayanan, Sabina Sagynbayeva, Huei Sears

Editorial Committee: Ensuring editorial consistency by maintaining the Astrobites style guide, operating periodic editing workshops, and helping the scheduler assign editors. Committee members: Sasha WarrenEllis Avallone, Jenny Calahan, Mitchell Cavanagh, Emma Foxell, Jason Hinkle, Haley Wahl; Contact: submissions@astrobites.org

Education Committee: Focuses on building Astrobites as a pedagogical tool across the astronomical community. The work here emphasizes on educational activities during AAS meetings, and education research work to map the efficacy of Astrobites in a typical classroom. Committee members: Ali Crisp, Abygail Waggoner, Michael Foley, Ryan Golant, Katya Gozman, Michael Hammer, Sumeet Kulkarni, Briley Lewis, Haley Wahl 

Hiring/Application Committee: Responsible for the annual application process. Specific responsibilities include advertising the call for applications, responding to inquiries, guiding the committee through reading and ranking the applications, and helping new authors get set up. The time responsibilities for leading this committee fall mostly within a 3 month period surrounding the application deadline, which is typically in September or October. Committee chairs: Jenny Calahan, Ali Crisp, Abygail Waggoner; Contact: hiring@astrobites.org

Moderating Committee: In charge of responding to comments on various social media platforms to increase reader engagement. Committee members: Huei Sears, Macy Huston, Sasha Warren

Policy Committee: Works with the AAS Bahcall Public Policy Fellow (currently Ashlee Wilkins) to schedule posts about science policy and how it intersects with astronomy. Committee members: Graham Doskoch, Michael Foley, Ellis Avallone, Ryan Golant, H Perry Hatchfield

Scheduling Committee: Responsible for ensuring that postings are consistent/timely. Chair will organize the schedule, but committee will share responsibility for ‘emergency’ postings that arise. Committee members: Jenny Calahan, Haley Wahl, Lili Alderson, Mitchell Cavanagh

AAS Chairs (in charge of organizing our AAS/EWASS conference materials and

presentations): Briley Lewis, Haley Wahl

SciBites Chair (Liaison for SciBites network): Ryan Golant, Ashely Piccone

Social Media Chairs (in charge of maintaining our Facebook and Twitter presence, and growing readership of the site through these tools): Alice Curtin, Huei Sears

Website Chair (in charge of maintaining our website): Katya Gozman

Slack Chair (explores Slack as a possible means of communication): Ali Crisp

Astrotweeps Chair (runs the Astrotweeps Twitter account): Pratik Gandhi

Undergraduate Chairs (Reach out to undergraduate readers and contributors): Jason Hinkle, Sabina Sagynbayeva

Ombudsperson (handles complaints, concerns, or any issues that arise within the Astrobites community; communicates with the Admin Committee when matters arise): Gourav Khullar, Macy Huston

(Committee chairs bolded)

Statement of Inclusivity

Scientists are members of a broad human community, and may thus experience societal prejudices that directly affect their ability to contribute to the scientific endeavor.  We at Astrobites support and encourage universal participation in science, regardless of minoritized status. We affirmatively declare our support for a scientific community open to — and providing support and safety for — every individual, regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or medical condition. Such support includes ensuring that universities, laboratories, and professional societies do not tolerate any form of harassment, and have transparent procedures for addressing such harassment when it occurs. We reject racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and prejudice stemming from religion or citizenship.  Eliminating these injustices is the only way to ensure that all people can benefit from participation in the science, and we accept this task as integral to the pursuit of science and scientific outreach.

Follow us on twitter @astrobites, like astrobites on Facebook, or send us an email on info@astrobites.org!

As an independent graduate student organization, since 2016 Astrobites has been hosted and supported by the American Astronomical Society.

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Astrobites is grateful to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Research Computing Group at Harvard University and James Guillichon / Vox Charta for past web hosting.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of any institutions the author(s) may be associated with. Astrobites is not affiliated with the arXiv.