AstroBeat_ Inside the ASP
August 2017

August 21st is finally upon us!
After years of planning, training educators and photographers, creating and shipping out eclipse kits, and distributing hundreds of safe viewers and materials, much of the ASP staff will be heading off to view totality from Oregon to Indiana. But the work doesn't end that day as the ASP prepares for the distribution post-eclipse of Megamovie, created from almost 1,500 photographers' images of the eclipse, and the continued sharing out at the ASP's Annual Conference, ASP 2017 Beyond the Eclipse.
hand with star
ASP @ Work
Eclipse Megamovie has almost 1,500 photographers!
The Megamovie has surpassed its goal of 1,000 volunteers taking images on the path of totality. In addition to the great science coming out of this, a movie of the corona will be released across the country on the evening of August 21st. Stay tuned for how you can view it soon after the eclipse! In the meantime, you can see what the eclipse will look like from your location using the Megamovie simulator

Megamovie simulator >

Theresa Summer with glasses for Oakland school district
Bringing eclipse materials into the neighborhood, libraries, and schools
The ASP's community outreach activities this past month included a booth at Sunday Streets in San Francisco on July 16th, where we gave out materials in Spanish and English, including 250 pairs of safe solar viewers. A special fundraising campaign with our members and donors allowed us to give thousands of viewers to the Oakland Unified School District Science Department as well as Bay Area libraries, schools, teachers, and community centers in anticipation of the solar eclipse. Thank you to our donors for their generosity!

woman looking through cardboard telescope
Annual Summer Institute engages teachers in astronomical phenomena
The ASP's third annual Summer Astronomy Institute took place July 31-August 3 at ASP headquarters in San Francisco. Sixteen teachers from school districts throughout California attended and actively engaged in investigating a variety of astronomical phenomena. From the nature of evidence and the exploration of the solar system, to the life cycle of stars, and learning how telescopes work through the use of pinholes and building Galileoscopes, the Institute helped participants gain a new perspective on how they can incorporate active investigations into their astronomy curriculum. If you know an educator who would benefit from four days of in-depth exploration of space science content in the context of the Next Generation Science Standards, encourage them to attend the Institute in the summer of 2018.
telescope at Stellafane
Night Sky Network finally goes to Stellafane
ASP staffer Dave Prosper traveled to Stellafane this July to represent the Night Sky Network, as we had never formally attended. Stellafane is a large, famous star party and convention for amateur telescope makers -- and in many ways it is the birthplace of modern amateur telescope making (ATM) and amateur astronomy. 

"It was fantastic to be able to see all of the amazing custom telescopes on display during their annual contest. The beautiful and clever designs that were set up for judging on Breezy Hill inspired me to finally restart grinding on my own long-overdue mirror blank. Maybe I will have an entry worthy of judgment by the ATM masters at Stellafane in another year or two..."  

-- Dave Prosper
map showing path of totality
Where will ASP staff be for the eclipse?
While the ASP has been preparing educators, amateurs, photographers, families, and students for the solar eclipse, we thought you'd want to know where the ASP staff will be during the eclipse! Almost everyone is going somewhere on the path of totality: Many will be in the close-to-California state of Oregon: Salem, Princeville, Big Summit Prairie, North Santiam State Park and Madras, while others will go East a bit to Idaho City and Utah Valley University. Our Executive Director will be in the Grand Tetons with others venturing nearby into Riverton and Casper, Wyoming. Some will also be a little closer to the longest length of totality in St. Louis, Missouri, and Carbondale, Illinois. A few of our educators will be giving informal demonstrations and presentations at their events or star parties. We will also have a few staff people at the offices in San Francisco hoping to share the view with our neighbors, provided the fog stays off the coast!
calendar page with moon
ASP 2017 Beyond the Eclipse and Moonrise Hotel
Registration Open for ASP's 129th Annual Meeting!
Join us for ASP 2017: Beyond the Eclipse: Engaging Diverse and  Underserved Communities in Astronomy and STEM held December 5-8 in St. Louis, MO, at the Moonrise Hotel.

This ASP 2017 conference will help us all look "beyond the 2017 eclipse" as a follow-up to last year's conference, which focused on how best to engage all underserved communities in the 2017 solar eclipse. Join us four months after the August eclipse to share outreach efforts that worked best and discuss what could be improved, not just for future eclipses, but to inform other astronomy education and outreach activities striving to reach diverse audiences (e.g. science festivals, urban/rural STEM initiatives, etc.).  The invitation is open for all to participate in this conference even if you were unable to attend last year.

Abstract submission >

2016 gala attendees
Save the date! ASP Annual Awards Gala -- October 28, 2017
On Saturday, October 28, 2017, the ASP will present the prestigious Bruce Medal and other astronomy awards at the 2017 ASP Annual Awards Gala in Burlingame, CA. More information about tickets coming soon.
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ASP in the News
Bruce Medal
ASP   announces its 2017 award recipients for astronomy research and education
Through our prestigious annual awards, the ASP recognizes significant achievements in astronomy research, education, and public outreach. Recipients of our awards have included luminaries such as Edwin Hubble, Vera Rubin, Isaac Asimov, Margaret Burbidge, Carl Sagan, and most recently, Katherine Johnson.  

The Catherine Wolfe Bruce Gold Medal was established by Catherine Wolfe Bruce, an American philanthropist and patroness of astronomy. Since 1898, the Bruce Medal has been awarded annually by the ASP to a professional astronomer in recognition of a lifetime of outstanding achievement and contributions to astrophysics research and is one of the most important awards in the field.  

The ASP is honored to award the 2017 Catherine Wolfe Bruce Gold Medal to Dr. Nick Scoville, Francis L. Moseley Professor of Astronomy (Emeritus) at the California Institute of Technology and former director of Caltech's Owens Valley Radio Observatory. 

The ASP is also proud to announce the recipients of its 2017 awards for excellence in astronomy research and education. Please visit the ASP Awards web page for detailed information on all of the award recipients.

All awards will be formally presented at the ASP Awards Gala (Ceremony and Banquet) on October 28, 2017, at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Burlingame, CA. Watch for a future announcement about how to purchase tickets for this awe-inspiring event.

ASP Awards >

Staff Product Pick
Moonphase calendar
Our staff educators use many of the materials we offer in the ASP's AstroShop, and some are their favorite teaching tools. ASP members and staff also look forward to the annual astronomy calendars now available to purchase.
The ASP has carried the
Moonphase Calendar and
Observer's Handbook for many years. There is no doubt these annual favorites are staples for those interested in astronomy, from the casual observer to the more serious amateur astronomer. These are must-haves to start the year!
-- Joycelin Craig, Membership
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