AAS Division on Dynamical Astronomy Meets in Austin April 11-14

29 March 2011

Free registration for journalists; free public events April 11


AUSTIN, Texas — Astronomers from around the country and the world are convening in Austin April 11-14 for the American Astronomical Society's Division on Dynamical Astronomy meeting. The meeting will be held at the Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol. Free registration is available
for journalists. Interested journalists should contact Rebecca Johnson at
rjohnson@astro.as.utexas.edu or 512-475-6763.

Highlights of the meeting include sessions on the dynamics of our solar system (planets, Kuiper Belt, asteroid threats to Earth, evolution of moons and rings), presentations on planet formation and understanding multi-planet systems, and the formation of black holes and spiral features in galaxies. Several invited talks are scheduled on a wide array of topics, including the GRACE space mission, planet formation, planetary rings, cosmology, and celestial mechanics.

See the end of this release for highlighted sessions and invited talks, presenter names, and affiliations. A complete schedule, with access to abstracts, is available.

An evening of free, family-friendly astronomy events will be held on April 11 at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. From 7-8 p.m., the Austin Planetarium will conduct shows in its mobile planetarium. At 8 p.m., University of Texas at Austin astronomy professor Jenny Greene will speak on "Black Holes: Tiny but Powerful" in the Spirit Theater. Additionally, astronomers will be on hand from 7 to 9 p.m. to answer questions at an "Ask the Astronomer" booth.

More information on these public events is available from the museum.

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Meeting Highlights

Monday, April 11

02.03 Probing Planetary Interior Structure and Processes With High-Precision Spin Measurements (Jean-Luc Margot, University of California, Los Angeles)

03.01 Invited Talk: GRACE: Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (Srinivas Bettadpur, University of Texas at Austin)

P01.07 A Southern Sky and Galactic Plane Survey for Bright Kuiper Belt Objects (Includes three possible dwarf planet candidates!) (Radoslaw Poleski, University of Warsaw)

Public night. Free astronomy events at Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum 7-9 p.m.

Tuesday, April 12

04.01 Invited Talk: What Every Dynamicist Should Know About Cosmology (Eiichiro Komatsu, Director, Texas Cosmology Center, University of Texas at Austin)

04.03 How a Massive Photon Retards the Universal Expansion Until Galaxies Form (David F. Bartlett, University of Colorado)

06.01 Asteroid Impact Hazard Over Long Time Intervals (Steven R. Chesley, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

06.04 Characterizing Multi-planet Systems with Classical Secular Theory (Christa L. Van Laerhoven, University of Arizona)

Wednesday, April 13

07.01 Invited Talk: Galactic Dynamics to Explain outer Disk Features in Spiral Galaxies (Martin Lopez-Corredoira, Insitituo de Astrofisica de Canarias, Spain)

07.05 The Stellar Dynamical Effects of the Growth of Supermassive Black Holes in Barred Galaxies (Monica Valluri, University of Michigan)

8.01 Invited Talk: Dynamics of Planetary Rings (Matthew S. Tiscareno, Cornell University)

Thursday, April 14

09.01 Invited Talk: "Full-contact" Planet Formation (Edward Thommes, University of Guelph, Canada)

09.02 Constraining the Size of the Protostellar Nebula (Katherine A. Kretke, Southwest Research Institute)

09.04 Sedna as a Footprint of the Sun's Migration within the Milky Way (Nathan A. Kaib, Queen's University, Canada)