Editor’s Note: This week we’re at the 236th AAS Meeting, being conducted virtually for the first time! Along with a team of authors from Astrobites, we will be writing updates on selected events at the meeting and posting each day. Follow along here or at astrobites.com. The usual posting schedule for AAS Nova will resume the week of June 8th.
Welcome Address (by Sanjana Curtis)
AAS President Megan Donahue (Michigan State University) kicked off the 236th meeting of the American Astronomical Society — the first AAS meeting that is entirely virtual. Before opening the meeting, she acknowledged the fact that many members of the astronomy community are not present due to a variety of factors, including a pandemic, the choices of others, and an uninterrogated system that grants privileges to a select few. This was a sobering reminder that science is, above all, a human endeavor.
As a virtual meeting, this AAS has a low carbon footprint that is certainly good news for the environment. At the same time, the meeting attendance is almost double the usual attendance at in-person meetings, including twice as many students! There are scientists from 34 countries and 49 of the 50 US states (with ...