AAS Publishing at AAS 238 Online

Will you be joining us online for the 238th American Astronomical Society meeting? AAS Publishing looks forward to seeing you there! You can come find us at the AAS Publishing booth in the virtual exhibit hall, and you can check out AAS-Publishing-related endeavors in a number of events throughout the week (some already underway!). Below are just a few.

Making the Most of AAS WorldWide Telescope

Friday, 4 June, 11:00 – 12:30 pm (ET)

Screenshot of the user interface for WWT shows clusters of objects plotted against a sky background.

A screen capture of the user interface for WorldWide Telescope, a tool for visualizing astronomical data. [Rosenfield et al. 2018]

AAS WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is a free and open-source data visualization tool that runs right in your web browser. Use WWT inside Jupyter to explore imagery and data tables on the sky, or embed it on other websites to share your data with your colleagues, students, and the general public in a slick, intuitive interface. This interactive tutorial will introduce attendees to the WWT tool and its software ecosystem in the context of its applications to research, education, and broader impacts.

Astronomical Data Visualization in the Age of Science Platforms

Session 1: Monday, June 7, 12:00 – 1:30 pm (ET)
Session 2: Monday, June 7, 4:10 – 5:40 pm (ET)

Astronomy is on the cusp of a major transition: simulations and modern surveys like LSST are starting to generate datasets far too large for individual researchers to download and analyze. Instead, researchers will need to bring their analysis to the data. This necessity has led virtually all major astronomical data centers to plan “science platforms” for remote research, generally centered on the web-based JupyterLab environment. This transition has enormous implications for the basic act of “looking at the data”. The classic astronomical data visualization tools are graphical applications that operate on local datasets. The age of the science platform demands tools built for a completely different paradigm: web-native applications that can provide a smooth user experience even while the actual data are stored in a distant archive. While the shift to this new paradigm presents a great deal of opportunity ­— the modern web is an extremely sophisticated development platform — it is also highly disruptive. What is the “state of the art” in web-native astronomical data visualization tools? What are the most important unmet dataviz needs of the new science platforms? Which researcher workflows can be preserved and which must be reworked? This splinter meeting will gather survey scientists, science platform engineers, and visualization tool builders to answer questions such as these. Time will be reserved at the end for participants to synthesize what they’ve learned into a report assessing the community’s needs and envisioning a roadmap for future work.

Meet Our New Editor and Chat with AAS Publishing and Astrobites

Grayscale headshot of a smiling man wearing glasses.

AAS journals editor Mubdi Rahman.

The newest editor for the AAS Journals suite is Mubdi Rahman, the Founder and Principal of Sidrat Research. Mubdi’s research expertise spans a wide range of topics, with an emphasis on astronomical software. Want to meet him and talk about astronomy software and coding in the context of publishing? Mubdi will be around the AAS booth in the exhibit hall throughout the meeting during exhibitor hours!

In addition, if you want to chat with AAS Publishing, the following folks will be at the AAS booth throughout the meeting:

Julie Steffen, AAS Chief Publishing Officer
Janice Sexton, AAS Editorial Operations Manager
Frank Timmes, AAS Lead Editor of the High-Energy Phenomena and Fundamental Physics corridor


You can also request to meet with AAS Journals Editor in Chief Ethan Vishniac and the AAS’s Innovation Scientist and WorldWide Telescope Director Peter Williams.

You can find AAS Nova Editor Susanna Kohler, AAS Media Fellow Tarini Konchady, Astrobites Media Intern Luna Zagorac, and the rest of the Astrobites team at the Astrobites booth in the Graduate Fair throughout the meeting.

Publishing Your AAS 238 Presentation in RNAAS

Research Notes of the AAS (RNAAS) will once again feature the latest astronomy and planetary science research in a focus issue for the 238th meeting of the American Astronomical Society. Presenters at AAS 238 will be encouraged to submit their science results from the meeting to RNAAS for possible inclusion in this Focus on AAS 238 issue.


Research Notes of the AAS is a unique publication in the AAS journals family.

If your AAS 238 presentation is published as a research note, it receives a permanent, citable home within the literature and becomes available for all those unable to join us during the meeting. Research notes are short (up to 1,350 words, plus a 150 word abstract, with a single figure or table), moderated by AAS editors, and searchable on ADS. Research notes cover a remarkable diversity of topics, and do not preclude later inclusion of results in more substantial, refereed work.

We hope that the Focus on AAS 238 issue of RNAAS (as well as Focus on AAS 237 and Focus on AAS 236) will give the astronomy community a sense of the range of scientific work encountered at an AAS meeting, from colleagues who range from undergraduates presenting their research to those who have attended many meetings, virtual or otherwise.