AAS Publishing at AAS 241 in Seattle (and Online!)

AAS 241 is nearly here! The AAS Publishing team looks forward to connecting with meeting attendees in Seattle, WA, and online, and we’re excited to share a preview of upcoming publishing-related events. Also, be sure to stop by the AAS booth in the Exhibit Hall, which will be staffed by several members of the publishing team, including Julie Steffen (AAS Chief Publishing Officer), Ethan Vishniac (AAS Journals Editor in Chief), Frank Timmes (AAS Journals Associate Editor in Chief), and AAS Journals Data Editors Greg Schwarz and Gus Muench. At the booth, you can test drive the augmented reality experience newly added to the AAS journals (and get your very own augmented reality Merge Cube!) and learn more about the upcoming AAS journals peer review workshop, which will take place in February.

AAS Nova Editor Kerry Hensley, AAS Media Fellow Ben Cassese, Astrobites Media Intern Zili Shen, and the rest of the Astrobites team will also be available at the Astrobites booth in the Exhibit Hall.

AAS Production at IOPP: Workflow, Language Editing, and the AAS Style Guide

Tuesday, January 10, 10:00 am PT | iPoster Theater

Concision and clarity are essential to ensuring that your research is meaningful and understandable to the American Astronomical Society (AAS) community. Senior members of the AAS production team explain in this session how Institute of Physics Publishing (IOPP) assists in that mission with publishing and editing expertise. We will focus on the centrality of the AAS Style Guide in achieving that clarity required in your scientific discipline and on how the Language Edit team at IOPP helps you apply the principles of AAS style most effectively.

Keywords and Descriptive Metadata in Astronomy

Over the years, there have been many efforts to codify and create lists of relevant keywords for the astronomy community. In the early days, these vocabulary lists were just that, alphabetical lists of astronomy terms, sometimes arranged into a shallow hierarchy. The most recent effort along these lines is the Unified Astronomy Thesaurus (UAT), which adds a deep hierarchy to organize and define relationships between astronomical concepts, as well as being built using modern technology standards that allow it to integrate with online platforms and services.

The real strength of the UAT is its open call for community feedback. Like all scientific fields, the astronomy community is made up of a diverse group of experts, including both researchers who specialize in narrow fields and those who have a broad understanding of general astronomy. Drawing upon those experts to influence the content and direction of the UAT is what keeps the project relevant and useful as it sees wider adoption.

Stop by the American Astronomical Society (AAS) booth during the morning coffee breaks to catch up with Katie Frey, Curator of the Unified Astronomy Thesaurus. Learn about how the UAT has been implemented by institutions such as the AAS, the Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, and the Space Telescope Science Institute. Explore the concepts, structure, and hierarchy of the UAT. Do you have any feedback about the UAT? Katie would love to hear it!

Where to find the UAT at AAS 241:

Monday, January 9th Tuesday, January 10th
AAS booth (#627) 9:00 – 10:30 am AAS booth (#627) 9:00 – 10:30 am
CfA booth (#431) 1:30 – 6:30 pm CfA booth (#431) 10:30 am – 1:30 pm
AAS booth (#627) 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Wednesday, January 11th Thursday, January 12th
AAS booth (#627) 9:00 – 10:30 am AAS booth (#627) 9:00 – 10:30 am
CfA booth (#431) 12:00 – 2:00 pm AAS booth (#627) 5:30 – 6:30 pm
AAS booth (#627) 5:30 – 6:30 pm

NOIRLab Legacy Mosaic Data Rescue Project

Sunday, January 8, 4:15–4:30 pm PT | Seattle Convention Center, Room 614

AAS Archive Fellow Nick Foo and AAS Chief Publishing Officer Julie Steffen will present on a collaborative project being carried out by the AAS and NSF’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory (NOIRLab) to conduct a rescue project on the legacy mosaic data archived by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO; National Optical Astronomy Observatories pre-FY2000). In the mid-1990s, telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) and Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) made the significant transition to archiving digital observational data stored on magnetic exabyte tapes. From 1993 until 2004 5+ million raw data files on 9,000+ unique data magnetic tapes were collected in the NOAO Science Archive. In the present day, the 8-mm tape format is obsolete, and the data have been offline for the past 20–30 years despite numerous possibilities for archival research. Eventually, they will not be recoverable because the tapes will degrade over time, and the hardware that is required will no longer be available. Using a bank of 8-mm tape readers, the recovery project team has managed to extract and catalog the data. So far, nearly all Mosaic-1 wide-field images have been recovered. Currently, existing pipeline software is being developed to perform calibration and basic analysis to produce science-ready images. All observations recovered from the project will be publicly accessible via the Astro Data Archive ingest. Hopefully, the unveiling of previously dark data will initiate and inspire numerous archival research investigations in the future.