DPS 2012 Reno, NV


Three news briefings will highlight exciting discoveries about our own solar system and about planets circling other stars at the 44th annual meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Reno, Nevada, 14-19 October 2012. The gathering takes place at the Grand Sierra Resort & Casino, 2500 E. Second St., Reno, NV 89595, with scientific sessions all week and press conferences at noon on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday; see details below.

The DPS offers complimentary press registration to bona fide working journalists and public-information officers (see our eligibility criteria); please contact DPS Press Officer Dr. Vishnu Reddy (+49 555 697 9246) prior to your arrival in Reno.

Useful meeting links:

Press Conferences

News briefings for the media will be conducted during the lunch break, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. PDT (19:00 to 20:00 UTC), Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, October 15, 16, and 17, in Carson 4 on the main level of the Grand Sierra Resort.

Following are the press-conference topics and speakers; some details remain subject to change, and more presentations may be added. In [square brackets] under each speaker's name are the session or paper numbers on which the presentations are based.

All findings are embargoed until the time of presentation at the meeting. "Time of presentation" means the start time of the oral or poster session in which the paper will be given, or the time of the corresponding press conference (if any), whichever comes first. See the complete AAS/DPS embargo policy for more information. 

Note: All new discoveries are subject to confirmation by independent teams of scientists. Inclusion here does not imply endorsement by the American Astronomical Society or the Division for Planetary Sciences. The AAS and DPS do not endorse individual scientific results.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Underlying Architecture of Planetary Systems Based on Kepler Data
Julia Fang (Univ. of California, Los Angeles)

Planet Hunters: A Status Report
Megan Schwamb (Yale Univ.)

The Very Compact Five Exoplanet System KOI-500: Mass Constraints and Implications
Darin Ragozzine (Univ. of Florida)

Preliminary Results from the NEOWISE Post-Cryogenic Mission
Amy Mainzer (Jet Propulsion Lab)

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Science of Global Climate Modeling: Confirmation from Discoveries on Mars
William Hartmann (Planetary Science Institute)

General Circulation Model (GCM) Investigation of Martian Methane Observations
Malynda Chizek (New Mexico State Univ.)

Searching for the Remnants of Southern Seas: Cassini Observations of Titan's South Pole
Ellen Stofan (Proxemy Research)

The Latest News from New Horizons En Route to Pluto
Alan Stern (Southwest Research Institute)

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Final Origin of the Saturn System
Erik Asphaug (Univ. of California, Santa Cruz)

Io Volcanic Activity Since 2003 as Seen by Large Telescopes with Adaptive Optics
Franck Marchis (SETI Institute)

Jupiter: Turbulence from Below, Flashes from Above
Glenn Orton (Jet Propulsion Lab)

Venus: Latest Results from Venus Express and the June 2012 Venus Solar Transit
Jay Pasachoff (Williams College)

A New Model for the Origin of the Moon
Sarah Stewart (Harvard Univ.)

Remote Access to Press Conferences

Journalists unable to attend the meeting in person may tune in to our briefings streamed live on the Web. Since the webcast includes audio, video, and PowerPoint slides, you must have a broadband (high-speed) Internet connection to watch and listen. Also, your Web browser must have the free Adobe Flash plug-in.

The webcast also includes a chat window whereby remote participants may ask questions. We can't guarantee that all questions received from webcast viewers will be asked aloud — it depends on how much time we have and how many questions we're getting from on-site reporters.

AAS/DPS Press Conference webcasts:


  • Password: Contact DPS Press Officer Dr. Vishnu Reddy or AAS Press Officer Dr. Rick Fienberg for the password, which is for journalists only; the AAS pays by the "viewer hour," so we can't afford to open the live webcast to the public. After the meeting, archived webcasts will be available publicly as Flash or QuickTime video files.
  • Once the webcast window opens, press the Play button.
  • Press the Open Chat Window button. You'll be asked to enter your name; please use your real first and last names, not a cutesy Internet nickname.
  • You can resize the chat window and move it to any convenient position on your screen.
  • To ask a question, type it into the input box near the bottom of the chat window and click the Send button.

Press Facilities & Contacts

A press office will be set up in the McKinley Room on the mezzanine level of the Grand Sierra Resort. The press office will be open to journalists during normal conference hours. Among other amenities, it will offer workspace and wireless Internet connectivity.

During the meeting you may reach DPS Press Officer Dr. Vishnu Reddy via cell phone at +1 808-342-8932. Assisting in the press office through Wednesday is AAS Press Officer Dr. Rick Fienberg, cell +1 857-891-5649.

AAS on Twitter

During the meeting, AAS Press Officer Dr. Rick Fienberg will post announcements of interest to reporters on Twitter at AAS_Press. Journalists (and scientists) tweeting from the meeting are encouraged to use the hashtag #DPS12.

AAS Press-Release-Distribution Service

f you don’t already receive astronomy-related press releases forwarded by email from the AAS Press Office, you should sign up now to guarantee that you receive future meeting advisories as well as electronic copies of all press releases issued during the DPS meeting. To sign up for the AAS press-release-distribution service, for which there is no charge, please send an email to AAS Press Officer Dr. Rick Fienberg with your name, media affiliation, mailing address, and phone, fax, and mobile numbers. Only accredited journalists and public information officers are eligible to receive press releases forwarded by the AAS, as described on our press-credentials page.

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