Flagstaff, Arizona – Astronomers from around the world will gather in Flagstaff from June 9-13 for the 18th Cambridge Workshop on Cool Stars, Stellar Systems, and the Sun (commonly known simply as “Cool Stars”, www.coolstars18.net) The workshop will be held at the High Country Conference Center (HCCC) and will feature a lecture for the general public on June 11.
More than 350 scientists have registered for this biennial workshop, which has been running since 1980 and is now one of the largest conferences for the professional astronomical community. Gerard van Belle of Lowell Observatory, who is chairing both the Scientific and Local Organizing Committees, said, “Cool Stars is a very prestigious meeting series. There have been a lot of important discoveries announced at these meetings over the years; for instance, in 1995 at Cool Stars 9 in Florence, astronomers announced the discoveries of both the first planet around another star and the first confirmed brown dwarf.”
Scientific programs will run throughout the week and include morning plenary sessions, afternoon splinter sessions and 300 poster displays.
The June 11 public lecture, “Kepler and the Exoplanet Revolution,” is at Northern Arizona University’s Prochnow Auditorium and features Dr. Lucianne Walkowicz, Henry Norris Russell Fellow at Princeton University. In this 7:00 p.m. free program, Dr. Walkowicz will discuss the exciting discoveries made with NASA’s Kepler Mission and how they have revolutionized our understanding of planetary systems. This lecture is sponsored by The Barringer Crater Company.
Flagstaff was chosen as host site for Cool Stars 18 because of the community’s international reputation as a center of astronomical research. The availability of a highly appealing venue at HCCC and the proximity of attractions such as the Grand Canyon and Meteor Crater strengthened Flagstaff’s bid to be competitively selected in 2012 for hosting this meeting. Past Cool Stars host sites include Cambridge, Massachusetts; Hamburg, Germany; Tenerife, Spain; St. Andrews, Scotland; Barcelona, Spain; and Tucson, Arizona.
Scientific meetings such as Cool Stars help bolster Flagstaff’s reputation in scientific circles while drawing international attention to the region. Lowell Observatory Director Jeff Hall said, “Cool stars will bring astronomers from all over the world to Flagstaff, showcasing the city itself as well as the very large number of astronomical and other STEM assets the city has, so it is tremendous exposure for Lowell, for the city, and for northern Arizona.”
Cool Stars 18 is co-sponsored by Lowell Observatory, Northern Arizona University, the U.S. Naval Observatory, the National Solar Observatory and the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute at Caltech. For more information, including daily schedule, see the workshop homepage at www.coolstars18.net.