From the Program Director

by Ira Polans

The December meeting will be held on the 8th at 7:30 PM. (See Joining the Meeting with Zoom below for details). This meeting is open to AAAP members and the general public. Due to the number of possible attendees, we will use the Waiting Room. This means when you login into Zoom you will not be taken directly to the meeting. The waiting room will be opened at 7:00 PM. Prior to the meeting start time (7:30 PM) you may socialize with others in the waiting room. The meeting room has a capacity of 100 people.

For the Q&A session, you may ask your question using chat or may unmute yourself and ask your question directly to the speaker. To address background noise issues, we are going to follow the rules in the table below regarding audio. If you are not speaking, please remember to mute yourself. You are encouraged, but not required to turn your video on.

Meeting Event Participant Can Speak? Participant Can Self-Unmute?
Rex’ General Remarks Yes Yes
Ira’s  Speaker Introduction Yes Yes
Speaker Presentation No No
Q&A Session Start All on Mute Yes
Business Meeting Start All on Mute Yes

Only the Business part of the meeting will be locked.

Featured Speaker: Dr. Kimberly Arcand a science communicator and the Visualization and Emerging Technology Lead for NASA‘s Chandra X-ray Observatory will give a talk on Two Decades Plus with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. In the past 20 plus years, NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has made profound discoveries and contributed invaluable information about objects in our Universe. Chandra is part of a rich legacy of telescopes with its X-ray lineage stretching back to the Space Age when scientists and engineers pioneered instruments that were sent above the Earth’s atmosphere. Each decade has brought new innovations and new capabilities, culminating in Chandra’s launch aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1999.

Chandra has strong astronomical family ties across the electromagnetic spectrum. As part of NASA’s “Great Observatories” program, Chandra was designed and built to observe X-rays alongside the Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope, and the Compton Gamma-ray Observatory. The quest to explore the Universe is both multi-wavelength and multi-messenger in nature, with many significant discoveries requiring information from different types of light as well as gravitational waves and more. Learn more about Chandra, and the pivotal role it has played in understanding our Universe.

Speaker’s Biography: Dr. Kimberly Arcand is an expert in astronomy visualization and has been a pioneer in 3D imaging, 3D printing and virtual reality. She presented her TEDx talk entitled How to Hold a Dead Star in Your Hands in 2016 on 3D printing, the same year she was selected as a “Changemaker” for the White House State of the Women Summit. In 2019, she was featured in the Smithsonian’s How to be a Scientist video series both for her work in 3D visualization, 3D printing and virtual reality applications of astronomical objects, and her work with under-represented groups in STEM. She began working with additive manufacturing in 2011, and led her team’s effort to product the first-ever data-driven 3D print of an exploded star, using NASA observational data. She also led a team of researchers to launch the first-ever data-driven virtual reality application of a supernova remnant using NASA data, and has successfully launched subsequent projects in other areas of emerging technology.

Arcand began her career in molecular biology and public health before moving to NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory in 1998. In addition to being an award-winning producer and director, she is a leading expert in studying the perception and comprehension of high-energy data visualization across the novice-expert spectrum. She is principle researcher in the Aesthetics and Astronomy image response research project with international participation. Her current work focuses on applications of holograms, augmented reality and data sonification to astrophysics data sets. She has co-written five non-fiction science books and had her first two science-related children’s books come out in 2020.

Using Zoom: While we are, social distancing the AAAP Board has chosen to use Zoom for our meetings, based our belief that many members have already have used Zoom and its ease of learning. One of its great features is you can choose whether you want to install the software on your computer or use it within your browser.

How to Join the November Meeting: For the meeting, we are going to follow a simple two-step process:

  1. Please make sure you have Zoom installed on your computer. You do not need a Zoom account or need to create one to join the meeting. Nor are you required to use a webcam.
  2. Please visit our website for the link to the meeting

NOTE: We plan to open the meeting site 30 minutes to the 7:30 start time. This way you won’t have to rush to join the meeting. A maximum of 100 attendees can join the meeting.

More Information: The Zoom site has many training videos most are for people who are hosting a meeting. If you’re unsure how Zoom works you might want to view the videos on how to join a meeting or how to check your computer’s audio and video before the meeting.

Journal Club Presentation: We are off to a good start, but still need a member to give a short Journal Club presentation at our December meeting. These talks are given after the break. If interested, please contact either or We’d like to keep our momentum going!

Program Chair: This month’s program will be my last as the AAAP Program Chair. I hope you’ve found the talks interesting, informative, and wide-ranging. If you did, I accomplished what I set out to do. I’ve enjoyed being Program Chair these last 5+ years and I am ready to pass the baton to somebody else. Since the November meeting, Victor Davis has chosen to serve as Program Chair for the remainder of my term starting in January. I believe he will make a great Program Chair! During the transition, I’ve agreed to help him learn the role and provide advice as needed. As of the December 31, I will continue as part of the AAAP as a club as a member. If you wish to contact me, you may do so at Thank-you for your support and the Board’s support these last 5+ years.

Looking forward to you joining us on Zoom at the December meeting!

This entry was posted in December 2020, Sidereal Times and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s