From the Program Chair

By Victor Davis

From The Program Chair

by Victor Davis

The October 2021 meeting of the AAAP will take place (virtually) on Tuesday, October 12th at 7:30 PM. (See How to Join the October Meeting 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 EventParticipant Can Speak?Participant Can Self-Unmute?
Director Rex’s General RemarksYesYes
Program Chair Victor’s  Speaker IntroductionYesYes
Speaker PresentationNoNo
Q&A SessionStart All on MuteYes                                    
5-minute bio breakYesYes
Journal Club presentation (none scheduled)Start All on MuteNo
Business MeetingStart All on MuteYes
Director’s closing remarksNoNo
Only the Business part of the meeting will be locked.

Featured Speaker:  Dr. Tansu Daylan is a TESS Postdoctoral Associate at Princeton University’s Department of Astrophysical Sciences. His presentation is entitled, “Exoplanets Transiting Faint Stars in the TESS Full Frame Images.”  The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is proceeding with its mission of discovering small planets transiting bright stars. TESS is able to determine the mass of these host stars and hence bulk and atmospheric characterization of the transiting exoplanets. Exoplanet searches using TESS have so far focused on bright host stars or on specific populations (e.g. young) of stars.  Dr. Daylan has been working on extending the TESS survey to fainter host stars with a limiting magnitude of about T=13.5. Toward that end, he uses the Quick Look Pipeline (QLP) light curves to construct summary metrics from the full frame images to vet Threshold Crossing Events by excluding false positives such as eclipsing binaries, stellar variability, and other factors. Preliminary results of this effort recently pushed the number of TESS Objects of Interest above 4400, with a further 1500 candidates expected by the end of the extended mission. This projected yield is especially important to achieve a full-sky demographic survey of exoplanets with a well-characterized selection function.  


Dr. Daylan describes himself as a self-conscious and inquiring ingredient of our Universe, pondering on its constituents, origin, evolution, and elegant symmetries. Before that, he was a collection of elements spread throughout a molecular cloud in the pre-Solar neighborhood that eventually collapsed to become the Sun and its retinue of planets. Subsequently, he became a curious child growing up in the beautiful city of Istanbul. Dr. Daylan graduated from the Robert College, and completed undergraduate studies in electrical and electronics engineering and physics at Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, Turkey. He completed his PhD at Harvard working on constructing novel statistical methods to search for signatures of dark matter. Dr. Daylan is now a TESS postdoctoral associate at MIT with a visiting appointment at Princeton University. Dr. Daylan is active in teaching and outreach aimed at communicating and advocating the scientific method across cultures and generations.

AAAP webcast:  This month’s AAAP meeting, beginning with Rex’s opening remarks and ending at the break before the business meeting, will be webcast live on YouTube and recorded for subsequent public access on AAAP’s YouTube channel. Be aware that your interactions during this segment, including questions to our guest speaker, may be recorded for posterity. 

YouTube Link:

This session will be recorded and saved on YouTube. Send me an email at if you have any concerns. 

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 October 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 Zoom link.
  3. This session will be recorded and saved on YouTube. Send me an email at if you have any concerns.

NOTE: The Zoom site has many training videos. 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.

WANTED: Members with interesting stories to tell. During the past months, we’ve enjoyed interesting and informative talks from AAAP members, and we’d like to keep the momentum going! We hope to make these short presentations a regular feature of our monthly meetings. We’d like to know what members are doing or what members are thinking about in the broad range of topics encompassed by astronomy. A brief ten-minute (or so) presentation is a good way to introduce yourself and the topics you care about to the club membership. If you are interested in presenting a topic of interest, please contact either or

A look ahead at future guest speakers:

November 9, 2021         Jesus (Jesse) Rivera, Visiting Assistant Professor of Astronomy at Swarthmore  College, will discuss radio astronomy and his work researching dusty star-forming galaxies (DSFGs).

December 14, 2021       Joleen Carlberg will talk about her work as a Support Scientist on the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) team.

January 11, 2022           Robert Williams, former director of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STSci),  will talk about his controversial and courageous decision to commit about 100 hours of time on the HST to staring at what was at the time considered to be a relatively bare patch of sky, creating what is now known as the Hubble Deep Field.

February 8, 2022           Chris Spalding a 51 Pegasi b postdoctoral fellow in astronomy at Princeton University,  will talk about his research to understand planet formation by way of simple theoretical  descriptions of planetary dynamics.

As always, your comments and suggestions are gratefully accepted.


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