The Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of New Mexico is set to make a significant impact at the American Astronomical Society's semi-annual meeting, scheduled to take place from June 4 to 8 at the Albuquerque Convention Center. The department has partnered with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) to organize two special sessions, solidifying its prominent role in the event.

As one of the largest gatherings of astronomers in the country, the American Astronomical Society meetings serve as a platform for scientists to share their research findings, exchange ideas, and foster collaborations. With its active involvement in organizing two special sessions, the UNM Department of Physics & Astronomy aims to showcase its expertise and contributions to the field.

Very Large Array, radio telescope, New Mexico
Very Large Array, radio telescope, New Mexico

One of the sessions, titled "Radio Astronomy in New Mexico," will highlight the state's radio astronomy endeavors. Research Associate Professor Jayce Dowell will discuss the UNM's Long Wavelength Array (LWA) radio telescope, shedding light on its groundbreaking capabilities and discoveries. Professor Emeritus and Assistant Director for New Mexico Operations at NRAO, Trish Henning, will share insights on the Very Large Array, a renowned radio observatory located near Socorro, N.M. Tom Maccarone of Texas Tech will delve into UNM's LWA Swarm concept.

Distinguished Professor Greg Taylor, a prominent figure in the UNM Department of Physics & Astronomy, has been selected to deliver a Plenary Talk titled "A Decade of Observing with the Long Wavelength Array." With his extensive experience and expertise, Taylor will provide an overview of the significant contributions made by the LWA over the past ten years, showcasing the array's role in advancing our understanding of the universe.
In addition to the radio astronomy focus, the UNM Department of Physics & Astronomy will also contribute to a session titled "Astronomy and Astronomy Education in New Mexico." This session aims to emphasize the state's diverse astronomy-related efforts, including educational and mentorship programs, outreach initiatives, and resources available for both amateur and professional astronomers to leverage New Mexico's pristine night skies. As part of this session, the department will present a contributed talk on its undergraduate peer mentoring program, known as PUMP (Physics and Astronomy Undergraduate Mentorship Program). PUMP has been instrumental in supporting and guiding aspiring astronomers during their undergraduate studies, fostering their passion for the field and providing valuable mentorship opportunities.

By capitalizing on the unique opportunities provided by the American Astronomical Society meeting, the department continues to foster collaboration, exchange knowledge, and contribute to the advancement of astronomy.