Live! from AAS: The Latest News from NASA Astrophysics Missions

January 2017

Briefing date: January 6, 2017 (3:30pm)


Dr. Brandon Lawton (STScI) and James Manning (Universe of Learning)


  • Dr. Reinout van Weeren (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA) – “Cosmic Double Whammy: Black-Hole Blast Followed by Galaxy Cluster Collision”

  • Julia Zachary (Wesleyan University) – “Measuring the local ISM along the sight lines of the two Voyager spacecraft with HST/STIS”

  • Ian Steer (NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database) – “How Far Away Is that Galaxy: Vast Catalog Has Answers”

 Slide presentation:

Transcript and audio recording:


This month we have a special edition of the Universe of Learning science briefings! We will be live at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Grapevine, Texas, where scientists will be describing new findings. We’ll provide access to some of the latest news coming out of NASA Astrophysics missions, and tie these results to NASA’s Big Questions:

  • How Does the Universe Work?

  • How Did We Get Here?

  • Are We Alone?

There will be opportunities for you to ask questions directly of those presenting from the AAS meeting.


Dr. Brandon Lawton is an astronomer in the Office of Public Outreach at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI). He got his PhD in astronomy at New Mexico State University in 2008, followed by a postdoctoral position at STScI where he used Spitzer Space Telescope data to explore star formation in our neighboring galaxies, the Magellanic Clouds. Dr. Lawton has been a member of the Office of Public Outreach since 2011 where he works with the Hubble, JWST, and WFIRST education and communications teams, as well as with the broader NASA science education community, to deliver accurate cutting-edge science content to students, educators, and the general public.

Jim Manning is a science education consultant with long experience as a planetarium director, including in a museum setting. Most recently, he has served as head of the Office of Public Outreach at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, and as Executive Director of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific in San Francisco. He’s a past president of the International Planetarium Society, and has been Principal Investigator or Co-PI for a number of NASA-funded and NSF-funded programs in informal science education. He currently consults for the Universe of Learning program.