HEAD Meetings



The Minutes of the Executive Committee meeting of the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society.

January 9th, 2008 -- Austin, TX

The HEAD Executive Committee met on the evening of January 9, 2008 in Austin Texas during the AAS meeting. Committee memberbers participating in this meeting were Steve Murray (Chair), Mitch Begelman (Vice-Chair), Cole Miller, Chris Reynolds, Julie McEnery and Christine Jones (Sec-Treas).

Due to the attendance at the committee meeting of Kevin Marvel (AAS Executive Officer) and John Vallerga, the initial exectutive committee discussions concerned NASA funding for space missions and possible future visits by scientists to congressional offices and the plans for the April HEAD2008 meeting in LA.

The committee discussed the proposed special sessions for the HEAD2008, and with the exception of one session which was not proposed prior to the deadline, all were approved. These sessions are Astrostatistics (statistical issues for the high energy X-ray and gamma-ray data, with special emphasis on the new gamma-ray data expected from GLAST and AGILE0), INTEGRAL (new results on AGN, Gamma-ray lines and nucleosynthesis, X-ray binaries, magnetars and GRBs, cyclotron lines, and blazars as weill as an overview of the mission), Swift Non-Gamma-Ray Burst Session (Swift observations of supernovae, comets, stellar superflares, novae, galaxies, AGN and blazars as well as GI opportunities); NuSTAR (The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, a focusing hard X-ray observatory will be launched in August 2011 and will map the sky at 6 to 80 keV with more than 500 times the sensitivity of any previous hard X-ray mission); Chandra X-ray Data Analysis (CIAO 4.0 software featuring including a demonstration of the revised Sherpa fitting and CHiPS plotting applications), GLAST (overview of the mission and scientific opportunities, data releases, software, multiwavelength coordination), Science Impacts of High Resolution X-ray Spectroscopy (Chandra and XMM grating results for stellar coronae, white dwarfs, neutron stars, supernova remnants, ISM, ICM and IGM, and AGN), Fundamental Physics with Neutron Stars (QED effects in magnetars, equations of state, masses and radii of neutron stars and tests for GR), X-rays and Planet Formation (X-ray flaring and disks, indicators of PPD gas ionization, theory of magnetized PPDs, isotopic evidence for an active early Sun), future HEA Missions (e.g. eRosita, Con-X, Gen-X, NEXT, Simbol-X, EXIST).

The Committee also discussed the possibility of setting up an award to be given by HEAD for a PhD thesis in the field of high energy astrophysics. The Committee agreed that this was worth pursuing and Mitch Begelman as the incoming HEAD chair agreed to look into how this award could be set up and to report back to the Committee.

The Executive Committee then discussed the nominations for the Rossi Prize. Each nonimation was reviewed. After considerable discussion, the Committee awarded the Rossi Prize to Steve Allen, Pat Henry, Maxim Markevitch, and Alexey Vikhlinin for their work on clusters of galaxies.

These minutes were prepared by Christine Jones, Secretary-Treasurer, High Energy Astrophysics Division, American Astronomical Society.