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DDA Newsletter #85 - January 2000


Dates and Deadlines

Here is a quick list of important dates and deadlines for the 2000 annual meeting:

Abstract deadline: March 2 (forms available online the first week of February)
Lodging deadline: March 9
Meeting registration deadline: March 9
Meeting dates: Sunday, April 9, through Wednesday, April 12
Scientific sessions begin: 2 pm on Sunday, April 9
Welcoming reception: evening of April 9
Banquet: evening of April 11


Yosemite National Park Meeting Information

Source for Latest Information
The latest meeting details are posted to the DDA Yosemite National Park meeting page as they come in.

Where & When
The 2000 DDA meeting will be held at Yosemite National Park, California, April 9 to 12. The first scientific session begins on Sunday the 9th at 2 pm. There will be a welcoming reception on the evening of the 9th and a banquet the evening of the 11th. The DDA Yosemite meeting page contains links to information about Yosemite National Park, including travel information.

Invited Speakers
Invited speakers this year include:

Robin Canup SWRI Origin of the Moon
Francis Everitt Stanford Gravity Probe B
Doug Hamilton U. Maryland Resonances, Drag Forces and the Jacobi Constant
Andrea Milani U. Pisa Asteroid Hazards

More to come — keep an eye on the Yosemite meeting page.


When: Tuesday, April 11, reception starting at 6:00 pm
Where: The Cliff/Falls room (our meeting room) of the Yosemite Lodge
How much: $40 per person
How do I sign up? On the meeting registration form

Lodging & Travel

  • Lodging information can be found on the DDA web site at the URL:
  • Lodging deadline: We have reserved a block of rooms at the Yosemite Lodge, but that block goes away after March 9. To get a room in the DDA block, you must make reservations by then. For reservations information, please see the DDA Yosemite room reservations page. Of specific note: you MUST use the registration form supplied by the Yosemite Concession Services and available on the DDA Yosemite room reservations page. Room reservation forms can be either mailed or faxed to Yosemite Concession Services.
  • Here is some lodging advice from our Local Host:
    • It occurs to me to suggest that you add a note to the Newsletter encouraging attendees to share rooms with others. Our room block is not all that large, the rooms are pricey (the flood is the culprit here), and the attractions of Yosemite are its great outdoors (NOT the four walls of your room).
  • Here is some travel advice from our Local Host:
    • Airports of choice include SF and Fresno. Bakersfield is worth mentioning, even though Fresno is closer to the Park. Of course, Los Angeles is always in the equation, particularly for members linking up with our southern California attendees for the final carpool to the Park.
    • There are four entrances to the Park; three from the West and one from the East (via Lee Vining). The entrance from the East will be closed due to snow at the time of our meeting. The western entrances each have their advantages. The northernmost entrance (via Rte. 120) is best for attendees arriving via San Francisco or other points north. The southernmost entrance (via Rte. 41) is similarly best for attendees such as myself arriving from points in southern California. The central entrance (via Rte. 140) provides access through El Portal, where the Cedar Lodge is located. Cedar Lodge provides comfortable accommodations closest to but outside of the Park. For our attendees slow to make room reservations, Cedar Lodge may be the best option after our room block fills up.
    • A map, of moderate adequacy, is available of the Yosemite environs at the link on our website. In all honesty, if you are unfamiliar with the necessary details of the roads in California, I think you should be advised to get a detailed road map of the state from your travel agent.

Please note the abstract deadline: March 2, 2000. In keeping with recent AAS policy (and due to the fact that nobody sent DDA abstracts via snail mail the previous three years), all 2000 DDA meeting abstracts MUST be submitted electronically. The URL for submissions via the web is: (Please note that this abstract submission form will be available after February 1.)

Abbreviated instructions:

  • Go to
  • Click on the "I want to use the Web form" button.
  • Select "DDA 2000".
  • Fill in the number of authors and the number of collaborations/teams.
  • Click on the "Create an abstract form for me!" button.
  • Fill in the form.

Help may be obtained via the help page link on the form, or from

There is no separate charge for submitting an abstract. The abstract fee is included in the meeting registration fee.

Detailed instructions for electronic abstract submission are shown below.

Meeting Registration Form
The meeting registration form is available at

Instructions, fees, etc. are listed on the form. Please print it out and mail it along with your check to the address specified near the top of the form.

A few important particulars:

  • Registration Deadline: March 9, 2000
  • Registration Fee: $80
  • Late Registration Fee (after March 9): $95
  • Banquet Fee: $40

Yosemite National Park Area Information and Attractions
Links to local information about the Yosemite National Park area (including travel) are listed on the DDA Yosemite meeting page, at You may find these Yosemite links helpful:

Meeting Contact Info
2000 DDA Meeting Organizing Committee:
Roy Laubscher, Local Host -
Joseph A. Burns, DDA Vice-Chair -
Marc Murison, DDA Secretary -


Student Stipend Awards

The DDA is again providing up to two $400 stipends each on a competitive basis to students attending the 2000 DDA meeting in Yosemite National Park. (See for information about the stipend program.) The applications for the 2000 meeting are due by February 1, so act quickly! The applicants will be notified by e-mail, and the stipend will be presented to the recipient(s) at the meeting.


2000 DDA Elections

You should be receiving the 2000 Election Ballot and candidate statements the week of February 28 (in accordance with the DDA bylaws). When you receive your ballot, please mark it and return it promptly in a signed envelope. Results will be announced via email a few days before the meeting, as well as at the meeting.

The nominees for this year's election are as follows:

Hal Levison (SWRI)
Roy Laubscher (Laub Corp.)

Pete Shelus (U. Texas)

Marc Murison (USNO)

DDA Committee:
Joe Hahn (LPI)
Brian Mason (USNO)
Jane Morrison (STScI)
Judit Ries (U. Texas)
Barbara Schreur (Texas A&M, Kinsgville)
Stephen Unwin (JPL)


Electronic Voting is On the Horizon

The DDA is moving towards allowing members to cast their ballots via electronic means (email, web, FAX), in addition to the traditional snail mail. As with all things formal, the process takes time. Currently, the DDA Committee is hashing out the exact wording of the proposed changes. In accordance with the DDA bylaws, these changes will be submitted to the AAS Council at the next Council meeting in July. After that, the changes (as well as pertinent comments from the AAS Council and the DDA Committee) will be distributed to the DDA membership. The amendments will then be discussed at the 2001 DDA Business meeting, followed by formal ballots sent to the entire membership. Assuming the amendments pass, then the electronic voting options will be available for the 2002 DDA elections.


New High Precision Ephemerides Available for Fifteen of the Largest Asteroids

[From James Hilton, USNO]

The U.S. Naval Observatory is making available a CD-ROM version of USNO/AE98, the high precision ephemerides of fifteen of the largest asteroids. These are the asteroid ephemerides which will appear in the Astronomical Almanac beginning with the edition for the year 2000. USNO/AE98 includes the asteroids 1 Ceres, 2 Pallas, 3 Juno, 4 Vesta, 6 Hebe, 7 Iris, 8 Flora, 9 Metis, 10 Hygiea, 15 Eunomia, 16 Psyche, 52 Europa, 65 Cybele, 511 Davida, and 704 Interamnia. USNO/AE98 is based on the JPL DE405 planetary ephemerides and covers the period 1799 November 16 (JD 2378450.5) through 2100 February 1 (JD 2488100.5). The CD-ROM also includes software to compress the ephemerides and interpolate the ephemerides for any arbitrary date within the range of USNO/AE98.

The CD-ROM is ISO 9660 compliant and will work on all systems with ISO 9660 compliant CD-ROM drives.

For more information on USNO/AE98, including the new mass determinations for Ceres, Pallas, and Vesta, see Hilton, J.L. 1999, 'U.S. Naval Observatory Ephemerides of the Largest Asteroids,' Astronomical Journal, 117, pp. 1077-1086. (Click here for ADS Abstract.) For a copy of the CD-ROM contact either James Hilton or The Astronomical Applications Department, U.S. Naval Observatory, 3450 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20392, or send an email to


Detailed Electronic Abstract Submission Instructions

The AAS is again handling abstracts for our DDA meeting. The AAS web page to do this has not been set up yet, so the information below is only a highly-likely guess, based on last year's instructions. When the AAS page is ready (the first week of February), I'll immediately send out a notice with further instruction via email. You cannot submit an abstract until the AAS form is ready after the first of February.

Electronic Submission via the World Wide Web
You can submit your abstract electronically just as for an AAS meeting anytime before March 2, 2000. There is a World Wide Web submission form available at the following URL:

When you go to the above link, press the "I want to use the Web form" button, then select "DDA 2000", fill in the number of authors and number of collaborations, and press the "Create an abstract form for me!" button.

If you have any questions about electronic submission while you are preparing your abstract, please contact the AAS Executive Office for assistance. You can call the office at 202-328-2010, or send email to

Electronic Acknowledgment of Abstract Receipt
Two acknowledgments are sent. The first is a copy of the submission sent within minutes to the submitter's browser. The second is sent to the first/presenting author's email address, it confirms acceptance and includes a running identification number.

If you do not receive these confirmations, DO NOT RESUBMIT THE ABSTRACT. Please contact the Executive Office by calling 202-328-2010 or by sending email to

Corrections to your Abstract
If you notice an error in your abstract after submission, send details of the correction to and the correction will be made for you. We cannot guarantee that corrections received after the abstract deadline will be processed.

NOTE: If you do not have access to the Web, the AAS Executive Office will make arrangements to include your abstract. Please contact them for assistance, 202-328-2010, or send email to