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ASTRON booth at AAS2012

Submitter: George Heald
Description: Last year, ASTRON traveled for the first time to the AAS winter meeting (the largest gathering of astronomers in the world!) to make itself better known to the North American community, and advertise the excellent progress being made on LOFAR, APERTIF, and SKA-related efforts in general. This experiment was regarded to be very successful, given the high level of interest that we received during the conference, as well as the quality of last year's applicants to the ASTRON/JIVE Summer Student Programme (which we advertised at the booth). We decided to repeat this effort for the 2012 meeting, and while we were at it decided to put together a special session on LOFAR science, as well as a press conference, as recent daily images have shown.

The ASTRON booth was located in a strategic spot in the huge poster and exhibition hall that is the centerpiece of AAS meetings. From morning coffee until dinner time each day of the conference, there was a steady stream of foot traffic at the booth, attracted in many cases by the wonderful LOFAR model! Today's image gives a flavor of the hard work put in by the booth workers - from setting up the booth, spreading the good word to a broad range of visitors, to packing up at the end of the conference - we were kept busy for the whole week. A real-time LOFAR all-sky imager was developed and presented to our visitors during the meeting.

What is not illustrated very well in this collection of images is the continuous stream of interesting discussions that we had with students, postdocs, and staff astronomers throughout the week - we were so engaged with that part of our work that we forgot to take more pictures! Sorry about that, we'll try to do better next year....
Copyright: ASTRON
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