Asteroid Expert To Give Free Public Talk At Planetary Science Meeting In Reno

RENO, Nev., Oct. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 600 astronomers from all over the world will convene in Reno, Nevada, in mid-October for the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS). They'll share their latest discoveries about the solar system not only with each other, but also with the general public. At 7:30 p.m. PDT on Monday evening, October 15th, Dr. Patrick Michel will give a presentation entitled "The Fascinating Quest of Asteroids: Remnants of Planetary Formation." Dr. Michel, an asteroid expert at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in France, is the 2012 recipient of the DPS Carl Sagan Medal, which recognizes excellence in public communication by an active planetary scientist. He'll speak in the Grand Ballroom at the Grand Sierra Resort & Casino, 2500 E. Second St., Reno, NV 89595. Admission is free.

Dr. Michel began his advanced education with a degree in aeronautical engineering and space techniques in 1993, after which he moved to the study of asteroids. He received his PhD in 1997 for a thesis titled "Dynamical Evolution of Near-Earth Asteroids." He leads the planetology group at CNRS and is a participant in several international robotic space missions to asteroids, including Europe's MarcoPolo-R, Japan's Hayabusa 2, and NASA's OSIRIS-REx. In 2006 he received the Young Researcher Award from the French Society of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Scientific sessions at the DPS meeting are scheduled Monday, October 15, through Friday, October 19. The DPS offers complimentary press registration to bona fide working journalists and public-information officers, and news briefings will be held during the lunch break Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday; please contact DPS Press Officer Dr. Vishnu Reddy ( for details.

More information about the DPS annual meeting:

The American Astronomical Society (AAS), established in 1899 and based in Washington, DC, is the major organization of professional astronomers in North America. Its membership of about 7,000 also includes physicists, mathematicians, geologists, engineers, and others whose research interests lie within the broad spectrum of subjects now comprising contemporary astronomy. The mission of the AAS is to enhance and share humanity's scientific understanding of the universe.

The Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) is the largest organization of professional planetary scientists in the world. The DPS was formed in 1968 as a sub-organization within the AAS devoted to solar system and extrasolar planet research. Today it is the largest special interest division of the AAS.

SOURCE American Astronomical Society