May 16-20, 2012
Asteroids, Comets, and Meteors is a scientific conference held every three years, organized with support from the International Astronomy Union (IAU), the same folks who in 2006 voted to demote Pluto. Planetary definitions aside, I was excited when they announced a conference in 2011 in Japan; small solar system bodies and the Land of the Rising Sun, what could be a better combination? Then the Tōhoku Disaster of 2011 happened, and the conference was postponed until 2012, a year of uncertainty for me. I cobbled together a project, support, and submitted an abstract on observations I’d taken earlier this year on a binary asteroid system, (22) Kalliope and its moon Linus, and packed my bags for Niigata, northwest of Tōkyō through the alps.