Education and public engagement in observatory operations

Pavel Gabor, Louis Mayo, Dennis F Zaritsky

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Education and public engagement (EPE) is an essential part of astronomy's mission. New technologies, remote observing and robotic facilities are opening new possibilities for EPE. A number of projects (e.g., Telescopes In Education, MicroObservatory, Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope and UNC's Skynet) have developed new infrastructure, a number of observatories (e.g., University of Arizona's "full-engagement initiative" towards its astronomy majors, Vatican Observatory's collaboration with high-schools) have dedicated their resources to practical instruction and EPE. Some of the facilities are purpose built, others are legacy telescopes upgraded for remote or automated observing. Networking among institutions is most beneficial for EPE, and its implementation ranges from informal agreements between colleagues to advanced software packages with web interfaces. The deliverables range from reduced data to time and hands-on instruction while operating a telescope. EPE represents a set of tasks and challenges which is distinct from research applications of the new astronomical facilities and operation modes. In this paper we examine the experience with several EPE projects, and some lessons and challenges for observatory operation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationObservatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VI
PublisherSPIE
Volume9910
ISBN (Electronic)9781510601994
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventObservatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VI - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: Jun 27 2016Jul 1 2016

Other

OtherObservatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VI
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityEdinburgh
Period6/27/167/1/16

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Keywords

  • -service observing
  • automated telescopes
  • Education and public engagement
  • observatory operations
  • remote observing
  • scheduling
  • telescope networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this

Gabor, P., Mayo, L., & Zaritsky, D. F. (2016). Education and public engagement in observatory operations. In Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VI (Vol. 9910). [991030] SPIE. https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2234465