World's Top Observatories Collaborate for Public Education
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rebecca Johnson, Public Information, UT McDonald Observatory
Contact: Case Rijsdijk, South African Astronomical Observatory
AUSTIN, TX--Educators from many of the worlds top observatories are heading to Cape Town, South Africa, this week, in an effort to strengthen international ties in public science education. Beginning Friday, they will attend a workshop to discuss the creation of an International Collaborative for Educational Outreach for State-of-the-Art Telescopes.
Currently, no such international collaboration exists. Workshop attendees will discuss the goals, mission, and priorities for such a group.
This workshop will enable all participants, especially the staff of the South African Large Telescope (SALT), an opportunity to learn from, and collaborate with, colleagues in the field of astronomy education and outreach, said Sandra Preston, workshop organizer and Director of McDonald Observatorys Public Information Office at the University of Texas. SALT, now under construction, is a southern-hemisphere near-clone of the innovative Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) at McDonald Observatory.
Observatories participating in the workshop include: the Gemini Project, the W. M. Keck Observatory, Japans Subaru Telescope, the U.S. National Science Foundations Very Large Array and Arecibo radio telescopes, the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, NASAs Hubble Space Telescope, the South African Large Telescope, the European Southern Observatorys Very Large Telescope, Great Britains Jodrell Bank Observatory, and Spains Gran Telescopio Canarias.
Following the workshop, the presentations and discussions will be published in the form of conference proceedings. Information on how to obtain copies will be made available at that time.
The U.S. National Science Foundation provided travel funds for participants from U.S. observatories. The Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology of the South African government provided funds for the hosting of the workshop in Cape Town.