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There is a growing need for research scientists to bring their expertise and their interest to the larger community, both through formal (classroom) activities and through informal (i.e. museum) activities. Astronomy has a powerful ally which is not available to most sciences -- the planetarium community. There are approximlatey 1000 planetaria in this country, including major planetaria in urban areas (e.g. Buhl Planetarium of Pittsburgh) and smaller planetaria in more urban areas (e.g. Loras College Planetarium of Dubuque Iowa). They serve a wide and diverse audience, and provide a grass roots network that is very receptive to astronomical results. The plaetaria bring the wider public as well as the classroom into the world of astronomy.
It serves the astronomers well to think about how to best support this very effective network. In this talk I will discuss the program being developed by STScI to provide systematic and cost effective communication between the HST observers and the planetarium community.
8:30a program listing