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Session 39 - Astronomy Education.
Display session, Tuesday, June 09
The Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF), scheduled for launch in late 2001, is the final element of NASA's hugely successful "Great Observatories" program. At the SIRTF Science Center, we have identified three keys to our education and public outreach plan which will emphasize the unique abilities of a telescope like SIRTF and the exciting prospects for infrared astronomy. These are : SIRTF's role as the fourth and final "Great Observatory," (2) the role of technology developement in enabling scientific discoveries, especially in infrared astronomy, and (3) the role of discovery in science, and how the scientific process influences our understanding of the universe. With these three keys as the foundation, we plan to develope a wide variety of educational products to address subjects such as the concept of temperature and why infrared radiation reveals objects and processes hidden to visible light instruments. Just as important as reporting new scientific discoveries to the public, we also plan to address wider topics, such as how scientists convert raw photons into knowledge and use the scientific process to push forward their inquiries. SIRTF will reveal a unique view of the universe, and at the SIRTF Science Center we will seek to clearly present this view, and the excitement of infrared astronomy, to people around the world.
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