AAS Meeting #193 - Austin, Texas, January 1999
Session 33. Astronomy Education and Outreach
Display, Thursday, January 7, 1999, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall 1

[Previous] | [Session 33] | [Next]

[33.03] Starstuff.org - Bridging the Cosmos Between Astronomers and the Public

J.J. Hamm (starstuff.org), D. A. Howell (The University of Texas, starstuff.org)

Starstuff.org is a new web site featuring articles written by astronomers to promote general interest in astronomy and communicate directly the ideas and excitement that make astronomy popular with the public. Traditional media are limited as an outreach tool, because journalists and publishers decide which topics are newsworthy, and many facts are lost in the translation. Starstuff.org circumvents these problems by removing the middleman and allowing astronomers to communicate with the public directly. Readers can be assured of getting accurate information through the firsthand accounts of leaders in the field. This format also allows for the discussion of astronomical concepts and issues that may be important to astronomers but not considered newsworthy by journalists.

The unique power of the computers and the internet as instructive tools is harnessed with features such as virtual reality (VRML) explorations of 3D concepts, interactive equations, animations to explain dynamic events, and hyperlinks to emphasize the connections between concepts and direct the reader to further resources. Topics may be explored in more creative ways and in greater depth than in traditional media, and astronomers can reach a wider audience than they could in a traditional lecture. The site's infrastructure, automated processing, and professional programmer/digital artist free contributors from having to know HTML, allowing them to concentrate on creative ways of presenting ideas. Any astronomer with email is encouraged to contribute.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://starstuff.org. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: andy@ B.starstuff.org

[Previous] | [Session 33] | [Next]