AAS 195th Meeting, January 2000
Session 105. Observations, Outreach and Public Opinion
Display, Saturday, January 15, 2000, 9:20am-4:00pm, Grand Hall

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[105.05] Starstuff.org - Bringing Together Astronomers and the Public

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

Results are presented from the first months of operation of starstuff.org - the online community bringing together astronomers and the public. The public traditionally gets its astronomy news from journalists who are under deadline pressures, have an interest in sensationalizing results, and are almost never experts in astronomy. This site publishes popular level articles about astronomy written by astronomers instead of journalists. This cuts out the middleman, ensures accuracy, and allows astronomers to explain topics in detail that might not be considered newsworthy by journalists. The public can find out the latest astronomical news directly from the people doing the research. Articles are easy to write using the site's automated tools. One simply types text in a form and selects a picture from the library (or uploads one). The picture is resampled and resized, the HTML is generated, and the page is automatically laid out and cross indexed. Once approved by an editor it is published to the web with a click of a button. A daily survey allows astronomers to determine what the public finds exciting. A talkback feature allows readers to comment on articles, ask questions, and even rate the articles. All astronomers are encouraged to communicate their excitement and share their knowledge about astronomy with the rest of the world by contributing an article today.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.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: howell@astro.as.utexas.edu

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