AAS 197, January 2001
Session 86. Innovations in Teaching Astronomy I
Joint Display, Wednesday, January 10, 2001, 9:30am-7:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[86.20] Starstuff.org - an astro-ph for the public.

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

Results are presented from the first months of operation of starstuff.org - the online community bringing together astronomers and the public. This site publishes popular level articles about astronomy written and edited by astronomers. This 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. Astronomers, teachers, and science writers are encouraged to communicate their excitement and share their knowledge about astronomy with the rest of the world by contributing an article today.

Over 100 articles about recent astronomical discoveries and general astronomical topics have reached an audience of thousands to date. Starstuff.org is partially funded by an IDEAS grant.

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@barneys.lbl.gov

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