The Chandra X-ray Observatory is NASA’s flagship mission for X-ray astronomy. Along with the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope, it is one of the agency’s so-called Great Observatories. Since its deployment into orbit in 1999, Chandra has been a fantastic success in scientific return. Yet, much of the public does not even understand that “other” types of astronomy (that is, non-optical light) exist. Indeed, a basic understanding of the electromagnetic spectrum is required to even acknowledge the need for a telescope like Chandra and the science it returns.

In this talk/poster, we will discuss some of the initiatives we have taken over the years in order to communicate the science of the high-energy Universe that Chandra explores. Through publicity and the media, a robust online presence, print products, and evolving technologies like blogs and podcasts, we strive to inject the science of X-ray astrophysics into the public consciousness. We will discuss some of our best practices, such as establishing context for each new result, as well outline some of the challenges we continue to face.

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 [PCST]
PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Communicating the High-Energy Universe through Chandra

Megan Watzke   Chandra X-ray Center

Kimberly Arcand   Chandra X-ray Center

The Chandra X-ray Observatory is NASA’s flagship mission for X-ray astronomy. Along with the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope, it is one of the agency’s so-called Great Observatories. Since its deployment into orbit in 1999, Chandra has been a fantastic success in scientific return. Yet, much of the public does not even understand that “other” types of astronomy (that is, non-optical light) exist. Indeed, a basic understanding of the electromagnetic spectrum is required to even acknowledge the need for a telescope like Chandra and the science it returns.

In this talk/poster, we will discuss some of the initiatives we have taken over the years in order to communicate the science of the high-energy Universe that Chandra explores. Through publicity and the media, a robust online presence, print products, and evolving technologies like blogs and podcasts, we strive to inject the science of X-ray astrophysics into the public consciousness. We will discuss some of our best practices, such as establishing context for each new result, as well outline some of the challenges we continue to face.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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