Background: The Gran Telescopio CANARIAS (GTC) is a reflecting telescope designed to incorporate the most up‐to‐date technology and, when it enters service, it will be one of the most advanced telescopes in the world. Objective/Hypotheses: Since the beginning, the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), in Canary Islands (Spain) has bet for a public outreach before it enters service to prepare the society and let them know that Spain leads the biggest project in current optical/infrared astronomy. Methods: That’s why a position specifically for this was created at the Director’s Board, as well as a web site just concerning public outreach that contains news, photos and videos to explain all the process of construction and how the telescope works. It is may be the first time that the construction of a telescope is followed so closely and in detail. Results: Visits to the web page, www.gtcdigital.net grow related to the video production and the special events. Visual materials have more impact, explaining technical concepts that have to be included in the articles. Media get close to the project as the moment to enter service approaches. Conclusions: Creating a meeting point like a web page, where all the interested people (media, general public, scientists, etc.) can find general information about the project before it begins to really create science, open doors to a major knowledge and is used as a tool to explain a huge number of concepts in technology and astronomy.

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 [PCST]
PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Public outreach with a telescope under construction
Tools and means

Natalia Zelmanovitch   Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC)

Background: The Gran Telescopio CANARIAS (GTC) is a reflecting telescope designed to incorporate the most up‐to‐date technology and, when it enters service, it will be one of the most advanced telescopes in the world. Objective/Hypotheses: Since the beginning, the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), in Canary Islands (Spain) has bet for a public outreach before it enters service to prepare the society and let them know that Spain leads the biggest project in current optical/infrared astronomy. Methods: That’s why a position specifically for this was created at the Director’s Board, as well as a web site just concerning public outreach that contains news, photos and videos to explain all the process of construction and how the telescope works. It is may be the first time that the construction of a telescope is followed so closely and in detail. Results: Visits to the web page, www.gtcdigital.net grow related to the video production and the special events. Visual materials have more impact, explaining technical concepts that have to be included in the articles. Media get close to the project as the moment to enter service approaches. Conclusions: Creating a meeting point like a web page, where all the interested people (media, general public, scientists, etc.) can find general information about the project before it begins to really create science, open doors to a major knowledge and is used as a tool to explain a huge number of concepts in technology and astronomy.

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

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