Sharing the passion of exploring the universe
Outreach is part of the life of a professional astrophysicist. It gives us the opportunity to present our work to the broad public. In addition to my experience in science communication via social media, I am directly involved in various "hands-on" outreach activities in the City of Astronomy, Pasadena.
Below a list of major recent and past outreach.
All Space Considered (February 7, 2020). Our part starts at 01:00.
All Space Considered is a monthly show hosted by the curatorial staff of the Griffith Observatory. The most-talked-about subjects in astronomy and space science are examined and explained. Prof. Nick Scoville (Caltech Astronomy) and I were featured in the February 2020 show. The All Space Considered team filmed us during our observing run at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii the previous January. During the show we talked about our research and how to use the Keck observatory as well as the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) to study galaxies far away.
Griffith public lecture from July 2016
I was invited twice to give a public lecture at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California. To an interested public, I explained the formation of the first galaxies and how they eventually end their live. In 2016 to more than 70 members of the Los Angeles Astronomical Society (LAAS) and in 2018 to 190 members of the Friends of the Observatory (FOTO).
Astronomy on Tap in Pasadena, September 26, 2016
Astronomy on Tap (AoT) brings great astrophysic talks by professionals to the public. The venues are public bars and therefore this is real hands-on outreach. The topics of these informal talks vary; from earth, stars, and planets to cosmology. There is usually also a small quiz where the audience can win cool prizes. I am involved in organization as well as speaker of the AoT Los Angeles (organized by Caltech Astro).
My AoT talks: Baltimore (2016), Pasadena (2016), Copenhagen (2018)
Refractor at the Urania Observatory in Zurich
The Urania Observatory Zurich is located in the heart of downtown Zurich, Switzerland. Although the light pollution is severe, the observatory offers the public a great view on planets, stars, nebula, and the closest galaxies. For more than 6 years (2009 - 2015), I held talks and gave tours at this fabulous place high above the streetlights of Zurich. The tours include stargazing with the unique 5-meter long 30 cm telescope built in 1905 in connection with a 1.5 hour talk about the current sky and astronomy news. In total gave more than 200 talks for the general public, schools, and companies.
Greenway Talk in March 2016
The Palomar Greenway Series is a re-occuring series of talks at the Palomar Observatory in Riverside County, CA. The 45-minute talks are given to the general public together with a tour to the 200-inch Hale Telescope. It was a great experience for me to give a talk about the first galaxies at such a memorable place (Feb. 2016). The attendance was great (45 visitors) and interested.
Caltech public lecture, September 22, 2017
Caltech offers various outreach possibilities. One of the most popular is the public Caltech Stargazing & Lecture Series, attracting more than 100 people. The 30 minute lecture is followed by stargazing using three telescopes as well as a Q&A session led by professional astronomers. I am involved in organizing and leading the stargazing part but also contribute to the lectures as a speaker.
Sidewalk Astronomy event in Pasadena
Sidewalk Astronomy is our newest outreach activity in Pasadena. And it is pretty simple: we set up telescopes at the sidewalk and allow interested pedestrians to have a look at the moon and planets. Our first event (September 2017) was a great success. We counted more than 200 people over 2 hours and an equally large number of "wows".
Caltech public lecture and stargazing
Caltech offers one public lecture followed by stargazing per month from February 2016 to June 2016. The talks are given by professional astronomers affiliated to Caltech. The stargazing offers not only a fun opportunity to peer into the darkeness of the sky but also an additional platform to talk to professionals. For more information on these ongoing events, visit the Caltech Outreach webpage.
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