Chile hosted “Sharing One Sky II: SDSS, APOGEE, and Astronomy Outreach” for the second time and the Institute of Physics and Astronomy of Universidad de Valparaíso and the Millennium Institute of Astrophysics MAS were the ones in charge of its organization. The main goal was to bring together science popularizers from different places to talk and share innovative experiences in outreach.
How to keep engaging the general public in astronomy, new strategies and outreach products? This was the question that guided the second version of the “Sharing One Sky II: SDSS, APOGEE, and Astronomy Outreach” conference, held last July 22th and 23th at the Innovation Center of Universidad Católica.
In this opportunity, and as part of the “SDSS-IV Collaboration Meeting Santiago 2017” scientific conference, international experts in outreach related to SDSS and APOGEE-2 Projects shared with national science popularizers different strategies and methods to do astronomy outreach here in Chile and the rest of the world.
According to Jura Borissova, Associate Researcher of MAS and Universidad de Valparaíso, who is also in charge of the organization of this event, this meeting’s main goal is “bring together people who do outreach in Chile: school teachers and professors of university and scientific centers with astronomers and science popularizers of the SDSS and APOGEE-2, in order to share experiences and think of new ideas to do astronomy outreach. The first meeting in 2016 brought a lot of interest and it was very successful, demonstrating that Chile needs more opportunities like this where astronomy educators and professional astronomers can meet. Reason why, we intend to do this event every year.”
All this thinking on the scientists’ responsibility to tell the public about the scientific advances they made in big research projects like these. “The Sloan Foundation, financed by the SDSS IV and APOGEE-2, has the mission of making scientific results public to as many people as possible. Especially, focusing on students to promote in them astronomy,” Jura adds.
Additionally, thinking on Chile as capital of this outreach event is not hazardous. Not only because of the large amount of astronomical instruments built in our country and a growing scientific community, but also because of a new APOGEE-2 observational instrument that has just been installed in Las Campanas Observatory, which will allow to observe the Milky Way from both hemispheres: Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico and Du Pont Telescope in the IV Region, in Chile.
We expect that “Sharing One Sly III” will be carry out during the first half of 2018, probably in Concepción.