A little over six months after Chandra opened its door and started taking data, the Chandra X-ray Center's Education and Outreach program has produced or facilitiated the public release of 11 calibration images and 14 Cycle 1 images with accompanying press releases and background information. The official First Light press conference was held at NASA Headquarters, and a Space Science Update was broadcast on the Crab observation. Several press conferences were arranged in conjunction with the 50 Chandra-related papers that were delivered at the Atlanta AAS meeting, resulting in significant local press around the country as well as national attention in the print version of the New York Times and Washington Post, and features in their web versions as well as on CNN, MSNBC, ABC, Space.com, Yahoo, and other news web sites. The CXC's public web site continues to be popular, receiving over 27 million hits and 28 design and content awards since Chandra's launch. A rich site also exists at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Chandra images have appeared 7 times in the Space News, in articles in Life, Discover, Sky and Telescope, and Astronomy magazines, and requests to use Chandra images have been facilitated from over 60 separate authors and publishers of printed material ranging from textbooks to multi-media presentations. Chandra images have been incorporated into the planetarium shows at the Boston Museum of Science, the Hayden Planetarium, the Roentgen Museum in Munich, and others. Over 40,000 posters, 50,000 bookmarks, 35,000 lithographs, and 70,000 postcards showing the new Chandra science images have been distributed nationwide and internationally.
Several sections of the CXC public website http://chandra.harvard.edu are of special use to the science community. The Photo Album section contains not only the release of new Chandra images as they are made public, but background material and links that can be used to provide information for informal or educational talks. Each image has also been formatted in a one-page captioned handout that can be printed directly from the website (see ``Handouts" under First Chandra Images and Cycle 1 Images). We provide jpeg, tiff, and postscript versions of the Chandra images at several resolutions. Under ``Hard Copies of Chandra Images" we provide contact information for a firm which makes good quality slides and glossy photos from the digital images on our site. You can place orders by e-mail and the staff is familiar with our images. In the Resources section, under ``Presentations", we provide the images in Powerpoint format and PDF so that scientists can develop their own transparencies, slides, and briefings. As well, there is a completed basic briefing which can be downloaded as is or modified. We also have a section of interactive games and puzzles, some of which can be printed out, for use with younger children. Finally, many other images from the pre-launch and launch stages of the program are cataloged by topic under ``Images and Illustrations". You will also find quicktime movies, and selected animations. In addition, many of you have seen the bookmarks, posters, postcards and other Chandra material we have printed. We have these in limited quantity (we can't give you 10,000!) but will provide reasonable numbers on request to scientists giving public Chandra talks.
We have worked with the Astronomical Society of the Pacific to develop a Chandra slide set which is offered through their catalog. It does not contain every public Chandra image, but does have a reasonable selection of both hardware and science images. We are finishing up a documentary about Chandra with the University of California, San Diego, Media Production Group. (For those of a certain age: Nichelle Nichols, Lt. Uhura on the original Star Trek series, is a host/narrator.) We are collaborating with a number of groups - the SEU Forum, JPL's SpacePlace, the AAVSO, the Wright Center for Science Education - on educational materials, activities for younger children, and activities for amateur astronomers. We will continue to make new Chandra images electronically available in as many forms as possible as soon as they are publically released, and to develop new materials for distribution.
First and foremost, we need you to contact us when you have interesting science results. If they are deemed newsworthy, we will work with you to achieve wide-spread recognition of the result. For further information, see our News Release Guidelines at:
Contact: CXC Science Spokesperson Wallace Tucker, firstname.lastname@example.org
We would be interested in hearing ideas to consider for new materials or sections for our public web site. If you are going to be speaking to groups or hosting science events for students or the public, contact us about available printed materials.
Contact: CXC Ed/Outreach Coordinator Kathleen Lestition, email@example.com
For web-related issues (how to find electronic material, technical problems downloading):
Contact: CXC Outreach webmaster Kim Kowal, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kathy Lestition