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“Planets In Your Hand” – in lockdown but still active in outreach

1 Dec 2020, 15:26 UTC
“Planets In Your Hand” – in lockdown but still active in outreach

“Planets In Your Hand” – in lockdown but still active in outreach

This guest post is from the “Planets in Your Hand” project, which received funding from Europlanet 2020 RI through the Europlanet Outreach Funding Scheme 2017.

The “Planets In Your Hand” (PIYH) team at the University of Athens in Greece stays continuously in touch with the public through its social networks. On an almost daily basis, the most interesting science news and discoveries related to the field of Planetary Science and exploration are posted, while the team interacts with the readers via their comments and questions. The team has also remained active during the entire lockdown period, by participating in online outreach events and conferences.

The “Planets In Your Hand” team participated in the EPSC 2020 Conference by presenting a poster entitled: “Planets In Your Hand: The social impact of a tactile experience” on September 21st, 2020. In the context of “EPSC 2020 goes live for schools” and in order to continue the science communication with the general public despite the difficulties, the scientific coordinator of the PIYH program, Dr. Kosmas Gazeas, gave a live talk in collaboration with the Lecturers Without Borders (LeWiBo). This talk, reaching schools all over the world, was entitled: “A walk on the Moon”. An abundance of classrooms attended the activity with many students participating actively and asking questions, resulting in an overall rating of 9.6/10 among the talks from all viewers and participants. 

During World Space Week 2020 (WSW 2020), “Planets In Your Hand” team celebrated the contribution of science and space exploration to humanity. Following all safety procedures and taking under consideration the special circumstances and national restrictions, the team celebrated this year in an alternative way. Every day and throughout the week, an image of the planets and the moons of our Solar System was posted on social media and disseminated throughout the public. Every image was accompanied by a caption and a text with interesting information about the depicted planetary object and its history of exploration. These astronomical images were taken by the PIYH team members during WSW 2020 from the University of Athens Observatory (UOAO). The audience showed their enthusiasm by posting their comments online. 

Neptune. Credit: Kosmas Gazeas, University of Athens Observatory, GreeceMoon. Credit: Kosmas Gazeas, University of Athens Observatory, GreeceMars. Credit: Kosmas Gazeas, University of Athens Observatory, GreeceJupiter. Credit: Kosmas Gazeas, University of Athens Observatory, GreeceSaturn. Credit: Kosmas Gazeas, University of Athens Observatory, GreecePluto. Credit: Kosmas Gazeas, University of Athens Observatory, Greece

Enhancing the PIYH outreach impact, during the last day of WSW2020 festivities, an online public talk was given by Dr. Kosmas Gazeas, in collaboration with the Amateur Astronomical Association of Sparta “Dioskouroi”. The title of the talk was: “Comets: The visitors of our Solar System” and it was broadcasted live from the Astronomical Union’s YouTube channel with the public’s participation being truly compelling.

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