Public Outreach at Caltech
Upcoming outreach events
- We have no upcoming astronomy events scheduled at this time. Check back soon!
Recent outreach events
- 1 February 2014: Nearly 500 people came to our Supernova 2014J event at the Cahill Center! Visitors heard some free lectures and saw fascinating astronomical objects near and far through our rooftop and portable telescopes.
- 19 July 2013: Dr. Jill Tarter of the SETI Institute gave a public lecture titled Are We Alone?.
- February/March 2013: Grad students assisted 8th grade students with the development and execution of their science fair projects at Washington Middle School.
- 5 June 2012: The Cahill Center hosted a viewing of the transit of Venus in front of the Sun. Over 1800 people attended, making it our largest outreach event ever!
- 20 May 2012: A public viewing of the partial solar eclipse drew ~600 people to the Cahill Center.
- September 2011: The Astronomy department hosted a viewing of the extragalactic supernova PTF11kly (SN 2011fe) using the Cahill Rooftop Observatory. About 500 people were able to see the supernova over 6 nights of observations!
Astronomers at Caltech are keen on communicating the wonders of astronomy to you! We are engaged with several programs with local schools (PUSD and LAUSD), and we organize astronomy-themed events for the Caltech and Pasadena communities (please see the right sidebar for recent and upcoming events). You can keep updated on current and future outreach events by following our Twitter feed, or you can send us requests or suggestions via email at outreach [at] astro.caltech.edu.
If you have questions about astronomy in general, we suggest sending them to Ask an Astronomer. We also have several telescopes in the Cahill Rooftop Observatory that are available for all members of the Caltech and JPL family.
Related outreach programs:
- Astronomy events at Caltech. Note that some events might be for a limited audience. Please contact the event coordinator to check if an event is open to the general public.
- JPL Education from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
- Caltech outreach website and calendar.
- The Caltech Classroom Connection strives to create sustainable, mutually beneficial partnerships between Caltech volunteers and local educators.
- The Palomar Observatory is one of the leading astronomical observatories in the world. Located in north San Diego county, California, it is a good venue for a day visit from Pasadena. Head over to their outreach section for more details, or get updates from the Palomar Skies blog.
- The Keck Telescopes in Hawaii are among the most powerful optical telescopes in the world. Check out their outreach page for details on public lectures, class visits and field trips.
- The Owens Valley Radio Observatory (OVRO) is one of the largest university-operated radio observatories in the world. The observatory is located near Bishop, California, approximately 250 miles north of Los Angeles on the east side of the Sierra Nevada. They offer public tours of the observatory, public lecture series, and resources for educators.
The web is a treasure trove of astronomy information. Here are a few of our favorite sites to get you started!
- Astronomy picture of the day has loads of stunning pictures, with short explanations by professional astronomers and links to more details.
- Bad Astronomy - whether he is debunking conspiracy theories or writing about new discoveries, Phil Plait will keep you engaged.
Science: for those interested in keeping up with the latest research in Astronomy and Astrophyics.
- NASA Science News is a collection of press releases from various US space and ground based missions. If you prefer getting your daily dose of astronomy in your inbox, their mailing lists are the place to go!
- Astrobites pick up fresh papers from research journals and explain them in simpler words.
- Want to see the International Space Station? Or comets currently visible? Bright asteroids? Heavens Above will tell you all that, and more.
- The evening sky map from Skymaps.com is a 2-page monthly guide to the night sky suitable for all sky watchers including newcomers to Astronomy. The second page lists popular naked eye, binocular and telescope objects for the season.
- Astronomy and Sky & Telescope are popular magazines among amateur astronomers: available electronically and in print.
- Check out free, interactive software like Microsoft Worldwide Telescope and Google Sky which provide beautiful views of the night sky, with an option to combine it with latest scientific data.
Text maintained by Ryan Trainor and Swarnima Manohar <outreach [at] astro.caltech.edu>