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Paper: You Can't Escape Black Hole Week!
Volume: 531, ASP2020: Embracing the Future: Astronomy Teaching and Public Engagement
Page: 473
Authors: Mitchell, S. E.; Mattson, B.; Ramos, K.
Abstract: Black holes have long captured the public's imagination but are still widely misunderstood, which makes them one of the most perpetually popular astrophysics topics in traditional and social media alike. On September 23-27, 2019, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's AstroComms team, which represents Goddard's Astrophysics Science Division and manages the agency's NASA Universe social media accounts, produced the first-ever “Black Hole Week” to celebrate black holes through traditional and social media products supported by videos, animations, and still images. Staging a week of content gave our team time to foster an in-depth conversation with our audience about black holes. The overarching theme of 2019's Black Hole Week was “black hole safety,” which kicked off with an animated short video about the dangers of traveling to a black hole. Content was released throughout the week through a variety of products and platforms including web features and social media posts from numerous NASA-run and external accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tumblr, and the week culminated with a Q&A session on Reddit with black hole experts. Black Hole Week 2019 was an enormous success with more than 50 million people reached through the social media hashtag and dozens of news outlets covering black hole stories. This activity drew participation from more than 20 NASA social media accounts including the NASA flagship, NASA centers, NASA missions, and science organizations. In addition, we saw participation from external groups including NSF, NRAO, LIGO, Science Friday, and the Smithsonian. The next Black Hole Week will be held on April 12–16, 2021, with a “black hole field guide” theme that will dive into the different types of black holes that we've found and how they behave.
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