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Paper: Explaining the Universe in 280 Characters
Volume: 533, ASP 2021: Sharing Best Practices – AstronomyTeaching and Public Engagement
Page: 98
Authors: Ramos, K.; Mitchell, S. E.; Mattson, B.
Abstract: Many concepts in astrophysics can be nearly impossible to explain on social media in just 280 characters without slipping into a string of a string of jargon. By creating week- and month-long themed social campaigns — like Black Hole Week, Month of Galaxies, and even an October Halloween countdown — we are finding unique ways to make complex astrophysics concepts and missions more approachable to our online audience who may not have a strong science background. Each post, no matter the campaign, contains captivating multimedia, such as videos, dynamic illustrations, and animated GIFs, that catch the eyes of the audience as they scroll through their social media timelines. We endeavor to make the accompanying text engaging and relatable, avoiding or breaking down jargon and using analogies to compare astrophysical concepts to everyday life. We will discuss how connecting astrophysics facts, discoveries, and missions to week- and month-long social campaigns helps make these difficult-to-understand science less intimidating and more fun for our audience.
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