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Out-reach and Education

Education and public conferences are part of the institutional activities of the Catania Astrophysical Observatory as science education is a key factor for social development. The impact of the out-reach programs carried out at Catania Observatory on people, and especially on the youngest, living in the Catania area and in general in eastern Sicily, has been improved every year by means of an intense and increasing activity.

Conferences and visits to the Observatory site in Catania (at the ``Cittadella Universitaria'') are typical winter time activity. Most of the visits requests come from Sicilian schools but in many cases schools and various organizations from outside Sicily have come. After a presentation that could be general or on a particular argument, in case of precise request, there is the visits to the solar facilities that are in the same building of the observatory and the observation of the Sun. During the more favorable spring and summer seasons visits are organized also to the ``M. G. Fracastoro'' observatory mountain station station. In that case the visit includes a tour to the telescope and observations of the moon and some of the visible planets, galaxy, nebulae.

Out-reach Office

Supervisors: G. Cutispoto, G. Leto
During 2002 the out-reach activity have been largely developed, researchers of OACt have given their support to the out-reach activity together with Astronomers of the Astrophysics Department of Catania University. Many programs where conducted in coordination with various organizations. As usual we contributed to national events like the ``Settimana della Cultura Scientifica e Tecnologica'' organized by Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Universitá e della Ricerca (MIUR), together with local social events like "La Natura e la Scienza" organized by Comune di Ragalna (Ct), August 2002.

A special effort has also been done to get funding for this service to the community. The necessary development of instruments like a dedicated telescope for visual observations and multimedia projections systems have been partially supported by MIUR/SSPAR.

During 2002 to increase the information on our activity, it has been developed an out-reach section of the AOCt web site, which includes all necessary information needed to plan and request visits to the observatory.

Public conferences

During 2002 a number of Conferences and courses where solicited to the Out-reach office.

Visits to the Observatory

As every year many schools and various organization requested to be given a conference and a guided visit to both the ``Cittadella Universitaria'' site and to the ``M. G. Fracastoro'' mountain station. In both cases the visits is split in two parts, the first one is dedicated to a general introduction to astronomy and astrophysics, the second part is a visit to the telescope where people have the opportunity to perform observations at the telescope and ask more questions to the astronomer. In the case of visit to the ``Cittadella Universitaria'' site the equatorial spar is used to make live observations of the sun and its active reagions, while in the case of visits to the ``M. G. Fracastoro'' mountain station observations of the Moon and Planets are done by using the facilities available at the 91 cm telescope.

In summer 2002, as usual, the Observatory has organized the opening of telescopes for citizens. The events has been advertised by local newspapers as ``Osservatorio Astrofisico: visite pubbliche''. The goal of this event is to give singles, families or group of people the possibility to spent few ours visiting the telescopes site on mount Etna.

Here is the list of the visits, the name of the guiding astronomer is included.

Visits to the Observatory main building at the ``Cittadella Universitaria'':

Visits to the Observatory telescopes at the ``M. G. Fracastoro'' mountain station, Etna (Ragalna, Ct):

Special events

On August 10th 2002 a special event was organized ("Perseides 2002"), in order to give citizen the opportunity to learn more about meteor showers. During the first part of the night the M. G. Fracastoro Mountain Station was available for the public. The organized visits included a 30 minutes outdoor conference with the projection of a multimedia presentation and a permanence in predefined places close to the telescopes domes for the direct observation of the meteor shower. About 400 people where split in groups guided by G. Cutispoto, G. Leto, and I. Pagano.

Advanced course on detector technology

During 2002 COLD researchers have given a series of lectures attended by members of the research staff of LABEN SpA (a firm of the Finmeccanica group). The subject of the lectures was the CCD detector starting from the basic principles up to the most advanced topics. The front-end electronics and the measurements of its main characteristics were also covered. The theoretical lectures were followed by laboratory activity at our characterization facility.

University Courses and high level Educational Activity

During 2002 a number of courses and lectures have been given by OACt researchers:

Ph.D. Students

Ph.D. students working at Catania Astrophysical Observatory during 2002 were:

Biazzo Katia: ``Precise photospheric temperature measurements from line-depth ratios''

Bentivegna Eloisa: ``Cosmological perturbations from the Planck era and renormalization group equations for quantum gravity''
Contarino Lidia: ``Magnetic reconnection in the low solar atmosphere related to a filament eruption''

Di Giorgio Salvatore: ``Studio di archi coronali solari in UV estremo, su dati del Coronal Diagnostic Spectrometer (CDS) di SOHO''

Ferro Daniela: ``Modelli N-Body e tools di visualizzazione e di analisi``

Murabito Anna Lisa: ``Metodi di inversione dei dati eleiosismici per lo studio della struttura e dinamica del Sole''

Leccia Silvio: ``Asteroseismology of solar-type stars: results from high-resolution spectroscopy''

Palazzo Melissa: ``Il ruolo della viscositá nella formazione dei jets nei dischi di accrescimento''

Romano Paolo: "The role played by the helicoidal structure on the eruption of filaments"

Romeo Alessio: ``The Evolution of the X-ray luminosoty funcion of galaxy Clusters''

next up previous contents index
Next: Staff members Up: INAF Osservatorio Astrofisico di Previous: Facilities and Services   Contents   Index
Giuseppe Leto 2003-06-27