I am one of the artists that develops education & public outreach multimedia for NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Whenever Spitzer data contributes to an exciting new discovery, we look for the best ways to explain it to the general public. Sometimes that means creating a public-friendly diagram from the data. Other times it might mean producing an artist concept that illustrates the discovery. Or a video explaining the scientific process behind it.
When stars eat planets, are they messy eaters? Do they leave any crumbs? Our upcoming refereed journal article describes our new research done on this topic – done with high school students!
Next-Generation Scientists: Creating Opportunities for High School Students Through Astronomical Research
What started as an exciting opportunity to get a glimpse into the world of astronomical research became a part of our lives that is now incredibly central to our passions and future careers.