Outreach Support

Outreach Support

The outreach suggestions were also detailed in a presentation at the IOTA 2021 annual meeting. The presentation is available through the meetings posts. A pdf of the presentation is also available for download.

This page is for those doing outreach support, with suggestions for content for presentations, information on where predictions for easily observed events can be found, software download sites, and flyers and posters for distribution. You are welcome to use any or all of this, as you wish.

An example outreach presentation (in PowerPoint) is posted here. You are welcome to use it as is, but your probably want to modify it to suit your needs.

Tailor your presentation to your audience. If they are unfamiliar with occultations, spend more time explaining what they are and what they provide, and less on various observation techniques and software. On the other hand, if they are seeking to improve their observing skills, leave out the basic introductory material and have more on techniques, equipment, and software.

Provide examples of recent successes, especially if they are related to events that have been in the news, such as asteroids visited by space missions, near Earth asteroids considered potentially hazardous.

Give predictions for events your audience may be able to observe – lunar occultations of brighter stars, good events from Steve Preston’s list, events they may find interesting. At some point, we will be able to resume organized observing campaigns and those should be mentioned.

Prediction sources: These sources for the most part give general locations where occultations are likely. These are to assist you in preparing a location and time specific presentation, where you can select upcoming events happening in the future at or near the location of the presentation. And also, to help you in finding events for the less experienced observers. We don’t want to discourage new observers with a string of failures in their first attempts.

Lunar events: These lists can be used as a starting point with Occult4, to generate more details for a given site, as well as plots of the predicted event location against the lunar limb.

Bright star lunar occultation predictions for the near future are available on lunar occultations web site maintained by Rob Robinson. The bright star predictions are on the left side of the page. Click on any to display a world map of where that event will occur followed by tables of predicted D’s and R’s for multiple sites in the event path.

Bob Sandy provides yearly predictions for lunar occultations of ZC catalog stars. This is the same format as the bright stars, but for all of the stars in the ZC catalog.

Steve Preston’s best of the best asteroid predictions for the year will have a few, but not many, that will be easier, more suitable for a first attempt.

Also check for occultations of planets by the Moon. These are interesting to observe, infrequent in any given location, and only occasionally provide usable data.

Leave your audience with something tangible, that will remind them of your presentation. There are multiple flyers, mostly a single page in length, available for your selection. They are located on the flyers page of this web site and all of the recently prepared flyers have the prefix Flyer on their file name. The ones available are: IOTA Membership, JOA, IOTA full observing kit

In addition to one or more flyers, leave your audience printed copies of occultation predictions for their area.

The large IOTA banner is also available. It is 29″ x 70″, oilcloth, and is hung by means of a 71″ long 1×2 stick with hooks at each end. If you would like to display this, and are in the continental USA, send a message to the IOTA Secretary (business@occultations.org), and the banner can be sent to you. You will need to provide your own stick or other method for hanging.