Impact of Observatory Visitor Centres on the Public's Understanding of Astronomy
In recent years, formal astronomy education has become an issue of great interest. Indeed, some boards of education now officially include astronomy in their curricula. While formal astronomy education continues to gain attention, informal astronomy education for the general public has rarely been addressed. One valuable source of informal astronomy education is the observatory `visitor centre'. Observatories draw thousands of visitors each year, and as such represent a golden opportunity for the astronomical community to communicate directly with the public. This paper summarises an exploratory study of the cognitive and affective impacts of a visit to the visitor centres located at Mount Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatories.
Burtnyk, K. 2000, Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, 17(3), p.275–281