NANOGrav's Approach to Outreach and Education

NANOGrav believes that truly transformative science needs to reach all people. Our outreach team is committed to spreading the word about pulsar timing arrays and gravitational wave astronomy both within the scientific community and among the public at large. We focus our efforts around five key goals.

  • Inform the public and fellow astronomers about NANOGrav and its goals, progress, and needs.
  • Educate people about pulsars and gravitational wave astronomy.
  • Engage people in an interactive, hands-on conversation about NANOGrav science.
  • Inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers through the cutting edge science that NANOGrav is accomplishing and will continue to accomplish.
  • Train students and young astronomers that are a part of NANOGrav to do meaningful outreach.

Many of NANOGrav's outreach activities, and those of our partners, aim to increase participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, especially among underrepresented groups. We also maintain a vibrant social media presence, produce educational videos and podcasts, and organize special sessions at scientific conferences. Follow us on Facebook, Google+, YouTube, and the iTunes store to receive the latest NANOGrav news.

Outreach Article explaining the Timing Array Experiment

In May 2018 the Astronomical Society of the Pacific published an outreach article in its online magazine AstroBeat. The Astronomical Society of hte Pacific (ASP) publishes AstroBeat six times a year as a benefit of membership. The ASP is an international non-profit scientific and educational organization, founded in 1889, that works to increase understanding and appreciation of astronomy. Please click here to read the article.


NANOGrav YouTube Channel

You can watch cool videos, talks, and educational lessons about NANOGrav on our YouTube channel. You should also check out PhysicistMichael's channel, which is produced by NANOGrav member Michael Koop.

Watch Michael's series on NANOGrav.

NANOGrav Podcasts

You can learn more about the people and science behind NANOGrav through our ongoing podcast series. Subscribe through the Apple iTunes store or download the media files yourself by clicking the links below. You can also subscribe with this direct link using the media player of your choice.

Topic Guest
An Introduction to NANOGrav — Part I Maura McLaughlin
An Introduction to NANOGrav — Part II Maura McLaughlin
An Introduction to NANOGrav — Part III Maura McLaughlin
Pulsars and Space Weather Dan Stinebring
All About Pulsars Scott Ransom
Gravity and General Relativity David Nice

Outreach Partners

The Pulsar Search Collaboratory

PSC student Lucas Bolyard (center) visits the White House and meets President Obama after discovering a neutron star.

The Pulsar Search Collaboratory, or PSC, engages high school students and teachers in real research by giving them a chance to find new pulsars. The PSC is jointly operated by West Virginia University and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, with support from NANOGrav. PSC students have discovered seven pulsars that resulted in a published scientific paper in The Astrophysical Journal, including a millisecond pulsar that may be useful for NANOGrav.

The Arecibo Remote Command Center

ARCC scholars control world-class telescopes and search for pulsars from their command center.

The Arecibo Remote Command Center, or ARCC, is a project at the University of Texas at Brownsville and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee that puts high school, undergraduate, and graduate students in control of the Arecibo Observatory, the Green Bank Telescope, and their own research projects. ARCC students analyze data and have found 53 new pulsars. Many ARCC students have become active NANOGrav members, traveling to scientific conferences and studying abroad with members of the International Pulsar Timing Array.

The Mid-Atlantic Relativistic Initiative in Education

The Mid-Atlantic Relativistic Initiative in Education, or MARIE, is a program at Franklin and Marshall College that seeks to nurture and foster educational programs that involve relativistic astrophysics. Undergraduates are trained to be teachers and visit high schools to present lessons and activities. Members of MARIE also work on a variety of research projects relevant to NANOGrav science and study abroad at International Pulsar Timing Array institutions.