Different outreach events utilize informal slideshows to present astronomical topics to our audiences. These slideshows are broken into 5-15 minute-long presentations on a variety of topics. Their short execution is key, as it allows audiences frequent breaks for moving on to other topics or other activities. Each slideshow has been made in Keynote '09, so you'll need to be on a Mac in order to play any of them. All of the Lab Macs and Lab Laptops have Keynote installed on them, so it shouldn't be a problem to use these slideshows within the department.

Each slideshow has been created to include detailed "Presenter Notes" for each slide. This means that any of the grads/undergrads in our department can give these presentations with minimal effort and background research. If you're going to present one of these talks, just read through the notes beforehand, so you have an idea of what is in the presentation and so you can give the slideshow in a smooth fashion. To make Keynote display the "Presenter Notes", open up Keynote, click on the "Play" dropdown menu, click on "Customize Presenter Display" and check the "Notes" box. You may also want to drop and drag the various windows around this environment to your liking (and also increase the size of the "Notes" window so it can display more information at once). Now, when you "Play Slideshow" it should show you this environment (with the notes) while mirroring only the current slide to the projector. (If you don't get this behavior, try not *mirroring* in your display system preferences.) You can practice this with the "Rehearse Slideshow" option also in the "Play" dropdown menu.

Creating your own slideshow

  • Download our template
  • Include detailed "Presenter notes" for each slide, so that someone else can give the talk
    • Details should be sufficient for another graduate student in the department to give your talk
    • If the slide is an image, include *what* you're looking at, and in what wavelength
    • If the slide is an astronomical object, include information about the distance to it and the size and age of it. These are commonly-asked questions.
  • Include image source credit information on slide (i.e. HST, some amateur, etc.)
  • Don't have a lot of text on the slides, as these are show slideshows.
  • Remember that projectors (like the one we use in the lecture hall) oftentimes have problems with dark slides. Try to "brighten" dark images so they show up better.
    • Click on the image in keynote.
    • Click on the view drop-down menu
    • Click on "show adjust image"
    • Modify the brightness of the image until you think it looks better. I like dragging the "levels" maximum down to 50-75% of its normal max to boost the brightness of an image.
  • When you're done, submit it to the outreach director or multimedia officer to have it included here.

Suggested topics for new slideshows:

  • Radio Astronomy
  • Astrophotography
  • Random APOD images
  • Comets
  • HST
  • Space Shuttle
  • Moons of Solar System
  • Meteors & Meteor Showers
  • Stellar Evolution
  • Highlights of the Sky (Autumn, Spring, Summer)
  • Constellations (Winter, Autumn, Spring, Summer)
  • Zodiac Constellations
  • Telescope Designs
  • Observatories around the World
  • A day (night) in the life of an observer
  • Eclipses
  • History of Astronomy
  • Colors of Stars
  • Ancient Astronomy (choose a civilization)
  • Water on the Moon
  • Mars Rovers