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Paper: Parallax Park - A Bilingual, Outdoor, Interactive Family Exhibit
Volume: 338, Astrometry in the Age of the Next Generation of Large Telescopes
Page: 322
Authors: Benedict, G.F.; Parallax Park Design Team, the
Abstract: Parallax Park will be an outdoor, interactive family exhibit for McDonald Observatory. It will bring the quest for extra-solar planets and the astronomical distance scale down to Earth for the more than 100,000 visitors who come to the Observatory each year. The Park will teach visitors the basic principles of astrometry. It will concentrate on distance determination and extrasolar planet detection, and emphasize the advantages of space-based astrometry measurements. Visitors will experience parallax by traveling a path around a representation of the Sun, mimicking Earth's orbit, while viewing representations of stars at various distances and in various directions. Concepts include parallax, Cepheids as standard candles, the inverse square law, and motion around a center of mass. The exhibit includes interactive components suitable for children's use. Text labels and printed guides, in English and Spanish, will explain how to use the Park to explore the uses of astrometry in modern science. In addition auxiliary educational materials that align with the National Science Education Standards will be produced.

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