Pierre Auger Observatory

Education & Outreach Task

The Pierre Auger Visitor Centre

Outreach is the process by which the excitement and importance of the research we do in Auger is presented to the general public, and in particular to (high-)school students.

Since 2001 the visitor center in Malargüe, Argentina is the local center where more than 100,000 people have learned about the Pierre Auger observatory. Since its renewal in 2015, the visitor center provides a more interactive experience about cosmic ray physics and the Pierre Auger project.

The local outreach efforts include a bi-annual science fair, the next one will take place in November 2016. Over 30 teams from all over the Mendoza province participate and demonstrate science projects to the scientists of the collaboration who serve as judges for the different groups.

The presence of the Pierre Auger Observatory in large science fairs in Argentina such as La Brujula in Mendoza and Technopolis in Buenos Aires allowed millions of Argentines to learn about cosmic rays and the world-leading experiment that takes place in their back yard.

World wide, the physicists of the Pierre Auger collaboration work very hard to inform and enthuse the public about the science of the observatory. This happens locally by visiting schools, participation in open days, and science fairs. But it also happens at a global scale through the online event display, distribution of real cosmic ray data, and creation of tools to work with this data (VISPA). The global approach allows everyone to experience what it is like to be a true cosmic ray physicist.