Thursday, May 7, 2015

On Being the Solar System ( @The_SolarSystem )

Hi, I'm your Solar System, it's very nice to meet you!

As I've just crossed the 20,000 follower mark on twitter, I wanted to say a few words about being space itself :-) That many followers is truly not a huge deal for a ton of people, but for me, it's cool. I've very carefully watched who follows me and taken care to note that, truly, most are genuine and active scientists, astronomers, science organizations, and space super fans. That's exciting! As a NASA Solar System Ambassador program volunteer, I have the opportunity to reach a great audience in person. It is such an honor! I've had several presentations this year and have some big ones in the works for next year (A big Music of the Spheres concert......then, a panel of guests to discuss science, faith, space exploration, and the big questions of life). On Twitter, I also get to talk to people about space and various missions. My account is not the NASA account (@NASASolarSystem - which you should definitely follow), but mine is also a space news service. It is both that and a personal account, as the 4.568 to 6 billion-year-old entity, the Solar System. Here are ten things about me. As space itself, I have a unique perspective :-)


It's been tremendously fun interacting with all of my followers over the two years of being spacey! Here are some of the highlights in screenshots and list!

- Meeting so many space science fans
- Interacting with space and science organizations
- Promoting STEM and STEAM education in a fun way
- It keeps me joyfully reading and on my toes with space science and launches!
- Humor! The interactions between real people can be very funny, but is almost always hilarious when inanimate objects, planets, nebulae, galaxies, spacecraft etc. start tweeting!

- Occasionally, I live-tweet a launch or other NASA event. It is SO MUCH FUN to be online and part of the chatter that goes on and to feel the excitement of what's happening even if you're not actually there! MSL Curiosity's landing, ISS launches, and the Philae lander's release from the Rosetta spacecraft and landing on Comet #67P are examples.

- Questions from people about space, science, and exploration: Fairly often, I am asked a question and I do take the time to answer. If I don't know the answer, I do some research and if I still can't find the answer, I point them to an expert! I always learn a bunch in the process.
- Conversations from young people around the world. One of my favorites was a conversation about how to be a scientist and how to stay in the know about space from a child in Pakistan. He asked me some great questions and I was able to share some online resources with him and give him some encouragement. Another time, it was a memorable conversation from someone in Japan who is very very ill and shares my same admiration for all things space.
- Astronomers share their photography with me. This is a special treat! Photographs they want to be seen, their amazing ongoing projects and photography work, and sometimes breaking photos of events such as the total solar eclipse that took place over a very thin line in remote locations. 
- Sometimes, someone asks me to say happy birthday to someone, from space :-) 

- Sharing: I've been able to share content, photos, and space humor that I love! Plus seeing major organizations have fun exchanges is extra fabulous!

- The big guys interact sometimes! My personal favorites and the ones with whom I've interacted the most over time are The Canadian Space Agency, ESA's Rosetta spacecraft, NASA Dawn, and Astronaut Cady Coleman.

So, with all that said, if you follow @The_SolarSystem, 

THANK YOU and keep looking up!

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