Ways that you can help DES EPO while observing


Dear observers, we would love you to share some of your experiences and photos while enroute to and in Chile, especially your time at CTIO. This is because:
  • general public: social media posts from the mountain are very popular. They help us build our follower base between science press releases.
  • collaboration: much of the interaction (likes, comments etc.) with the social media posts from the mountain come from DES members. This shows how much your fellow DES members appreciate hearing fresh news from the summit.
  • funding agencies: the more social media followers we have, the bigger the measurable impact of our press releases becomes.

There are several ways to get involved:

  1. send a Thought for the Day/Night to . This can be just words or just pictures, but ideally a mix of both. You can send just one from your whole trip, or as many as one per day. These will be reposted by Ross Cawthon (previously by Rachel Wolf) on Facebook and Twitter. There might be a bit of a delay before they show up because occasionally there is a backlog (especially around the time of press releases). It helps if you include hashtags or Twitter handles of your home institution because that way we are more likely to get re-posts that go to fresh audiences. Videos are welcome in addition to still pictures.
  2. if you want to share your thoughts and pictures in real time and/or if you are inspired to do this more than once a day, then please use Twitter directly and tag @theDESurvey in your posts. New to Twitter? Don't worry, it is very simple to use (much easier than posting a nightsum!) and you can stop tweeting as soon as you leave CTIO. If you reset the notifications from the default settings you won't be bothered by anyone else's tweets either. An example of someone who "lurks" on Twitter and only bothers to post regularly when at CTIO is @kathy_romer
  3. If you are an old hand with Twitter, then you are welcome to tweet directly from the @theDESurvey account. Email to get the password.
  4. fill out the scientist of the week form if you've not done it already: After you've done that, send an email to so we know to post it.
  5. if you have already been "scientist of the week" email to remind us, so we can repost it. (You are welcome to refresh it if you filled the form out a while ago and/or got a lot better looking since the featured photo was taken)
  6. use the selfie sticks. These are available for your selfie taking pleasure. They are stored in the DES Box (which used to be a shoe box, but now has a much more noble purpose). One is analog. One is bluetooth. Even if you've never used a selfie stick before (and never will in future), they are super useful to get good photos of the observing team. (Photos of the observing team are especially popular on social media.)
  7. write a DArchive: we are really short of people to write short, popular science level, articles about DES papers. You can write one about your own paper, but you don't have to. In fact often it is easier to write at the popular science level if you are not directly connected to the work. You can find examples of DArchives here:
  8. explore the science and project pages and recognise how much in need of TLC they are: all contributions to write for the webpage are very welcome. Email if you want to pitch in. Indeed email us if you want to help with any aspect of EPO infrastructure, we are very short handed (especially now that Rachel has graduated).
  9. please encourage your fellow observers to read this page and to get involved