#MeetESO: Win an invite to the VLT and ALMA telescopes in Chile!

On the afternoon of Monday 15th February, I happened to notice the tweet below from @ESO, advertising a social media gathering. Little did I suspect how my enthusiastic response was going to change my life. (The competition details can be read from clicking the ESO tweet).

In the first week the competition was a little slow to get going, but later on, the competition details were retweeted by Brian Cox and Phil Plait which ensured a lot of entrants and and a lot of activity on the hashtag.

As the competition heated up, I installed Hootsuite in order to spend my evenings scheduling tweets for the next day, so that I could still focus on work, and came up with series of tweets such as #MyTopTen ESO images, #MyTop6 ESO STEM resources, and #MyTop8 Chilean meteorite, strewnfield and impact crater tweets.

There was also this lovely Facebook post written by Adrienne Macartney and elaborated on by Geoff Notkin and others and shared 78 times on facebook to demonstrate I also have an active social network there.

Dear Friends: My excellent friend and colleague Jane MacArthur currently pursuing her doctorate in meteorite studies, is…

Posted by Geoffrey Notkin on Thursday, 18 February 2016


During the three weeks,my campaign gained over 1000 RTs (re-tweets), over 3000 favourites, and over 70 personal endorsements from around the world, which can be seen in the storify below, and for which I am forever grateful. Special thanks has to go to Geoff Notkin, who tirelessly retweeted me every day once he discovered my posts, and also Rob Garner, Indhu Varatharajan and Mark Redgwell who appeared on the top ten people retweeting at different stages – at one point 8 of the 10 were all supporting me!

The result is, I will be heading to Chile in May and hopefully live-tweeting the #MercuryTransit for you all from Paranal! Thank you all so very much for helping me gain this wonderful opportunity, and thank you to @ESO for selecting me!

University of Leicester press release

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