Around the world people are fascinated by the night sky, space and astrophysics. We believe that transient astrophysical phenomena, i.e. the most violent cosmic explosions, are a very interesting starting point to trigger discussions about these topics. With this aim we use the Astro-COLIBRI platform to engage with this interested public and astronomy enthusiasts. Given that the platform is freely accessible by everybody, we encourage discussions about interesting events and even follow-up observations within the amateur astronomy community. At recent public exhibitions like Explor’Espace and Ciel&Espace, we already showed that tools like Astro-COLIBRI have great potential to engage astronomy enthusiasts. A number of upcoming events are already planned. For example, we are invited to participate in the "amateur-professional" workshop of the Société Astronomique de France (SAF) during the Journées SF2A (Besançon, June 7-10, 2022), we will participate in the "Fête de la Science" (Paris-Saclay University, October 7-17, 2022), in the "Ciel&Espace" days and in the International Science-Fiction Festival, "Les Utopiales" in Nantes. Astro-COLIBRI has also already been included in the official tools supported by the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) and we continue to work towards improving the interaction and exchanges between professional and amateur astronomers. One such example is the first Astro-COLIBRI workshop that was organised in February 2022 by SAF (link). In the mid-term future we aim significantly further: for example, we are working to interface the “Kilonova Catcher” program (link), which extends the GRANDMA collaboration of optical observatories towards amateur astronomers, into the Astro-COLIBRI platform. This crucial step will, for the first time, provide amateurs access to the full chain of astronomical observation of transient phenomena: starting from the initial alert notification, access to information necessary for the decision making process to start follow-up observations, until the sharing, joint analysis and discussion of the follow-up observations obtained.
First observations by the amateur community triggered by Astro-COLIBRI are being discussed here: