Newsletter: News, Events and Project Updates

11 November 2008

Job opportunity: 100 Hours of Astronomy Project Coordinator

The 100HA Cornerstone project is in need of a coordinator to organise and supervise a team of volunteers, manage website content, participate in the creation of fliers, brochures, posters and other information resources, communicate with national and local organisers worldwide, respond to enquiries, meet with potential sponsors and otherwise assure the development of programmes and resources. Essential skills include verbal and written communication in English, proven ability of working with people, and organising team efforts.
If you, or someone you know, meets the criteria and think they are up to the challenge, then click to learn more:

Royalty supports IYA2009
Prince Felipe of Spain (Prince of Asturias) is presiding over the Spanish IYA2009 Honour Committee. For more information (in Spanish), go to:

Attention professional astronomers: IYA2009 needs you!
A call has been made for professional astronomers to contribute toward IYA2009. Their expertise will be greatly valued and appreciated, so we ask you to spread the word in your countries / regions, and help to get them onboard.
To assist, we've produced some PowerPoint slides which contain suggestions and ideas:

Celestron SkyScout declared official IYA2009 product
Celestron's snazzy SkyScout gadget has earned the deserved honour of being an official IYA2009 product. If you haven't seen one in action, they are personal handheld planetariums equipped with GPS technology that allow users to locate and identify 50,000 objects in the night sky.
Celestron has a dedicated IYA2009 website, which is definitely worth a look:

NASA selects astronomy student ambassadors
46 undergraduate and graduate students have been selected to represent NASA in their local communities as recipients of the agency's IYA2009 Student Ambassadors Program.
Two of the students were chosen to attend the IYA2009 Opening Ceremony in Paris, January 2009: Rebecca Holmes, a sophomore at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill who is majoring in physics and astronomy, and Norberto Gonzalez, a junior at the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo with a biology concentration.
For more information, go to:

Training for young astronomy communicators

The Space Generation Advisory Council and Uludag University Project Office in Turkey are collaborating to organise "ToAP - Training of Astronomy Promoters". Aimed at young communicators who want to popularise astronomy throughout IYA2009, it's sure to be greatly valued by participants. The training course will be held in Bursa-Turkey between 18-24 May 2009.
For more information, visit:

Opening Events
As you know, the official global Opening Ceremony will happen in Paris, France, on 15 and 16 January 2009. More information on the Opening Ceremony:
If you are planning any official opening ceremony in your country, please send us the dates and information as soon as possible. We will publish that information on the global IYA2009 website.

IYA2009 Discovery Guides now available online

Introducing 12 easy ways to share the excitement of the night sky during IYA2009!
The Night Sky Network, Astronomical Society of the Pacific, National Science Foundation, NASA, and the IYA US committee have teamed up to provide Monthly IYA Discovery Guides. These are internationally accessible and complete with articles, activities, instructional videos, and finder charts.
You can download them here:

The Guides form part of a wide range of activities, searchable here:

And for those of you with websites, we encourage you to link directly to these resources using the following:

Project Updates
365 Days of Astronomy Podcast says: "hello, world!"

The first, introductory episode of 365 Days of Astronomy has been posted online. This project aims to release an astronomically themed show every day throughout IYA2009. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved, so listen in and start planning now!
Go straight to the show by clicking:

FETTU images released
From Earth To The Universe is steaming ahead! Now available are zipped high-resolution files and separate captions for the breathtaking images.
Be sure to check them out:

Congratulations, FETTU!
We are happy to report some more excellent news, courtesy of the FETTU team.
NASA has approved an Education and Public Outreach proposal, resulting in approximately $300,000 (US) for use in 2009 and 2010. This money will fund two semi-permanent FETTU exhibits in Chicago (in conjunction with the Adler Planetarium) and Atlanta (with Agnes Scott College and the Hartsfield International Airport), as well as a travelling version that will have multiple stops across the US. The NASA grant will also provide FETTU organisers with the ability to create informal education products, materials for visually impaired users, and evaluation information. These and other elements that are enabled by the NASA grant will be shared with FETTU organisers worldwide.
More information:

FETTU on a roll!
Three's a charm for FETTU: Sky & Telescope magazine will feature about 50 FETTU images across 30 pages in its annual "Beautiful Universe" publication.
Click for more:

Those are the key updates for this time. We think they serve to demonstrate just how much progress is being made in this final leg before 2009.
Remember that the Secretariat is always willing to assist with any IYA2009 questions you may have!


Organisational Associates:

The International Year of Astronomy 2009 is endorsed by the United Nations and the International Council of Science.