IYA2009 Updates

The Lives of Galileo TV show available to watch online

22 January 2010

All six episodes of the educational astronomical show, starring IYA2009-supporter and talented author/artist Fiami, are available to watch in French here: http://www.tsr.ch/tsr/index.html?siteSect=376321&sid=11628481

More information about The Lives of Galileo can be found here: http://www.fiami.ch/

StarLight Tourism Certification System encourages dark skies and intelligent tourism

22 January 2010

In December 2009 the StarLight Tourist Certification was been presented at the UN-WTO (World Tourism Organization) headquarters with the title "The StarLight Tourism Certification System: A New Vision: Science and Tourism under the Stars". It is the first Certification System for tourist destinations whose main resource is the starry sky and astronomical observations. It is an important step toward getting the tourism world involved in the defence of astronomy and its associated values.

The StarLight Tourism Certification System was created with the aim of encouraging, at world-wide level, the improvement of the quality of tourist experiences and the protection of the night skies in StarLight Destinations. These are places that can be visited and have excellent properties for contemplating the star-studded skies and for tourist activities based on this resource.

The StarLight Certification seeks to guarantee the capacity to enjoy the view of the stars and to discover the associated scientific, cultural, natural and scenic values. It makes it possible for the first time to bring science and tourism together, creating a new form of intelligent tourism that provides innovative criteria for a responsible development of this activity based on astronomy and a vision of the firmament.”

For more information, please see: http://www.starlight2007.net/starlightcertification.html

A Short Astronomical Serenade

22 January 2010

"A Short Astronomical Serenade" is a multimedia project conceived to combine in a single event Astronomy, literature and live music.

The musical piece selected for the occasion is the famous Serenade KV525 by W.A. Mozart. Its four movements are played simultaneously with four videos that present astronomical concepts in a very imaginative fashion, mixing music and physics in a manner that always surprises the audience.

On top of that, one of the videos features the famous characters Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, created by Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes in the XVII century. They help the audience discover the Universe in a reinterpretation of two of the most famous chapters of Cervantes' ageless book, the fight against the windmills (1st Part, Chapter VIII) and the imaginary flight to the skies of both men riding the wooden horse Clavileño (2nd Part, Chapter XLI).

Thousands of people had the opportunity to hear and watch this production in Spain during some 30 concerts where the music was played live. Many more have seen the DVD that was produced by the Spanish National Research Council as a legacy product of IYA2009.

More information: http://www.astronomia2009.es/Noticias_AIA-IYA2009/La_musica_y_la_astronomia_continuan_en_2010.html

IYA2009 Museum Collection

21 January 2010

IYA2009 Museum Collection


Under the auspices of the International Astronomical Union and the Official IYA2009 Collection Curator, Science Museum in London, UK.

148 countries. Thousands of people. Events ranging from backyard observing to global projects. Posters, stamps, coins, calendars, T-shirts, badges, dedicated books and movies, etc. The participants of IYA2009 produced a huge amount of promotional and outreach material, much of it carrying the distinctive IYA2009 logo.

The International Astronomical Union and the official IYA2009 Collection Curator, Science Museum in London, UK would like to collect a sample of this material as a museum collection of the fantastic activities carried out around the world in 2009, showing the different ways that the National Nodes celebrated astronomy. Sample collections will be kept by the Science Museum in London.

At the Science Museum, the material will form part of its permanent collections. The Science Museum is one of the world’s leading science and technology museums, with over 200,000 objects from around the world. Highlights of its astronomy collections include a first edition of Copernicus’s De Revolutionibus, 1543; the six-foot mirror from the Great Rosse Telescope, 1845; and parts of the radio telescope array used by Jocelyn Bell in the discovery of pulsars, 1967. As part of the permanent collections, the IYA2009 material will be available to future generations for historical studies, exhibitions, outreach and education projects.

If you would like to donate something, please email iya2009@eso.org and send us back the following information:

  • Brief description (e.g.:books, stamps, etc.):_____________________
    • Who made it? (e.g. designer, printer etc):_____________________
    • Where was it made?________________________________
    • When was it made?____________________________________
    • What was it used for?________________________________________
  • Please attach some photographs to help us identify items (Note: It’s very helpful if you can provide us with a digital photo (it doesn’t have to be professional quality)
  • Weight: _____ grams
  • Size:____________________ (Please note that we may not be able to accept very large material, as it’s difficult to store.)
  • What is it made of:____________________________________________________

( the more detail you can give us about what things are made of, the better we will be able to preserve them for the future. Many modern materials are actually harder to take care of than older ones!)

  • Copyright holder:______________________________________________________

(Note: It’s important we know who to contact if we want to reproduce photographs of the material in catalogues, on websites, etc. Or, if you are happy to assign us permissions now, that would save everyone time in the future.)


Important note: We may not be able to accept all offers, as there has been so much produced over the last year. But we will do our best to ensure that we select a good representation of all the different types of activities carried out all over the world. Please don’t send the material, just the brief description, we will contact you to arrange the shipping of the material.


Deadline for submissions: 28 February 2010


More information:

Pedro Russo

IYA2009 Coordinator

ESO ePOD, Garching, Germany

Tel: +49 89 320 06 195

E-mail: iya2009@eso.org


Alison Boyle

Curator, Astronomy & Modern Physics

The Science Museum

Exhibition Road, London SW7 2DD

London, UK

Tel +44 (0)20 7942 4824

Fax +44 (0)20 7942 4868

E-mail: alison.boyle@ScienceMuseum.org.uk



IYA2009: www.astronomy2009.org

Science Museum: www.sciencemuseum.org.uk

European Light Pollution Symposium

20 January 2010

The first of the videos from the European Light Pollution Symposium up now at: http://www.lightpollution2009.eu/

Jodcast January 2010: Looking back, looking forward.

20 January 2010

"Looking back, looking forward. It is the end of the International Year of Astronomy 2009. In the show we bring you some of our highlights of the year which celebrated 400 years of the astronomical telescope. We have an interview with Nancy Atkinson about the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast, Jen visits the infamous AstroBunker to talk to Newbury Astronomical Society, and we ask Carolina Ödman about Universe Awareness. As ever we have the latest astronomical news, and what you can see in the January night sky."

More details: http://www.jodcast.net/archive/201001/

Thales Alenia Space meets objectives for 2009

20 January 2010

Thales Alenia Space won contracts for seven communications satellites and three satcom payloads in 2009, along with two observation satellites, nine pressurised modules for the International Space Station, and two experimental atmospheric reentry vehicles.

Communications: new customers and successful partnerships in a sustained commercial market

  • New customers won: Gazprom in Russia, and OverHorizon, a new operator based in the United States, Sweden and Cyprus.
  • Solid results, including seven contracts for geostationary satellites: Yamal 401 and 402 for Gazprom, Arabsat 5A and 6B (as co-prime with Astrium), W3C for Eutelsat, Apstar 7 for APT Satellite Company, and OverHorizon (as co-prime with Orbital).
  • Three payload contracts: one with Indonesian operator PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia to supply the payload for the Telkom-3 satellite, in partnership with ISS Reshetnev of Russia; another to supply the Redsat payload for the Hispasat AG1 satellite; and a third for the payload on the Argentine satellite Arsat-1.
  • Thales Alenia Space assisted its customers Globalstar and O3b in obtaining financing guarantees from French export credit agency Coface. This enabled restarting production of their satellite constellations, and coping with the difficulties of the financial crisis.
  • Successful rescue of the Palapa-D communications satellite, thanks to Thales Alenia Space’s technical expertise and the unique design of its satellites.


Orbital infrastructure and space transportation: global recognition for Thales Alenia Space’s skills and expertise

  • European Space Agency (ESA) and Thales Alenia Space sign agreement for development of the IXV (Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle) atmospheric reentry demonstrator.
  • Within the scope of the Commercial Resupply Service (CRS) program, signature of a major contract with Orbital Science Corporation to produce nine new pressurised cargo modules for the International Space Station, using the Cygnus™ spacecraft.
  • Contract with ESA for development of the EXPERT (EXPErimental Reentry Testbed) program.


Science: an exceptionally successful year for science programs

  • Thales Alenia Space is an official sponsor of the International Year of Astronomy.
  • May 2009: launch of the ambitious Herschel/Planck mission for ESA, with flawless performance by the two spacecraft built by Thales Alenia Space as prime contractor.
  • Initial results from Goce scientific satellite launched in March 2009 expected in January 2010.
  • The Corot astronomy satellite has its service life extended by three years, to the satisfaction of scientists worldwide.

More information: http://www.thalesgroup.com/Press_Releases/Markets/Space/2010/Thales_Alenia_Space_meets_objectives_for_2009/

IYA2009 Closing Event in France

19 January 2010

Today is the last day of IYA2009 in France. More information: http://ama09.obspm.fr/ama09/index.php?body=cprog.html

Beyond IYA2009 with SARM in Romania

19 January 2010

The Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy (SARM) announces the launching of the last project of the project Astropoetry : an original photo-artistic-literary chronicle of 2009 and the largest-ever astronomical poetry tribute, with 200 participants from 6 continents, coordinated by Andrei Dorian Gheorghe, Valentin Grigore and Florin Stancu.

More information:

-Autumn Symphonies (centred on SARM’s Astro 2009 Event, including the Closing Ceremony of 100 Hours of Astronomy and Galilean Nights in Romania)


-Memories around Astropoetry Shows (about artistic attitudes of fascinating personalities in international astronomy) http://www.cosmopoetry.ro/astropoetrytoiya/memories.html

-A Unique TV Astro-Broadcast (about Valentin Grigore’s “Noi si Cerul” - Us and the Sky series on Columna TV-Targoviste, dedicated to the IYA along 2009) http://www.cosmopoetry.ro/astropoetrytoiya/auniqueastrobroadcast.html and www.sarm.ro/noisicerultv

-4th Quarter 2009 (an international sky chronicle in words and images, plus a chapter dedicated to Johannes Kepler) http://www.cosmopoetry.ro/astropoetrytoiya/4th.html

All these pages at:



At the same time, SARM has launched a special page in English dedicated to the Romanian traditions about the Cosmos: Ion Ottescu’s 1907 masterpiece (translated by Alastair McBeath - Vice-President of the International Meteor Organization - and Andrei Dorian Gheorghe) “Romanian Peasants’ Beliefs in Stars and Sky” (which includes an amazing folkloric list of constellations and represents an invaluable contribution to world astromythology) and the series “Romanian Astrohumanism” at:


Education resources for the IYA2009

18 January 2010

In the last Science in School magazine, Chris Starr andRichard Harwood suggest some useful websites and other resources to inspire your astronomy teaching: http://www.scienceinschool.org/2009/issue13/iya

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Organisational Associates:

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