Astronomers Without Borders Newsletter October 2010

29 October 2010

John Dobson Inaugurates Living Legend Series

John Dobson, popularizer of the widely-used Dobsonian telescope design that now bears his name, will be interviewed in the first episode of a new series of webcasts,  Astronomers Without Borders' Living Legend Series on Saturday, November 13.

Perhaps no name is better known in the global community of astronomy enthusiasts than that of Dobson who at age 95 has had a lifetime of outreach and activism. His determination to bring astronomy to the people was a driving force behind the creation of the sidewalk astronomy movement. Pioneering new methods of making telescopes more accessible, Dobson paved the way for astronomy outreach regardless of access to professional facilities.

This first Living Legend Series webcast will stream live online to a limited online audience. Dobson will take questions from viewers during this portion of the webcast. The entire recorded program will be available for streaming by everyone a few hours after the initial live broadcast.

Access for viewing the live webcast is available by reservation only. Priority will be given to Affiliates of Astronomers Without Borders, the groups that are a part of the AWB global community. AWB Affiliates interested in taking part should write to us with the group's name and the representative's contact information. Events with groups viewing the webcast will also have the opportunity to appear by video in the webcast. A small number of groups will be chosen to ask live questions, with a chat box available for others to submit comments and questions. There are 500 places so it is expected that there will be plenty of space for others after the AWB Affiliate spaces are assigned, with priority given first to groups holding events to maximize the number of people taking part in the live webcast. Information and updates will be available at the webcast's web page .

This is the first of a continuing series of Living Legend Series webcasts presenting the people behind the names known throughout the worldwide community of astronomy enthusiasts.

Get Ready for Global Astronomy Month 2011

Global Astronomy Month 2011 is coming! After the success of GAM2010, April 2011 will see an expanded GAM2011. More programs and more participation will higlight the second edition of this new annual event of astronomy. The unprecedented and historic International Year of Astronomy in 2009 showed the way,. Now Astronomers Without Borders is working to keep the legacy and gains of IYA2009 alive with a place for programs of all kinds. Make plans for your club, program or outreach facility and watch for updates soon.

The preliminary schedule for GAM2011 is taking shape now and the first programs will be announced in an update soon. If you have a program you'd like to be a part of GAM please write to us .

Global Projects for IYA2009 and Beyond: Talk by Mike Simmons, Founder/President of AWB

Mike Simmons, founder and president of Astronomers Without Borders, delivered a presentation on "Global Projects for IYA2009 and Beyond" at the meeting of Orange County Astronomers in California, USA. Watch a video of the talk .

AWB Project News:

First International Observe the Moon Night a Great Success

Thousand of eyes around the world had the opportunity to see the moon close-up on September 18, 2010, during the world’s first ever International Observe the Moon Night.

The event took place through over 500 activities hosted in 53 countries, where participants not only had the chance to observe the moon through telescopes but also to participate in star parties, planetarium shows, games, campfires, moon song fests, space origami projects and celebrations of Dobsonian telescope creator John Dobson’s birthday.

International Observe the Moon Night had its roots in the renewed interest in lunar exploration energized by recent highly publicized missions such as LRO and LCROSS.  That renewed interest led to 2009’s National Observe the Moon Night in the USA during the International Year of Astronomy.  That observance, in turn, was so successful that it was expanded into this year’s worldwide event.

The date has already been set for next year’s International Observe the Moon Night: October 8, 2011.  See you then!

International Observe the Moon Night Event Reports Available

InOMN2010 concluded successfully with many AWB affiliate groups from around the globe taking part. The list of event reports is available on the AWB Members blog .

Video of InOMN from the Pacific Astronomy and Telescope Show, with AWB President Mike Simmons interviewing some "stars" of astronomy, is available on the AWB website .

Beauty without Borders (BwB): Lets Welcome the Giant Concluded Successfully

Observers these October nights enjoy a sky dominated by brilliant Jupiter. This October, Jupiter outshines every other night light except the moon and an occasional fireball. Aided a bit by its closest approach to Earth since the early 1960s, it's even a shade brighter than usual.  AWB celebrated this with a new Beauty without Borders effort, “Let’s Welcome the Giant .”  Observers around the world were invited to give the king of the planets some extra attention on October 16.

News from The World at Night (TWAN)

TWAN Mystery October 2010: Dark Bands in the Sky. What are the dark vertical bands on the right side of this recent aurora image from northern Canada? Are they black aurora or an atmospheric phenomenon?

To solve the mystery go to

TWAN October 2010 Newsletter

Affiliate News:

AWB National Coordinator for UAE; Nazar Sallam's Project: "The Emirates Mobile Observatory - Green" Featured on Al Jazeera Channel

Watch the video here. It's in Arabic but with some great video of Nazar's very impressive mobile outreach observatory.

Follow AWB on Twitter and Join AWB on Facebook

You can follow AWB on Twitter @awb_org and use the #AWB hash tag to Tweet.

Join theAWB Facebook Group and Page .

Organisational Associates:

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