Newsletter to SPoCs - IYA2009 Products

14 August 2008

Dear SpoCs and Chairs,

The IYA2009 newsletter for this week:

Organisational Matters:

The IYA2009 network keeps on growing. Presently we have 122 National Nodes and 26 Organisational Nodes. We would like to give a warm welcome to our new National Nodes: Ghana, Syrian Arab Republic, Trinidad & Tobago and Madagascar: and to our new Organisational Node, the Space Generation Advisory Council.

IYA2009 Questionnaire to SPoCs

Your opinion is very important to us and we would like to have your input regarding some aspects of the way the IYA2009 is developing and also about the work of the IYA2009 Secretariat.  For that, we have prepared a questionnaire that we would like you to fill in and send back to us, as soon as possible.  We believe now is the time to make changes if our partners feel there is a need for change. Please find the questionnaire attached.

IYA2009 Products

The IYA2009 Secretariat has produced or endorsed certain products that are excellent opportunities for the IYA2009 SPoCs and stakeholders. These products of undeniable quality can easily be adapted to your language and needs, and used to enhance your activities. The Secretariat will make them available to you at production cost and it is up to you to find a way to take advantage of this unique business and/or communication opportunity.  More information:

The IYA2009 products are:

  • Astronomical Pictures at an Exhibition, an Adler Planetarium video suite, produced and directed by Jose Francisco Salgado, with music by Mussorgsky and orchestrated by Rave. As part of its mission of inspiring the exploration and understanding of our Universe, the Adler Planetarium is partnering with symphony orchestras and educational institutions to reach broader audiences in and outside of the USA. These partnerships started in 2006 when the Adler produced a suite of high-definition videos to accompany two performances of Gustav Holst's The Planets by the Chicago Sinfonietta. The positive reception by audience members and critics prompted more collaboration between these two institutions, resulting in a second video/concert production entitled Astronomical Pictures at an Exhibition and a repeat free concert of The Planets in the Summer of 2008 in Chicago's Millennium Park. In addition to presenting these inspirational and educational works, a lecture or Q&A session is usually offered as a pre- or post-concert event, and educational materials are distributed to audience members. More information:
  • The Lives of Galileo, a journey through the history of Astronomy, the official IYA2009 cosmic comic book by Fiami. For the first time, astronomy and Galileo are presented in an historical, accessible and humoristic comic book. In 40 colour-filled pages organised into six stunning chapters, Galileo plays different roles through the ages of great astronomical discoveries. More information:
  • Eyes on the Skies, 400 years of telescopic discovery, by Govert Schilling and Lars Lindberg Christensen. The International Astronomical Union's official book and movie celebrating the 400th anniversary of the telescope. The invention of the telescope is the single most revolutionary development in the history of astronomy. For thousands of years, astronomers had to rely on their eyes in unravelling the mysteries of the Universe. The telescope unveiled an embarrassment of astronomical riches, and led to a dramatic increase in knowledge about the wider world we live in. The Eyes on the Skies DVD movie and accompanying book explore the many facets of the telescope - historical development, scientific importance, technological breakthroughs, and the people behind this ground-breaking invention, their triumphs and failures... More information:

 Please take some time to go through the flyers attached to this letter, where you can find detailed information about these IYA2009 products. Feel free to contact us, in case you have any doubts or need more information and assistance.

Lars Lindberg Christensen, the IYA2009 Secretariat Manager, has been promoted!

We have some good news to share:  Lars will be the head of the new combined ESO-ESA/Hubble outreach group in Munich, Germany effective 1 September. The group is responsible for the public outreach and education for VLT, La Silla, E-ELT (the largest optical-infrared telescope in planning)  and ESA's part of the Hubble Space Telescope. He will also be responsible for European outreach connected to ALMA (the largest ground-based astronomical project currently under construction). We wish Lars the best success in this new endeavour.

A message from our Organisational Node, World Space Week:

World Space Week (WSW) 4-10 October is organized every year since its Declaration by the United Nations in 1999, celebrating the contributions made by space science and technology towards the betterment of humankind. It has been celebrated by a wide variety of organizations in around 50 nations and is meant to educate the public about space, demonstrate public support for space to government leaders, and use space to inspire students about learning.

Strong Connection with initiations to Astronomy is often used during the WSW celebrations. Hence, World Space Week -2008 (WSW-2008) is one of the best platform to informally launch and propagate IYA2009 program. It is also an opportunity to have a common-goal programmes organized around the world at the same time leading toward IYA2009.

As a participating organisation/country in the WSW programme, it is encouraged to take lead in organising outreach and public relations programmes during this week. A wide variety of activities are run during World Space Week. Outreach activities encompass exhibitions, conferences, seminars and scientific lectures, as well as TV and radio programmes to larger audience. Activities are organised with primary, secondary, and high schools, including space quiz, painting competitions, essay competitions, model rocket launch competitions.

 For more information for WSW-2008 contact:

Upcoming IYA2009 meetings:

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

 Kind regards,

Pedro and Mariana

IYA2009 Secretariat

Organisational Associates:

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