IYA2009 Update

2 October 2009

From Earth To The Universe exhibited in the Parliament of Iran
The Parliament of Iran has hosted a From Earth To The Universe (FETTU) exhibition, inaugurated by Professor Yousef Sobuti, "father of modern astronomy in Iran", in the presence of Ali Larijani, chairman of Iranian Parliament, members of the Parliament, and Iranian professional astronomers. Read more here: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/495/

Spanish Senate joins IYA2009
To celebrate IYA2009, the Spanish Senate organised an astronomical multimedia show of music, images and dance entitled "Revising the Planets". The show rendered tribute to the night sky, the main protagonist of IYA2009. It was performed by the Atlantic Art Ensemble Band and had its premier on this special occasion. See the story and additional links here: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/494/

Three new projects join the list of IYA2009 Special Projects
Planets and Pictures World Tour:
Gustav Holst's The Planets and Astronomical Pictures at an Exhibition are two suites of high-definition astronomical videos to accompany live performances of classical music works. http://www.astronomy2009.org/globalprojects/specialprojects/planets/

Scienceface has created 15 science-oriented videos about black hole science that are provided on www.scienceface.org - together with further information - and on YouTube for the use of young people, teachers, and other interested non-scientists. http://www.astronomy2009.org/globalprojects/specialprojects/face/

The Lives of Galileo:
For the first time, astronomy and Galileo are presented in an historical, accessible and humoristic comic book. http://www.astronomy2009.org/globalprojects/specialprojects/lives/

New French film gives insight into the work of astronomers
A new film called Astronomy and Space Careers is giving an insider-view into the world of professional astronomy. It shows astronomers describing their jobs, what they do, why they chose their paths, and even gives hints for others that want to follow in their footsteps. IYA2009 seeks to make astronomy accessible to all, and highlighting the vital work conducted by professional astronomers is an important aspect of this. The film is in French, with English subtitles. Cosmic Diary blogger Athena Coustenis worked on this film, and has written about it here: http://cosmicdiary.org/blogs/athena_coustenis/?p=18
A teaser of the film, featuring Athena, can be viewed here: http://atmosphere.en.images.free.fr/documentaire2.html

Universe Quest "opens new worlds for young explorers"
A summer academy encouraging girls to get involved with astronomy has been hailed as a great success. 21 participants in the San Francisco Bay area spent a whole week at the camp, taking part in hands-on activities. Featuring professional astronomers as tutors, the emphasis was on exploration rather than traditional classroom fact-learning. It is hoped that the participants' interest in science, engineering, technology and maths will keep growing and help empower the next generation with the skills needed to follow challenging but immensely rewarding careers. Universe Quest is a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded programme. See an article and video clip here: http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/science_nation/index.jsp

Turkish astronomy enthusiasts build 100 working telescopes
As part of its commendable IYA2009 agenda, the Istanbul Kültür University (IKU) organised and ran a workshop for amateur telescope making in Turkey, between 4 - 9 July 2009. The venue was "Solar Beach" in Kilyos, a village by the northern coast of Istanbul, far from the city. More than half of all 100 participants were science teachers working in primary and high schools from various regions of Turkey. This impressive story is available to read online: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/490/

Astronomy portal brings IYA2009 to French speakers around the globe
"Porte aux étoiles", a French-language astronomy portal, is seeking to expand its readership to new heights. Created during IYA2009, it aims to become the go-to site for those wanting to learn about the Universe. An key additional feature is an exhaustive list of astronomy societies and planetaria. From this one site, members of the public can access current events, educational content, practical astronomy tips, outing ideas, and much more. Visit the Portal here: http://www.porteauxetoiles.org/

Sky & Telescope: Get Ready for Galilean Nights
"The International Year of Astronomy is still in full swing, though many of the celebration's signature events have already come and gone. In particular, ‘100 Hours of Astronomy' was a smash hit. For four days, April 2-5, you could visit 80 professional observatories worldwide via a live, round-the-clock online tour, and more than a million people got telescopic views of the cosmos for the first time. In the end, ‘100HA' was so successful that IYA organizers decided to have an encore - "Galilean Nights" - later this month (October 22-24)." Read more here: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/home/63090802.html

She is an Astronomer launches web forum
She is an Astronomer, an IYA2009 Cornerstone project, has launched a web forum for female professional and amateur astronomers, students, and those interested in the gender equality problem in science. Visit it here: http://forum.sheisanastronomer.org/

European astroparticle physicists to celebrate 100 years of cosmic ray experiments
Four hundred years ago, Galileo was the first one to look at the sky with a telescope. About 100 years ago a new era for astrophysics began with the first astroparticle physics experiments that led to the discovery of cosmic rays. European physicists take the opportunity of IYA2009 to celebrate this anniversary. Read more here: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/486/

Astronomy enthusiast creates song and video for IYA2009
IYA2009 supporter Michael A. Davis decided to do something special to celebrate this most astronomical of years. It was around September 2008 that the seeds were first sown in Michael's mind. His astronomer friend Jerry Langhals was spreading the word about IYA2009, hoping that it would help encourage people to go stargazing even if light pollution was a problem. This appealed to musical Michael, who had already written a song about insects (including lyrics such as "I got no problem with bugs / I just don't want them in my coffee cup"). Events had been set in motion: an IYA2009 song was destined to be created. Read the whole story here: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/485/

Galileoscopes signed by celebrities up for auction
Two Galileoscopes have been signed by stars of the screen and auctioned, in order to raise funds to donate more telescopes to children unable to obtain them. See the story: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/484/

New UNESCO Venice Portal is dedicated to IYA2009
This new IYA2009 portal is run by UNESCO Venice, which contributes to IYA2009 by supporting side events in Venice and in the South East Europe region. View the site here: http://portal.unesco.org/en/ev.php-URL_ID=46424&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

IYA2009 photographer Babak Amini Tafreshi wins the 2009 Lennart Nilsson Award
Iranian photographer, journalist, and staunch IYA2009 supporter Babak Tafreshi has been declared joint-winner of the 2009 Lennart Nilsson Award, sharing the honour with NASA's Cassini Imaging Director Carolyn Porco. For more information, please visit: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/482/

New York Times blog makes quiz for IYA2009
Tierney Lab, a New York Times blog, has marked IYA2009 by releasing an astronomy quiz based on From Earth To The Universe images. The 20 questions include topics such as the Sun, galaxies, the electromagnetic spectrum, and the planets. Take the quiz and see how your astronomical knowledge ranks! Click here for the blog post: http://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/11/the-beautiful-universe-astronomy-quiz/


Organisational Associates:

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