IYA2009 Updates

16 October 2009

Galilean Nights at Cosmic Diary
With the Cornerstone project Galilean Nights fast approaching, two Cosmic Diary blogs are brining you the news.
The LiveBlog, by IYA2009 Staff Writer extraordinaire Lee Pullen, is here: http://cosmicdiary.org/galilean_nights/
The project organisers' blog is here: http://cosmicdiary.org/blogs/galilean_night/

Call for Submissions to the IYA2009/Mani Bhaumik Prize for Excellence in Astronomy Education and Public Outreach
The International Year of Astronomy 2009 is soliciting nominations and submissions for the IYA2009/Mani Bhaumik Prize for Excellence in Astronomy Education and Public Outreach. Read the press release: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/pressreleases/detail/iya0917/

Vienna holds world premiere of "Space and Time"
To celebrate World Space Week, the United Nations Office on Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna organised the world premiere of a live music / video performance entitled "Space and Time" in the Vienna International Centre on 5 October 2009. The performance which was also co-sponsored by the Austrian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Vienna was created and performed by Cidadania, an experimental troupe from Darmstadt in Germany. Follow the link for more information: http://www.unis.unvienna.org/unis/en/events/2009/space-and-time.html

The Great World Wide Star Count
A centrepiece of the IYA2009 Dark Skies Awareness (DSA) Cornerstone project has been the citizen science programmes inviting children and the general public to find out how many stars are lost due to light pollution in their night sky. The DSA Task Group requests your help in spreading the word about one of the DSA citizen science campaigns that is happening now over the next two weeks, namely the Great World Wide Star Count. The following is an ad you could use to advertise by listserve. Or you can download the PDF file at the following link: www.starcount.org. We would appreciate in advertising your help very much.
The Great World Wide Star Count
Join thousands of other students, families, and citizen scientists counting stars in 2009 for the Great World Wide Star Count! This international event encourages everyone to go outside, look skywards after dark, count the stars they see in certain constellations, and report what they see online. This Windows to the Universe citizen science campaign is designed to encourage learning in astronomy. The Great World Wide Star Count is being held October 9 - 23, 2009! For more information visit www.windows.ucar.edu/starcount or contact starcount_info@ucar.edu.

New Turkish telescopes begin test observations during IYA2009
Three large optical telescopes established in Turkey have begun test observations. The first is the largest optical telescope in the country, boasting 122 cm aperture. It was founded at Çanakkale Astrophysics Research Center by the State Planning Commission. The other telescopes feature apertures in the 100 cm and 60 cm regions, and fit within the National Research Council framework. The official opening ceremony was performed by Minister of Transport Binali Yildirim. These new instruments are very important to Turkish astronomy, and IYA2009 supporters join together in congratulating all those involved. Cosmic Diary blogger Arif Solmaz is covering developments. Read his initial post here: http://cosmicdiary.org/blogs/arif_solmaz/?page_id=575

Vatican Museum embraces Italy's astronomical history
Italy and the Vatican have a rich history of astronomical excellence and now the Vatican and Italian observatories have joined forces to exhibit a collection of books and instruments that document this tradition. Learn more here: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/533/

Philadelphia residents set for astronomy marathon
In the Philadelphia area, eight institutions with telescopes have banded together to celebrate IYA2009. They have decided to throw an astronomy party for the public called "No Night without a Telescope." There will be an astronomy event every night for over a month, starting 18 October and ending 24 November. For more information about this ambitious project, please visit: http://www.haverford.edu/iya2009

The European Southern Observatory brings IYA2009 to Chile's Science Week
5 - 10 October is annually celebrated as National Science & Technology week in Chile. This year it focussed its attentions on astronomy, in honour of IYA2009. The European Southern Observatory (ESO) played an active role in several projects. Highlights included the launch of the Galileomobile, an interactive exhibition called "Noticias del Universo", video projections, planetarium presentations, and much more. For more information, please visit: http://www.eso.org/public/events/announcements/chile_scitech_week/index.html

Website launched for astronomers to report observations of unexplained aerospace phenomena
A website has been launched that will give amateur and professional astronomers a formal mechanism for reporting any unexplained phenomena they observe when studying the night sky. Within the framework of IYA2009, the Unidentified Aerospace Phenomena (UAP) Observations Reporting Scheme aims to provide a global focus for sightings by astronomers and contribute towards a better understanding of transient phenomena occurring in the atmosphere. Read more here: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/530/

Live webcast from Cassini Scientist for a Day: Saturn question and answer session with students
Find out more here: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/529/

U.S. IYA2009 updates - October 2009
Read them here: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/528/

NASA release new film about the King of Planets
A new astronomy film, LARGEST, examines gas giant Jupiter like a work of art, a destination of celestial wonder. Starting with the basics, the movie examines the gross anatomy of the immense planet. Details are available online: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/527/

Sri Lankan space education seminar brings astronomy and IYA2009 into classrooms
On 8 September, Sri Lanka's Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies hosted the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum Space Education Seminar: Bringing Astronomy, Space Science and Technology and their Applications into the Classroom. Read more of this report: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/526/

First Galileo Teacher Training Program workshop in the US is a success
"In the Footsteps of Galileo", an initial 2-day workshop to train US teachers on how to convey basic astronomical concepts in a hands-on way, took place near San Francisco on Sept. 12 & 13, 2009, as part of the 121st Annual Meeting of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP). Approximately 30 teachers from around the United States participated, and were joined by five astronomy education specialists (from as far away as Australia and Israel) who want to replicate the workshop locally. For more information, visit: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/524/

Peace and progress in International Astronautical Congress begins in South Korea
The 60th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) was officially opened on 12 October in Daejeon, South Korea, where 3000 space experts from more than 70 countries are pooling their expertise. IAC 2009 Daejeon was officially opened by Lee Joo-jin, President of the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) and Bernndt Feurenbacher, President of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), in the presence of Lee Myung-Bak, President of the Republic of Korea. Go to http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/523/ for more.

Spa-goers treated to a dose of astronomy
Throughout IYA2009 astronomy events are being hosted across the world in venues more varied than previously thought possible. Now news is circulating of an observing event in Vienna held at a spa. Visitors were treated to telescopic views of Jupiter and commentaries via a speaker system. An event report with photos is available here: http://www.waa.at/bericht/2009/10/20091004ola.en.html

"The End of Night" book highlights the problems of light pollution for IYA2009
"The End of Night" is the first comprehensive compilation of the severe problems arising from artificial night lighting and its almost exponential increase during the last century. Written in a format intelligible to all readers and exemplified with current case studies, it is an excellent source for those wanting to learn more about light pollution and the issues that surround it. Further information: http://homepage.univie.ac.at/thomas.posch/endedernacht/buch.html

Sri Lankan IYA2009 Star Party exceeds expectations
Commenced in 2004, "Star Party" is an observational astronomy competition where student groups from different parts of Sri Lanka compete. Organised by the astronomical societies of Ananda College, Colombo and Mahamaya Girls' College, Kandy, it is held annually and has gained an excellent reputation over the years. Star Party 2009 was named as the main IYA2009 event in Sri Lanka. It was a huge success, attracting more than 50 groups. The rest of the report is available online: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/520/

Galileo to join Columbus Day Parade celebrations in New York City, USA
Famous Italian astronomer Galileo, complete with telescope, will be marching as part of the Columbus Day Parade on 12 October. This Galileo-actor will be part of an astronomy-themed float which will also feature an astronaut and various telescopes - including an IYA2009 Galileoscope. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/519/

Cinematic documentary 400 Years of the Telescope makes its French debut
A sweeping film, celebrating four centuries of astral discoveries, 400 Years of the Telescope; A Journey of Science, Technology and Thought will make its foreign-language debut at the Pariscience Film Festival, in Paris, on Saturday, October 10, 2009. 400 Years of the Telescope takes viewers on a visually stunning journey from Galileo's first telescopic look at the cosmos in 1609, to today's thrilling quests to discover new worlds and to glimpse the formation of the first galaxies and stars after the Big Bang. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/518/

Apply for free Galileoscopes, courtesy of the EurAstro association - important update!
Free Galileoscopes from EurAstro - applications closed. "It was a nice surprise for us to see such a quick and overwhelming response to our offer. Now, all of our Galileoscopes have been allocated. No further applications will be considered. Thank you for your commitment towards astronomy." Jean-Luc Dighaye for EurAstro.

An evening with Galileo in Iraq
25 September 2009 was an historic day for Iraq. In the middle of one of most popular parks in Erbil city, an astronomy event was held after the holy days of Eid Al-Fitr. This was project between the Amateur Astronomers Association of Kurdistan (AAAK) and one of the most active cultural centres in Kurdistan, known as Future Center for the Youth Issues (FCYI). http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/517/

Organisational Associates:

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