IYA2009 Updates

6 November 2009

IYA2009 astronomical exhibit in Monaco
An astronomical exhibit took place last September in Monaco, where amazing images from the astrophotographer Serge Brunier were displayed on the atrium of the renowned Casino de Monte-Carlo. This initiative, in the framework of IYA2009, had the patronage of the HRH Prince Albert II de Monaco. A print of the magnificent image of the Milky Way, signed by the HRH Prince Albert II de Monaco and the NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin, was auctioned in Monaco in order to gather money to help children in Kenya, suffering from extreme poverty and abandonment caused by the severe drought. This event was organised by the Lions Club International of Monaco. Monaco became the 148th IYA2009 National Node this week. More information on the website: http://www.lions-monaco.com/

Jupiter: Project24
Four hundred years ago Galileo Galilei turned his telescope on the planet Jupiter, and his discoveries changed forever the way humanity thinks about the Universe. In 2009 we are commemorating this 400th anniversary in the International Year of Astronomy, the IYA. To celebrate Galileo's discoveries, on 22 November we will undertake the Jupiter: Project24, 24 hours of continuous radio observation of the planet Jupiter using the radio telescopes of NASA's Deep Space Network, the DSN. More information: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/583/

Special issue of UNESCO World Heritage Magazine
The latest issue of UNESCO's World Heritage Review has been released, with astronomy and world heritage as its theme. This is a significant product of the Astronomy and World Heritage IYA2009 Cornerstone project. Currently only the English version is out; it will be joined by French and Spanish translations within two weeks and then will be available to purchase for five Euros. See the contents here: http://whc.unesco.org/en/review/54/

Nobel Laureate answers your questions
YouTube viewers worldwide have the opportunity to ask questions to a renowned and highly respected scientist. John Mather, an astrophysicist from NASA, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 2006, which he received with George Smoot for their discoveries regarding the echoes of the Big Bang - providing extraordinary glimpses of the beginning of the Universe. Nobelprize.org, the official web site of the Nobel Foundation, is offering anyone the chance to pose their questions directly to a John Mather via the YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/thenobelprize

Twitter Lists help amateur astronomers follow their societies
A recently released Twitter feature called Lists lets users compile sets of related feeds, helping to organise information and updates. A list has been created for amateur astronomy societies, making it easier than ever to keep up-to-date with groups all over the world. See the list here: http://twitter.com/willgater/astronomy-societies and http://twitter.com/willgater/astronomy-societies/members

Science Film Festival features IYA2009 movies
The Science Film Festival is being held this year in Thailand, between 17 and 27 November. IYA2009 has been adopted as a major theme for the Festival, so astronomy history films are on the agenda. For information about the astronomy aspects, please visit: http://www.goethe.de/ins/th/prj/wif/art/enindex.htm

From Earth to the Universe Update

Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra performs "The Planets" by Gustav Holst in special IYA2009 concert
The Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Roselín Pabón has performed the concert "The Planets". Each movement was accompanied by the presentation of images of the planets which the public could view on two screens set above the musicians. The selected images included samples from the "From Earth to the Universe" (FETTU) Cornerstone project. See http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/581/ for more.

Nepal's largest school science event ready for November 10 and 11
The Inter School Young Scientists' Fair is Nepal's largest event on school science activities. Held this year on 10 and 11 November at Nepal Academy, Kamaladi, Kathmandu, the Science Fair is an excellent opportunity for students to learn more about science as they search for answers to specific problems. It also helps to develop an understanding of the scientific method while having fun. Students are encouraged to come up with a project that would be interesting to them. This year has particular emphasis on astronomy, to mark IYA2009. For more information and entry forms, please visit http://www.youngscientistsnepal.org/

German TV channel 3Sat dedicated a week to astronomy
With programmes on astronomy topics from stars to telescopes, the week-long celebration was welcomed by viewers with burning questions about our cosmos. See the schedule here: http://www.3sat.de/dynamic/sitegen/bin/sitegen.php?tab=2&source=/specials/138661/index.html

Galilean Nights update

IYA2009 and dark skies raised in UK Parliament
The British Prime Minister has been quizzed by David Heathcoat-Amory, representative for Wells, over IYA2009 and the Campaign for Dark Skies. Heathcoat-Amory asked whether the Prime Minister agrees that lights in public places and 10 Downing Street (the Prime Minister's residence) should be turned off or dimmed. See the question and response here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bO6hwPud5YY

Dark Skies Ranger Campaign
The Dark Sky Awareness (DSA) and the Galileo Teacher Training Program (GTTP) decided to launch a joint effort: "Dark Skies Ranger Campaign", for the new school year joining both cornerstones' goals. Students will enhance their awareness of the growing light pollution problem, learn how to assess this problem and at the same time engage in the use of the science research method and techniques to evaluate it. Read more here: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/576/

Vatican City State celebrates IYA2009
The Governorate of the Vatican City State and the Vatican Observatory organised a celebration of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 in Vatican City on 30 and 31 October. The two-day celebration included an address at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences by Prof. John Huchra of Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and President of the American Astronomical Society with the title "From Galileo to Hubble: Astronomy in the 21st Century". More: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/575/

Organisational Associates:

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