IYA2009 Updates

4 December 2009

Physics Today feature issue on light pollution and its effects on astronomy


European Fete de la Science focuses on astrobiology for IYA2009

The European Fete de la Science 2009 has been devoted to the origins of life and of the Universe. The French effort consisted of at least 10 events (conferences, activities for younger public, special exhibitions, astronomy cafes, games, and more) in 95 departments, including 10 large conferences for the general public. Special emphasis was given to astrobiology, with about 50 different events on the topic held throughout France. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/652/


365 Days of Astronomy podcast announces continuation into 2010

The award-winning 365 Days of Astronomy podcast is proud to announce that the project will continue for another 365 days and is now accepting sign-ups for participants for 2010. This is a legacy project of IYA2009 and is being managed by Astrosphere New Media Association. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/651/


Music videos inspired by famous astronomers

Two music videos have been made based on the work on astronomers such as Carl Sagan and Richard Feynman. Using clips from past TV series along with sampled voice sections, the music pieces are new ways to bring the awe of astronomy to the public.

See them here:


U.S. National Parks release dark sky posters

The US National Park Service has created a series of posters to advertise the dark skies present in these areas of natural beauty. See the posters here: http://newton.uor.edu/FacultyFolder/tyler_nordgren/Gallery/NationalParks/Parks.html


Astronomy education Summer School for teachers

The European Association for Astronomy Education is the first all-European network for teachers interested in astronomy. This year the institution is organising a specific course for teachers in order to offer them access to new educational materials and methods and the chance to exchange experiences. This course is open to all secondary school teachers who work in European countries. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/647/


German astronomy exhibition set to open on 9 December

Work on the exhibition "Evolution of the Universe" at Munich's Deutsches Museum is progressing at pace, and organisers are on track to open as scheduled on 9 December. The exhibition will run for two years and is a collaboration between five organisations: the European Southern Observatory, the Excellence Cluster Universe, and the Max Planck Institutes for Physics, Astrophysics, and Extraterrestrial Physics. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/646/


European university students to carry out hypergravity and microgravity experiments

The European Space Agency has launched its first edition of two new educational programmes: "Spin Your Thesis!" and "Drop Your Thesis!". Through these programmes, several teams of university students throughout Europe will be given the opportunity to carry out experiments in hypergravity and microgravity. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/645/


Official Closing of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 in Mexico

An Astronomy Fair was held in Mexico City from 20 to 29 November 2009, to mark the closing of the IYA2009. The Fair included 70 astronomical lectures, 60 physics workshops, 150 short planetarium shows (in an inflatable dome), a variety of children activities and more than 20 exhibits on astronomical topics. This event was directed to the general public and had more than 30 000 visitors. More information here: http://www.astronomia2009.org.mx/feria/feria.htm

Virtual tour of the Fair: http://www.showmeproducciones.com/feriaastronomia/


Public observations in Nicaragua in December

As part of their activities in the IYA2009 celebrations, the Nicaraguan Amateur Astronomers Society "Carl Sagan" will conduct two public events in Nicaragua's Capitol City, Managua. These events, a Public Stargazing and an Astronomic Gallery Showroom, will take place on December 2nd, 9th and 16th. The Stargazing event aims to get the attention of the public to Jupiter and its Galilean Moons and to many other interesting objects during those nights. The Astronomic Gallery Showroom wants to call for the attention of the public in general Astronomy and to explain with images and text what wonders exist in the Starry Night. http://www.anasa.org.ni


International Dark-Sky Association Director’s Award goes to the IYA2009 Dark Skies Working Groups

Connie Walker (Chair) and the working group members of "Dark Skies Awareness" working groups internationally and for the U.S. received an International Dark-Sky Association "Executive Director's Award" at the recent IDA Annual General Meeting for their work on the U.S. and International IYA2009 Cornerstone project "Dark Skies Awareness". http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/641/


Polynesian navigators remembered for IYA2009

The New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO and the Society for Maori Astronomy, Research and Tourism are hosting an extraordinary week of events to celebrate the achievements of ancient Polynesian navigators and scientists and to also mark the International Year of Astronomy 2009. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/640/


GalileoMobile completes exciting journey
After almost two months of life-changing experiences, bringing the excitement of astronomy to young children in Chile, Bolivia and Peru, the journey of the GalileoMobile Project has come to an end. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/638/

Organisational Associates:

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