IYA2009 Updates

11 December 2009

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/

Geminid meteor shower to peak mid-December
The annual Geminid meteor shower, traditionally a good performer, is expected to put on a good show for stargazers over the coming week. The shower's peak is around 05:00 Universal Time on the morning of 14 December, but shooting stars should be visible for a night or perhaps two either side of this time. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/672/

Cross the Universe in Paris metro stations!
As part of IYA2009, corridors of Paris Metro stations have been decked with about 500 metres of astronomical images, allowing tens and tens of millions of passengers to marvel at the Universe until the end of December 2009. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/663/

Eyes on the Skies wins Special Jury Award at the 2009 MEDEA Awards
The Eyes on the Skies project initiated as part the IYA2009 celebration now entering its final weeks has won an international accolade. After originally being selected as one of eight finalists from a field of over 254 entries from 39 countries, the Eyes on the Skies movie and book went on to receive the Special Jury Award for its high production value at the MEDEA 2009 Awards held in Berlin, Germany on 4 December. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/660/

Understanding climate change from space exhibition opened
The European Space Agency's exhibition "Space for Earth, Understanding Climate Change from Space" has been officially opened at the UN Climate Change Conference, COP15, in Copenhagen, Denmark. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/673/

She is an Astronomer exhibition to open in Bonn
On Sunday 13 December, Dr. Helen Walker (Co-Chair of IYA2009 Cornerstone project She is an Astronomer), Ulrike Tscherner-Bertoldi (exhibition organiser) and Marianne Pitzen (museum director) will be opening a new exhibition at the Frauemuseum in Bonn. It is called  Women in Astronomy - Reaching for the Stars ("Astronominnen - Frauen die nach den Sternen greifen"). There will be a light-show with the astronomer Dr. Nadya Ben Bekhti, a performance, and celestial-themed food! The exhibition itself will run until April 2010. http://www.sheisanastronomer.org/index.php/events

Financial newspaper in Italy celebrates IYA2009
Throughout the whole year 2009, the Italian financial newspaper Il Denaro has hosted a regular column about astronomy on their weekly scientific supplement Futura. A group of enthusiastic young astronomers, either working in Italy and abroad, have written dozens of nuggets and every Thursday delivered a new piece of the sky to the readers. The stories span several different subjects, from space probes and objects in our Solar System to stars, galaxies and the Universe on its very largest scales. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/664/

Tour of the Universe by Children of the World: a call for entries
Did you host or participate in an event involving children during IYA2009? Tour of the Universe by Children of the World, a beautiful and inspirational multimedia video project, is seeking contributions in the following categories: astrophotography and nightscape photography by children, children's artwork of or inspired by the cosmos, photographs of children sharing and enjoying astronomy, and video clips related to children and astronomy. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/667/

Belarus is closing the International Year of Astronomy 2009
The exhibition “Astral painting” by Belarusian artist Victor Vasiukevich takes place on 12 December in Minsk Planetarium. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/666/

Romania is officially closing IYA2009 through sets of activities
Symposium, conferences, awards ceremonies, public lectures, gastronomy fairs, and science cafes are all part of activities dedicated to mark the closing of IYA2009 in Romania. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/665/

Know IT All wins Overall MEDEA Award 2009!
On 4 December the overall winner of the MEDEA Awards 2009 was announced by Maruja Gutierrez-Diaz, Advisor to the Director of the Lifelong Learning Programme, European Commission during a well-attended reception in Berlin. It is Know IT All for Primary Schools by Childnet International (UK), which was represented at the prize-giving ceremony by Lucinda Fell, Policy and Communications Manager, who graciously accepted the bronze MEDEA statuette as well as hardware and software sponsored by Avid and Adobe. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/662/

Cosmic Evolution — new exhibition at the Deutsches Museum
Visitors to the world-renowned Deutsches Museum in Munich can now embark on the ultimate journey through time, as the new Cosmic Evolution exhibition opens its doors. A perfect grand finale to IYA2009, the exhibition is the result of a cooperation involving five local research institutions and is set for a two-year run. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/661/

30 Years at the Top - In celebration of the CFHT's 30th anniversary
After viewing a creative and humorous Illustrated Essay made by David Gillette for the PBS affiliate Twin Cities Public Television following his visit to CFHT in Waimea and to Mauna Kea, CFHT decided to commission David for an illustrated essay describing CFHT's story over the past 30 years. Once established the main ideas CFHT wanted to communicate to the audience, David was given free rein to produce the final version, entitled "30 Years at the Top". http://www.cfht.hawaii.edu/en/gallery/30YearsAtTheTop/hd.php

United States of America - IYA2009 update

Journey through the Universe
Journey through the Universe is a national science education initiative that engages entire communities-students, teachers, families, and the public-using education programmes in the Earth and space sciences and space exploration to inspire and educate. The initiative engages communities in sustained science, maths, and technology education, and is a celebration of exploration and the joys of learning. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/657/

Close your IYA2009 celebrations with a lunar eclipse
IYA2009 will be coming to an end within a few weeks, and many supporters are searching for a fitting way to see off this most special of years. The Universe itself will provide an opportunity, as a partial lunar eclipse will be occurring on New Year's Eve. Visible from a large portion of the Earth, combined with a public star party it could be a dramatic end to IYA2009! http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/656/
Improve your IYA2009 event evaluation with online resources
A collaboration of individuals, businesses, and non-profits collectively known as GOOD have worked together to produce a series of blog-style posts on the topic of evaluation. Topics include cost-effective tools, timing, timeframes, data visualisation, uncertainty, and celebrating learning. These resources may prove useful for IYA2009 event organisers wishing to evaluate their activities. To see the articles, please visit: http://www.good.is/series/innovation-in-evaluation/

See the Universe in multiple wavelengths with Chromoscope
Chromoscope is an accessible, easy tool that anyone can use to explore and understand the sky at multiple wavelengths. It has been created using public-domain datasets from a number of all-sky astronomy projects. It lets you easily move around the sky and fade between wavelengths using a simple user-interface to illustrate the similarities and differences between what is visible at each wavelength. Explore the Universe here: http://www.chromoscope.net/

Organisational Associates:

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