IYA2009 Updates

26 February 2010

First there is some excellent news we'd like to share: From Earth to the Universe has won the IYA2009/Bhaumik Prize for Excellence in Astronomy Education and Public Outreach. FETTU is a truly grassroots initiative, community-driven and has captured the spirit of the award as a whole. The prize is the acknowledgement of hard work from the small task group under the guidance of Kim and Megan, but it’s also rewarding the many hours and effort put in by countless individuals all around the world (from wealthy to developing countries) that made the more than 500 exhibits possible. Unfortunately, some projects and resources don’t make their products accessible, either by being difficult to translate or adapt to different languages and cultures. Often this is because either the original materials were not developed with portability in mind, or the source files are simply not available. FETTU considered this and had an innovative approach, making all materials freely available as an open source approach to education and public outreach. FETTU is an example of best practices to be followed by other international projects. Congratulations go to them!

More information: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/pressreleases/detail/iya1002/


The Hubble Classroom Collage Activity

Images from the Hubble Space Telescope inspired classes in the USA to create unique collages of their favourite Hubble photos. http://amazing-space.stsci.edu/iya/collage/


Join the Globe at Night 2010 campaign: March 3-16!

With half of the world’s population now living in cities, many urban dwellers have never experienced the wonderment of pristinely dark skies and maybe never will. This loss, caused by light pollution, is a concern on many fronts: safety, energy conservation, cost, health and effects on wildlife, as well as our ability to view the stars. Even though light pollution is a serious and growing global concern, it is one of the easiest environmental problems you can address on local levels. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/810/


Upcoming events at Ireland's Blackrock Castle Observatory

Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork, Ireland, have an exciting programme of events lined up. These include children's workshops, viewing sessions using a 16-inch rooftop telescope, and a movies by moonlight film club, among many other things. For the full list of events, please see: http://us1.campaign-archive.com/?u=04b967ac930576c096d46a270&id=085baedd31&e=c3a302e74f


Space Initiatives in the framework of IYA2009

Japanese UN COPUOS representative, in the session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, covered comprehensively the achievements of the United Nations Basic Space Science Initiative for 1990 - 2010 through the International Heliophysical Year 2007 , International Year of Astronomy 2009, and International Space Weather Initiative in the following two PowerPoint presentations. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/817/


Aesthetics of Astrophotography

The aesthetics of astrophotography is a one day symposium focusing on the relationship between Hubble images and the history of art. More information: http://www.aestheticsofastrophotography.co.uk/


Viewing the Universe Bit by Bit: New Directions and Uses of Astronomy Visualization Software

New, visually rich, astronomical software environments coupled with large web-accessible data sets hold the promise of innovative and exciting ways to teach, collaborate, and explore the Universe. Exploring the Universe Bit by Bit will be a hands on workshop that will focus on four key visualization software environments: Google Sky, World Wide Telescope, Celestia, & Partiview, with the immediate goals of developing applications and seeding new collaborations during the workshop. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/815/


Activities of Greece's Hellenic Amateur Astronomy Association for IYA2009

During 2009 the Hellenic Amateur Astronomy Association (HAAA) organised a series of events dedicated to the International Year of Astronomy 2009. The main goal was to the spread to the public of Greece the meaning of observational amateur astronomy and the methods used, according to the constitution of the HAAA. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/813/


Algerian astronomy boosted during IYA2009

Enthusiastic Algerian IYA2009 supporters from the Sirius Astronomy Association have spearheaded a series of astronomical events, many within their country but some beyond. An online clearinghouse made specifically for IYA2009 activities is available. Members of the Sirius Astronomy Association hope that it will inspire others to engage in space-science outreach beyond 2009. See the website here: http://siriusalgeria.net/sirius09.htm


The World At Night confirms plans for 2010

The World At Night (TWAN) is an IYA2009 Special project which produces and presents collections of stunning photographs and time-lapse videos of the world’s landmarks against the celestial attractions. The eternally peaceful sky looks the same above symbols of all nations and regions, attesting to the truly unified nature of Earth as a planet rather than an amalgam of human-designated territories. TWAN has announced its plans for 2010, and looks set to go from strength to strength. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/814/


International Astronomical Youth Camp 2010 - call for applications

Imagine spending three weeks of your summer in beautiful mountain scenery working with other students from all over the world on an astronomical project of your choice. The International Astronomical Youth Camp (IAYC) is a three-week long summer camp aiming to promote knowledge on astronomy and related sciences in an international atmosphere. Each year it takes place at a different European location, this year from 1 - 21 August in the small town of Klingenthal in the east of Germany, near the border of Czech Republic. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/809/


Young Irish stargazers bring telescope to Tanzanian peers

IYA2009 saw members of the public join astronomers to gaze at the stars and let themselves be inspired by the mysteries of the universe. While some events lasted just a few nights, a special initiative of Blackrock Castle Observatory (BCO) and Cork City Council in partnership with Cork Printmakers will have a lasting impact in the minds of young children in Cork and in the Arusha region of Tanzania. “Capture the Cosmos” was organised under the umbrella of the international Universe Awareness (UNAWE) programme, one of the IYA2009 cornerstone projects whose mission is to ‘broaden young children’s minds with the scale and beauty of the universe’. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/806/


Germany's largest IYA2009 exhibition celebrates its 500,000th visitor

It's called "Out of this World - Wonders of the Solar System" (or "Sternstunden - Wunder des Sonnensystems"), occupies a cylinder 100 metres high, and has been visited 500,000 times in just 10 1/2 months: the largest exhibition devoted to IYA2009 in Germany in the Gasometer in Oberhausen. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/807/


Organisational Associates:

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