International Year of Astronomy 2009
Endorsed by the United Nations, UNESCO and the International Astronomical Union, the 2009 International Year of Astronomy (IYA) aims to stimulate worldwide interest in science through engagement in astronomy activities -- with the central theme of "The Universe: Yours to Discover.” More than 100 countries are organizing events.
The International Year of Astronomy 2009 is supported by eleven cornerstone projects. These are global programmes of activities centred on a specific theme and represent the means to achieve the IYA 2009’s main goals; whether it is the support and promotion of women in astronomy, the preservation of dark-sky sites around the world or educating and explaining the workings of the Universe to millions, the eleven cornerstones will be the key facets of the success of the IYA 2009. See summary of IYA cornerstones from the Cornerstone Project task group.
IYA Update January 2009
IYA Galileoscope update:
The IYA Galileoscope website (http://www.galileoscope.org) is now up and running for taking orders—just in time for the IYA cornerstone project 100 Hours of Astronomy taking place 2-5 April. Orders of 100 or more will have priority. The Galileoscope is expected to be a f10, 25x with a 50mm lens and be an overall length of one meter. The cost of each scope is now estimated to be U.S.$12.00. See Galileoscope Flier
Globe at Night (GaN):
At http://365daysofastronomy.org/ to listen to podcast and participation in the Globe at Night program; resources that are available to dark sky advocates, the podcast suggests dark sky advocacy can be well received in your neighborhood. While you're there, check out the other podcasts,sign up for an RSS feed, and consider creating your own podcast.
For the Let There Be Night program http://www.LetThereBeNight.com, Penn-Harris-Madison (PHM) Planetarium director Art Klinger and Chuck Beuter have bundled existing content from several generous contributors onto 2 DVDs. Targeting the planetarium community and dark sky advocates, the DVDs can be purchased at cost directly from the GLPA at http://www.glpaweb.org/zencart5/index.php?
IYA Overview Web Sites (courtesy of Andy Fraknoi):
1. Overview Web Sites:
2. IYA Educational Resources
3. IYA Key Projects
4. How to Support IYA
IYA Cultural Opportunity:
Años Luz. Música para planetarios.
Composición, estreno y grabación en DVD de obras originales.
During 2009 the year of Astronomy, acclaimed flutist-composer Alejandro Escuer, the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México is launching a call for scores and works for flute and electronics. Selected pieces of a high degree of originality and craftsmanship will be performed in planetariums around the World and recorded in DVD with matched images of space to be done by recognized video artists and other planetarium specialists along with astronomers. The pieces should not be longer than five menutes and can use regular, alto, bass or contrabass flutes (no piccolo) with any electroacoustical means. Longer pieces can be considered if composers work on shorter versions. Planetariums insterested in participate, only need to send us an email expressing their interest in Años Luz. Música para planetarios/ Alejandro Escuer to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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IYA Cornerstone Projects
• 100 Hours of Astronomy
The "100 hours of astronomy" will take place in the weekend of Thursday, April 2nd, through Sunday, April 5th, 2009. This includes two weekdays (school days), which is ideal for students and teachers, and two weekend days, which is ideal for families. The Moon is at first quarter on the 2nd, so it is at a good phase for early-evening observing that whole weekend.
Chair: Dennis Crabtree <email@example.com>
• The Galileoscope
This cornerstone wants to share this observational and personal experience with as many people as possible across the world. The task group is developing a simple, accessible, easy-to-assemble and easy-to-use telescope that can be distributed by the millions. Ideally, every participant in an IYA2009 event should be able to take home one of these little telescopes. As of 2009 Feb 20, the IYA Galileoscope website (http://www.galileoscope.org) is now up and running for taking orders
Chair: Rick Fienberg - <firstname.lastname@example.org>
• Cosmic Diary
Since October 2007, the Cosmic Diary Cornerstone Project has done some important progresses. The first aim is to set up a blog, where a group of astronomers will be able to discuss their work, their lives and hobbies, at the same time as they communicate science to the public. Although this is the main objective of the project, we are making every effort to take it beyond and produce a Cosmic Diary Book and a Cosmic Diary Documentary.
Chair: Mariana Barrosa <email@example.com>
• The Portal to the Universe
The Portal to the Universe will enable innovative access to, and vastly multiply the use of, astronomy multimedia resources – including news, images, videos, events, podcasts, vodcasts etc. The implementation of this project is foreseen to be led by the ESA/Hubble, which is prepared to sponsor a considerable amount of manpower for the construction and first year or two of operation. The work will be done in close cooperation with the IAU IYA Secretariat.
Chair: Lars Lindberg Christensen – <firstname.lastname@example.org>
• She is an Astronomer
The aim of the project is to provide neutral, informative and handful information to female professional and amateur astronomers, students and those who are generally interested in the gender equality problem in science. We believe that providing this information can help to increase the interest of young females to study astronomy, and to pursue a career in astronomy.
Chairs: Enikö Patkos <email@example.com> & Francesca Primas <firstname.lastname@example.org>
• Dark Skies Awareness
For this cornerstone project, IAU will collaborate with the U.S. National Optical Astronomy Observatory, International Dark-Sky Association and other national and international partners in dark sky and environmental education on several related themes, including worldwide measurements of local dark skies by thousands of citizen-scientists using both unaided eyes and digital sky-quality meters, star parties, new lighting technologies, arts & storytelling, and health and ecosystems.
Chairs: Doug Isbell - <email@example.com> and Connie Walker - <firstname.lastname@example.org>
• Astronomy and World Heritage
UNESCO and the IAU are working together to implement a research and education collaboration as part of UNESCO’s Astronomy and World Heritage project. This initiative aims at the recognition and promotion of achievements in science through the nomination of architectural properties, sites or landscape forms related to the observation of the sky through the history of mankind or connected with astronomy in some other way.
Coordinator - Thematic Initiative "Astronomy and World Heritage”
UNESCO World Heritage Centre
Convention Concerning the Protection Of The World Cultural And Natural Heritage: http://whc.unesco.org/archive/convention-en.pdf
Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention: http://whc.unesco.org/archive/opguide08-en.pdf
Thematic Initiative "Astronomy and World Heritage" (September 2005)
29th Session of the World Heritage Committee (January 2007)
Follow-up of the World Heritage Committee's decision related to the Thematic Initiative "Astronomy and World Heritage" (January 2008)
• Galileo Teacher Training Programme
The goal of this cornerstone is to create by 2012 a world-wide network of certified Galileo Ambassadors, Master Teachers and Teachers. Included in the programme is the use of workshops and on-line training tools to teach the topics of robotic optical and radio telescopes, web cams, astronomy exercises, cross-disciplinary resources, image processing, and digital universes (web and desktop planetariums).
Chairs: Jim Manning - <email@example.com> and Rosa Doran <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Report : http://www.astronomy2009.org/
• Universe Awareness
UNAWE is an international outreach activity that inspires young disadvantaged children with the beauty and grandeur of the universe. UNAWE enables the exchange of ideas and materials through networking and interdisciplinary workshops.
Chair: Carolina Ödman <email@example.com>
Webpage: http://www.astronomy2009.org/content/view/301/90/ & http://www.unawe.org/
• From Earth to the Universe - an exhibit of astronomical images
This cornerstone will generate and facilitate exhibitions of astronomical images around the world in a variety of settings during IYA2009. One crucial goal of this effort would be to place these images in "non-traditional” locations. That is, we hope that in addition to having these images featured in "traditional” settings such as science centres and planetariums, other types of locations such as public parks, metro stations, art centres, and others would be host to these images. In short, we hope to expose astronomy to the general public in an unexpected yet accessible manner.
Chairs: Kimberly Kowal Arcand - <firstname.lastname@example.org> &
Megan Watzke - <email@example.com>
Report : http://www.astronomy2009.org/
• Developing Astronomy Globally
A cornerstone project that responds to the acknowledgement that astronomy needs to be developed, both professionally (universities, research), publicly (communication, media, amateur groups) and educationally (schools) in various countries that do not have strong astronomy communities. The implementation would be focussed on training and development at each of the levels mentioned above. This cornerstone will focus on developing countries and parts of developed countries which are lagging.
Chair: Kevin Govender <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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