iya0801 — News Release

The IYA2009 welcomes the 100th participating country

17 January 2008, Paris

The organisers of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009), the International Astronomical Union and UNESCO, welcomed this week the 100th participating country to the growing ranks of participating countries and organisations for this worldwide astronomy project. This milestone is reached only four weeks after the official Proclamation of IYA2009 by the United Nations.

The latest country to join the International Year of Astronomy 2009 initiative is the People's Republic of Bangladesh. This is a particularly welcome addition to the growing worldwide project since one of its aims is to promote astronomy and develop astronomical networks in developing countries.

Mr. F. R. Sarker the General Secretary of the Bangladesh Astronomical Society is the Chair of the Bangladesh IYA2009 National Node and explains why he and his country are participating in the International Year of Astronomy 2009:
"The IYA2009 is a historic event which will offer unique opportunities for the people of Bangladesh to learn more about the incredible developments in the field of astronomy."

The International Year of Astronomy 2009 projects and activities aim to help millions of people worldwide to rediscover their place in the Universe through the day and night time sky, and thereby engage a personal sense of wonder and discovery. The International Year of Astronomy 2009 represents the largest coordinated effort of professional and non-professional astronomers in history for popularising astronomy. The President of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Catherine Cesarsky says: "We are delighted that the International Year of Astronomy 2009 gives a chance to the astronomers from the IAU member countries to reach out to the rest of the world and share the new knowledge and excitement of today's astronomy"

Mr. F. R. Sarker adds: "Although being a developing country, Bangladesh has a large number of space enthusiasts, perhaps more than anywhere else in the world. The Bangladesh Astronomical Society aims to let 200,000 people observing the night sky through telescopes during 2009. On 22 July, 2009 a total solar eclipse will be visible on northern part of Bangladesh, this will be one of the most memorable celestial events in the history of the country. Our hope is that IYA2009 will enable Bangladesh to establish a large optical observatory in Chittagong to explore the mysteries of the Universe."

The International Year of Astronomy 2009 will be a global celebration of astronomy and its contributions to society and culture, highlighted by the 400th anniversary of the first use of an astronomical telescope by Galileo Galilei. In addition to the 100 coiuntries already involved in the IYA2009, 14 organisations are involved. Well over 140 countries and many organisations are expected to participate in the initiative in 2009.

For more information about the International Year of Astronomy 2009 please visit the website at http://www.astronomy2009.org/

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Notes for editors

The vision of the IYA2009 is to help the citizens of the world rediscover their place in the Universe through the day and night time sky - and thereby engage a personal sense of wonder and discovery. All humans should realize the impact of astronomy and basic sciences on our daily lives, and understand better how scientific knowledge can contribute to a more equitable and peaceful society.

The aim of the IYA2009 is to stimulate worldwide interest, especially among young people, in astronomy and science under the central theme ‚"The Universe, Yours to Discover". IYA2009 events and activities will promote a greater appreciation of the inspirational aspects of astronomy that embody an invaluable shared resource for all countries.

The IYA2009 activities will take place at the global and regional levels, and especially at the national and local levels. National Nodes in each state have been formed to prepare activities for 2009. These Nodes establish collaborations between professional and amateur astronomers, science centres, educators and science communicators in preparing activities for 2009. The International Year of Astronomy was proclaimed by the United Nations on 20 December 2007.

The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together almost 10,000 distinguished astronomers from all nations of the world. Its mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation. The IAU also serves as the internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and the surface features on them. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world's largest professional body for astronomers.

For more information, please contact:

IYA2009 National Node Chair for the People's Republic of Bangladesh
F. R. Sarker
Bangladesh Astronomical Society
Tel: +880-2-8014310, 8011335
E-mail: sarker@bdonline.com

IAU President, Chair of the IAU Executive Committee IYA2009 Working Group
Catherine Cesarsky
Tel: +49-89-32-00-62-27
Cell: +49-171-67-47-165
E-mail: ccesarsk@eso.org

IAU General Secretary
Karel A. van der Hucht
International Astronomical Union
98bis bd Arago, F-75014 Paris, France

home institute:
SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research
Sorbonnelaan 2, NL-3584CA UTRECHT, the Netherlands
Tel: +31-30-2535729/5600
Cell: +31-6-53-960237.
email: K.A.van.der.Hucht@SRON.nl

IYA 2009 Secretariat
Pedro Russo
IAU & ESA/Hubble, Garching, Germany
Tel: +49-89-320-06-195
Cell: +49-176-61100211 / +351-962854775
E-mail: prusso@eso.org

UNESCO Contact
Yolanda Berenguer
Space Education Programme Coordinator
Tel: +33-1-45684171
E-mail: y.berenguer@unesco.org

IAU Press Officer/Secretary of IAU IYA2009 Executive Committee Working Group
Lars Lindberg Christensen
ESA/Hubble & IAU, Garching, Germany
Tel: +49-89-32-00-63-06
Cellular: +49-173-3872-621
E-mail: lars@eso.org

The 100 IYA2009 Participating Countries List (Alphabetic order)

  1. Austria
  2. Belgium
  3. Bulgaria
  4. Croatia, the Republic of
  5. Cyprus
  6. Czech Republic
  7. Denmark
  8. Estonia
  9. Finland
  10. France
  11. Germany
  12. Greece
  13. Hungary
  14. Iceland
  15. Ireland
  16. Italy
  17. Latvia
  18. Lithuania
  19. Malta
  20. Netherlands
  21. Norway
  22. Poland
  23. Portugal
  24. Romania
  25. Russian Federation
  26. Serbia, Republic of
  27. Slovakia
  28. Spain
  29. Sweden
  30. Switzerland
  31. Turkey
  32. Ukraine
  33. United Kingdom
  34. Algeria
  35. Angola
  36. Argentina
  37. Armenia
  38. Australia
  39. Bangladesh
  40. Benin
  41. Bolivia
  42. Brazil
  43. Canada
  44. Chile
  45. China
    • China Nanjing
    • China Taipei
    • Hong Kong
  46. Colombia
  47. Congo, Republic of the
  48. Costa Rica
  49. Cuba
  50. Ecuador
  51. Egypt
  52. El Salvador
  53. Gabon
  54. Georgia
  55. Guatemala
  56. Honduras
  57. India
  58. Indonesia
  59. Iran, Islamic Republic of
  60. Israel
  61. Japan
  62. Jordan
  63. Kenya
  64. Korea, Republic of
  65. Lesotho
  66. Macedonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of
  67. Malaysia
  68. Mauritius
  69. Mexico
  70. Morocco
  71. Mozambique
  72. Namibia
  73. Nepal
  74. New Zealand
  75. Nicaragua
  76. Nigeria
  77. Oman
  78. Pakistan
  79. Panama
  80. Paraguay
  81. Peru
  82. Philippines
  83. Qatar
  84. Rwanda
  85. Senegal
  86. South Africa
  87. Sri Lanka
  88. Sudan
  89. Tajikistan
  90. Thailand
  91. Tunisia
  92. Uganda
  93. United Republic of Tanzania
  94. United Arab Emirates
  95. United States
  96. Uruguay
  97. Uzbekistan
  98. Vatican City State
  99. Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
  100. VietNam


The IYA2009 Chair in Bangladesh
The IYA2009 Chair in Bangladesh


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