IYA2009 Update

21 August 2009

Canada Takes IYA2009 to Space

Canadian astronaut Dr. Robert Thirsk who is presently aboard the International Space Station has recorded a "get involved in IYA2009" message which can be viewed in French or English from the CSA website (http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/images/recherche/photo.aspx?id=1700&format=&search=&l=eng) or on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiJfyevRjj8).  While the message is directed primarily to encourage involvement by Canadians, his message is universal.

India and Bangladesh unite for IYA2009 star party, replacing conflict with peace
While many astronomers worldwide were focused on the total solar eclipse, a small group of amateur stargazers from India and Bangladesh used this as an opportunity to carry out an activity of peace. For the first time in the history of the two countries, whose relations are marred with cross-border firing, terrorism, kidnapping, and acts of violence, a special event was held, which had members of the armed forces of both sides of the border rubbing shoulders with amateur astronomers at the international border dividing the two countries. Read about this astonishing tale here: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/430/

Women in Astronomy and Space Science 2009
 Meeting the Challenges of an Increasingly Diverse Workforce (Oct 21-23, 2009, College Park, MD, USA): http://wia2009.gsfc.nasa.gov/

Space & Time
"Space & Time" is a play for the International Astronomy Year 2009, written by the experimental work group "Cidadania". It is a multidisciplinary event which faces the questions of science, philosophy, religion and art. The goal is to call attention to the close relationships between astronomy, natural sciences, philosophy, and civilisation, and their influence in the shaping of our future. A mind-boggling performance combining video projections and live music at an unconventional stage. See a preview here: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/429/

400 Years of the Telescope earns Best Director at the 2009 SCINEMA Festival of Science Film
400 Years of the Telescope director Kris Koenig has earned the Best Director award at Australia's 2009 SCINEMA Festival of Science Film. The prestigious science film festival will screen across Australia from August 15-23, 2009. This year's theme includes the International Year of Astronomy and the Darwin anniversary. The details are here: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/428/

Galileoscopes donated for astronomy competition
A lucky Brazilian student will soon be whizzing their way to the Kennedy Space Centre and National Aerospace Centre in the USA, as part of a competition run by the US Consulate in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Planetarium Foundation, State Department of Education, and Gávea Planetarium. 100 Galileoscopes will also be donated to participants, by chief executive of the American Astronomical Society, Kevin Marvel. To be in with a chance of winning, contestants must answer astronomy questions as part of an Olympiad quiz, with early rounds being online, eventually building to a finale in Gávea Planetarium. Read the full story (in Portuguese) here: http://odia.terra.com.br/portal/rio/html/2009/8/estudante_podera_fazer_jornada_nas_estrelas_28119.html

The University College London is hosting events to celebrate IYA2009
The University College London is hosting events from 20 - 23 August, to bring IYA2009 to an even greater audience. The family-friendly activities include talking to young scientists working at the forefront of astronomy research, holding in your own hands rocks that are older than the Earth, using telescopes to safely observe the Sun and Venus, and much more. For more details, see: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/youruniverse/

Shoppers across the U.S. to experience "The World at Night"
An exhibit of stunning photographs of the night sky as viewed over many of the most beautiful natural, historic and cultural landmarks in the world is being shown at 24 shopping centres across the United States from now through November 8.


Organisational Associates:

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