IYA2009 Update

9 October 2009

Will you be sharing the Galileo Experience?
With two weeks to go until the highly anticipated Galilean Nights Cornerstone Project on 22-24 October, preparations are in full swing for the hundreds of activities taking place all over the world.  If it isn't already, get those dates marked in your diaries and head over to the project website http://www.galileannights.org/ and find details of all of the events near you, enter the astrophotography competition, find out about remote observing and check out the many great resources available.  If you are organising any astronomy activities over the Galilean Nights dates, then you must make sure that you let us and the world know by registering your event on the website today: http://www.galileannights.org/register_event.html

Apply for free Galileoscopes, courtesy of the EurAstro association
The EurAstro association, an organisational node of IYA2009, was awarded 200 Galileoscopes in the frame of the Cornerstone project "Developing Astronomy Globally". These will be shared between Germany, in particular but not exclusively in the Munich area, and the Republic of Mali. They are intended to be used by deserving schoolchildren and institutions during the end of IYA2009 and beyond. More information is available here: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/513/

U.S. President Obama hosts star party at the White House
See updates here:

Galileoscope video released by Arizona Illustrated
A new video has been made about the Galileoscope initiative. Featuring interviews with prominent project members and a typical user, it shows how these low-cost instruments can be easily assembled and used to discover the Universe. See the video here: http://ondemand.azpm.org/videoshorts/watch/2009/9/3/kuat-galileo-telescope/

Probes set to crash into the Moon and unveil lunar secrets
See a news story about the LCROSS mission here: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/511/

"Be an INTEGRAL astronomer" competition winners announced
Students from India and South Africa have been selected as the winners of the European Space Agency's ‘Be an INTEGRAL astronomer' competition. See details here: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/509/

New photo exhibition turns lens on UK astronomers
Some of the UK's finest astronomers have taken a break from their star gazing to become stars themselves of an exciting new photography exhibition by acclaimed photographer Max Alexander. The new exhibition, funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and showing at the Royal Albert Hall, celebrates the careers of the talented UK scientists at the forefront of our understanding of the cosmos, and celebrates the UK's proud heritage in astronomy and space science. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/506/

FETTU Braille exhibit
As part of the "From Earth to the Universe" (FETTU) project, a NASA-funded tactile and Braille exhibit for the visually impaired community was launched in July 2009. FETTU panels for the visually impaired were produced featuring tactile displays as well as Braille versions of the caption material for a subset of the FETTU images with materials based on the book "Touch the Invisible Sky". The tactile exhibit is currently at the Atlanta Center for the Visually Impaired (Atlanta, Georgia), the Perkins School for the Blind (Boston, Massachusetts) and Columbia University (New York, New York) and will move on to additional locations this fall in Maryland, Arkansas, and Puerto Rico. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/505/

2009 Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to inventors of CCD chips
The Nobel Prize for Physics 2009 has been awarded to two scientists for their work developing Charge Coupled Devices, or CCDs for short. These are used in digital imaging devices, notably for professional and high-end amateur telescopes. The remarkable pictures we see from the depths of the Universe are thanks to CCD technology. See the story, as reported on the IYA2009 website: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/504/

17,000 people visit German IYA2009-themed science festival
Every year since 2001 the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (German Physical Society) has organised a major science festival in a different venue and with a different lead topic. In 2009 the choice was easy, and so the late September "Highlights of Physics" in Cologne had the theme "Address: Milky Way", in honour of IYA2009. It is one of only a handful of federally funded IYA2009 activities in Germany, where most projects rest on the shoulders of volunteers. A short report is available here: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/503/

International Telecommunications Union highlights the importance of radio astronomy during IYA2009
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has released a document bringing attention to radio astronomy and ITU activities in this area. Linking with IYA2009, the background to the Year is given, along with a list of ITU radio astronomy projects. See the IYA2009-related section here: http://www.itu.int/ITU-R/information/promotion/e-flash/3/article5.html

The Shaw Prize Lecture in astronomy
The Shaw Prize is an international award to honour individuals who are currently active in their respective fields and who have achieved distinguished and significant advances, who have made outstanding contributions in culture and the arts, or who in other domains have achieved excellence. The award is dedicated to furthering societal progress, enhancing quality of life, and enriching humanity's spiritual civilization. Preference will be given to individuals whose significant work was recently achieved. Learn more online: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/501/

The World at Night newsletter
Read it here: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/500/

My Moon Campaign launches UN-declared World Space Week
My Moon Campaign is the first joint effort of the Galileo Teacher Training Program (GTTP), one of the Cornerstones of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009), and the World Space Week Association (WSWA), a global celebration of space taking place between 4-10 October every year. In 2009 several important dates are marked including the 400th anniversary of Galileo's observations, 150 years of Charles Darwin's "Origin of Species", and the 40th anniversary of the first Apollo Moon landing. The Moon is the ideal target for this campaign as it presents a perfect link between all these important turning points in science history. Read more here: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/498/

Organisational Associates:

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