10 ways to participate in Global Astronomy Month this April!

11 March 2010

New Global Programs invite everyone to join in

With three weeks remaining until Global Astronomy Month (GAM) begins in April, Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) has developed Global Programs everyone can take part in. Professional and amateur astronomers, educators and all astronomy enthusiasts worldwide can chose between global star parties, meteor watching, events dedicated to the Moon, the Sun and to Saturn, dark sky pledges, virtual meetings with famous astronomers, remote observations of exoplanets, asteroid discoveries and much more. Below are 10 highlights of these global programs, and there’s much more on the GAM website. Join the global celebration of the Universe this April!

 1.      Living Legends Series – (virtual event) Date to be announced

A highlight of several online interactive events during GAM, the Living Legend Series begins its run during GAM. Streamed live online for everyone to watch, AWB Affiliates around the world will also interact with the special guests. Each program presents a unique opportunity to see and interact with the most fascinating people in astronomy. It’s one of many online programs being presented throughout the month.


2. Is There Anybody Out There? – (remote event) 7th April 00.00 UT

Who hasn’t asked themselves this question? Astronomers have discovered 450 planets outside our Solar System, and you can observe one of them online, sharing the excitement with others around the globe, by the dimming of the light of its “sun” while it crosses in front of it. It’s one highlight of a series of online observing events for everyone.


3. SunDay – (physical event) 11th April

Become a Sun worshipper on 11 April! Our own star is the worldwide focus on this day. Gather your friends to observe the Sun, bring your telescope out for others to see it, make a solar spectroscope, tune in to special programs. Be sure you use the proper methods and filters! SunDay is one of many programs about the Sun to take place during GAM.


4. Saturn Watch – (physical event) from 12th to 16th April

Saturn’s rings are back! They’ve been turned sideways to us and hard to see but this fascinating planet is once again showing off its famous ring system. Saturn Watch begins on 11 April and continues nightly through the 16th. Amateur clubs and sidewalk astronomers are encouraged to plan observing events to share Saturn with the public. It’s one of several programs meant to encourage amateur astronomers to get involved.


5. Beauty Without Borders – Saturn for All – (physical event) 16th April

Beauty Without Borders is a grassroots program begun by amateurs around the world and now coordinated by Astronomers Without Borders to bring more of us together to share celestial highlights with the public, and with each other. This time Saturn is the “beauty”. If you have a telescope, join sidewalk astronomers worldwide who have banded together in this unique program.


6. Write Your Name in the Sky! – (remote event)  15th April 21.30 UT

Asteroids have always intrigued us. They’re mysterious and sometimes frightening when they enter our region of space. In this online remote observing event we face our fears and reveal the secrets of these lonely travelers as we hunt for asteroids in real time. The first to discover one could get naming rights, putting a label in the sky for eternity!


7.  Lunar Week – (physical event) from 17th to 23rd April

17 April marks the start of Lunar Week, seven nights dedicated to observing the closest celestial body to Earth and our companion in our yearly journey around the Sun. Moon-themed star parties to observe the Moon through telescopes and by naked eye, educational programs, online observing events, competitions and a celebration of the Moon in different cultures are just a few ways you can participate in Lunar Week.


8. Lyrids Watch – (physical event) 21st and 22nd April

Meteor showers are one of nature’s great displays: dozens of “falling stars” that scratch the night sky. Dress warmly, lay back and watch the show right above your head. It’s more than a light show, though. The cosmic debris we see burning up in the atmosphere are left over from a comet’s tail. There are records of this meteor shower going back 2600 years. What will this year’s shower be like?


9. One Star at a Time – (dark skies) Dates to be announced

One Star at a Time is looking for a missing object. We’ve lost our Milky Way and we want it back! The Milky Way stretches across the sky, composed of thousands of stars in our galaxy but it’s hidden from view in our cities by the blanket of light we needlessly and wastefully send up into the sky. But what can you do about it? Join this new global project – launching during GAM – and pledge to preserve and protect the starry night sky above your own home or business. Join with others around the world to bring our Milky Way back – One Star at a Time.


10.  Global Star Party – 24th April

The excitement generated by Global Astronomy Month comes to a peak on Saturday, 24 April, with the ultimate observing event. The Global Star Party is the time to come out under the stars, bring your own telescope and encourage others to join to bridge gaps across the seas, under the theme “one people, one sky.” Begun during 100 Hours of Astronomy during the International Year of Astronomy, the Global Star Party is an ongoing annual AWB event.


This is just a sampling of the activities available during GAM. Astronomers Without Borders is partnering with many programs to bring them to the grand celebration of the Universe.


Are you holding an event during GAM? Register it on the GAM web site at http://www.astronomerswithoutborders.org/index.php/projects/global-astronomy-month/events.html and share your ideas with astronomy enthusiasts around the globe!



More information:



Astronomers Without Borders

Astronomers Without Borders is dedicated to fostering understanding and goodwill across national and cultural boundaries by creating relationships through the universal appeal of astronomy. Astronomers Without Borders projects promote sharing, all through a common interest in something basic and universal – sharing the sky.


General inquiries:  info@gam-awb.org


Media Contacts:


Mike Simmons

President, Astronomers Without Borders

Chair, GAM2010 Working Group


+1 818 486 7633


Oana Sandu

GAM2010 Public Relations Coordinator


+40 724 024 625

Organisational Associates:

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