IYA2009 Updates

StarPeace Newsletter

27 October 2009

StarPeace Newsletter; October 27, 2009

New feature on StarPeace website

StarPeace events around the world

  • World Astronomers Gathered under the Sky of Iran 
    3rd International Olympiad of Astronomy and Astrophysics held in Tehran, Iran on October 17-26. During the night of October 24 StarPeace arranged a star party for students and leaders from 20 countries.
  • Memorable Peace Line across the World
    For another time StarPeace clubs drew a memorable peaceful line across the world. From New Zealand to China, Philippines, Maldives, Nepal, India, Iran, Iraq and Brazil amateur astronomers united to show peace between them on the International Day of Peace, September 22: http://www.starpeace.org/En/News/46/Default.aspx
  • Indo-Bangladesh StarPeace
    On the evening of July 21, amateur astronomers from two neighboring countries, India and Bangladesh hold their first joint star party on the Ground Zero between two countries which share over 4000 km of closed high security, heavily fenced, strictly guarded border: http://www.starpeace.org/En/News/41/Default.aspx
  • Candle Lights under Star Lights
    On June 5, World Environmental Day, StarPeace colleagues from Brazil to Uruguay, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, India, Nepal and New Zealand, broke the artificial Earth borders: http://www.starpeace.org/En/News/38/Default.aspx

StarPeace has participants from all continents except Antarctica! To check StarPeace clubs on 6 continents go to http://www.starpeace.org/En/Clubs/Default.aspx

Latest StarPeace news around the world

  • Total Solar Eclipse in China
    A group of amateur astronomers from StarPeace core team went to Shanghai Sculpture Park, China for the Solar Eclipse July 22. Although the weather became cloudy and rainy during the total eclipse, they organized a StarPeace gathering under the shadow of the Moon.
  • StarPeace in IAU XXVII General Assembly
    During IAU General Assembly StarPeace project was well presented in two different sessions by Mariana Barrosa, IYA Coordination Assistant and Marcelo Souza, StarPeace ambassador in Brazil: http://www.starpeace.org/En/News/43/Default.aspx
  • Sufi International Competition in Iran
    Every Year in September Iranian veteran amateur astronomers gathered to observe the sky during one night together. The star party is named Sufi Competition in the memory of Azophi, the Persian astronomer. The observing competition is International and astronomers from all over the world could participate. This year Iran Astronomical Society held Sufi International Competition in cooperation with Sky Peace NGO who is the main organizer of StarPeace project on August 17-20 under the dark sky of Pasargadae, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

StarPeace welcomed volunteers to translate this newsletter into other languages. If anyone is volunteer contact us at info@starpeace.org and we will give you every newsletter two days before publishing for translating.

Scientific American's in-depth report about Galileo and IYA2009

27 October 2009

Scientific American's in-depth report about Galileo and IYA2009 The magazine Scientific American has released an in-depth report about Galileo and The International Year of Astronomy 2009. It looks at the legacy of Galileo Galilei, 400 years after the Italian astronomer turned his spyglass toward the heavens.

Read more here: http://www.scientificamerican.com/report.cfm?id=galileo-iya-1609

European Society for Astronomy in Culture Conference

26 October 2009

In an attempt to revive the astronomy vital role in our 21st century high technology culture, the European Society for Astronomy in Culture (SEAC) will hold its 17th annual meeting on 4-10 October 2009 at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA), Alexandria, Egypt. This event will be an International Year of Astronomy (IYA 2009) activity. SEAC 2009 is to demonstrate the chronological evolution of astronomy throughout history and the rising and falling of different civilizations. SEAC 2009 has chosen the BA as located on the Mediterranean coast at the meeting point of Eastern and Western civilization. The conference organizing committee will allocate a day open to the public to present the   conference's outcomes and the speakers' experiences in the field of Astronomy.  

More information: http://www.archeoastronomy.org/

Presidential IYA2009 in Iran

26 October 2009

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has given a speech during the 3rd International Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad in Tehran.

Pointing to designation of 2009 as the International Year of Astronomy, he said holding of such scientific events as the present Olympiad provided a chance for young scientists to develop a more vivid vision of man's future.

More information about the 3rd International Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad: http://ioaa2009.ir/

Twitter Moonwatch 26/27 October

26 October 2009

As part of Autumn Moonwatch (24 October - 01 November 2009), IYA2009 in the UK, in association with Newbury Astronomical Society, are running Twitter Moonwatch (on the evenings of 26 & 27 October 2009).

To take part in this Twitter-based just follow us on Twitter @astronomy2009uk and @NewburyAS. If you're not yet on Twitter, you can create an account for free here.

During Twitter Moonwatch we will be live-tweeting images of the Moon, planets and other astronomical objects, taken by Newbury Astronomical Society. At the same time we'll be online to answer any questions you might have about the images we're tweeting, and about astronomy in general.

This Twitter Moonwatch will be a special one, as we will be joined by the Faulkes Telescope Network of professional telescopes, who will be tweeting images taking with their 2m telescope situated in New South Wales, Australia.

To find out more, visit Newbury Astronomical Society's Twitter Moonwatch page

Report from the Women in Astronomy and Space Science conference

26 October 2009

The Women in Astronomy and Space Science conference, which focused on meeting the challenges of an increasingly diverse workforce in the global world of today, was held in Adelphi, Maryland, USA, on October 20-23, 2009.  Keynote speakers, Dr. Edward Weiler, NASA Headquarters, Dr. Kathie Olsen, National Science Foundation, and Congresswoman Donna Edwards, while recognizing the progress made in the education and employment of women in the scientific field, acknowledged that challenges still remained both in this area and in the integration of minorities into the scientific workforce.  Dr. Catherine Cesarsky presented an IAU study on statistics, while Drs. Helen Walker and Hashima Hasan presented poster papers on International Year of Astronomy 2009 projects addressing women and underrepresented groups.  Nobel Laureate, Dr. John Mather, led a panel discussion on leadership roles in space astronomy projects; Dr. Colleen Hartman on non-academic careers; Dr. Meg Urry on retention of women in astronomy; Dr. Anne Douglass on parenthood and scientific careers; Dr. Fran Bagnel on negotiations; Dr. Mark Goldman on mentorship; and Dr. Keivan Stassun on minority serving institutions.  Other issues discussed during the conference included addressing unconscious bias, re-entry issues after a career break, and generational issues in the scientific workplace.  A discussion group of early career astronomers identified work and family issues in the U.S. and presented their recommendations to the Executive Office of the President, at a meeting they had with the Office of Science and Technology Office representatives.  They also toured the White House before the meeting.  The conference was dedicated to Dr. Beth Brown, an astronomer at the Goddard Space Flight Center, who was at the peak of her career and a lead member of the Scientific Organization Committee of the conference, when she passed away.  Details of the conference may be found at http://wia2009.gsfc.nasa.gov/.

Report by: Dr. Hashima Hasan (NASA IYA2009 Single Point of Contact)

International Earth and Sky Photo Contest on Dark Skies Importance

24 October 2009

Two global projects of the International Year of Astronomy 2009, The World at Night and Dark Skies Awareness jointly organize the International Earth and Sky Photo Contest. Participating photographs should focus on TWAN style. Therefore the photos must combine some elements of the night sky (e.g., stars, planets, the Moon or celestial events) set against the backdrop of a beautiful, historic, or notable location or landmark somewhere in the World. They must show both the Earth and the Sky. This style of photography is called "landscape astrophotography".

More information: http://www.twanight.org/newTWAN/news.asp?newsID=6029

IYA2009 Update

23 October 2009

Galilean Nights are here!
The latest IYA2009 Cornerstone project, Galilean Nights, is underway. This global celebration of the 400th anniversary of Galileo's observations is taking place between 22 and 24 October. So far over 1150 events in 86 counties have been registered on the official website, and this number is growing all the time. Star parties, telescope sessions, exhibitions, competitions, and many more types of event are being run to mark this occasion. For more information and plenty of links, please visit: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/552/

European Southern Observatory opens its doors to the public
This October 24, falling within Galilean Nights, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) will be holding its Open Doors Day. This popular event allows members of the public to explore ESO's headquarters in Munich and talk with the astronomers working there. Events this year include films, talks, telescope observations, and "ask an astronomer" sessions. The Cosmic Diary Liveblogger will also be in attendance, reporting from a Galilean Nights perspective.
Short version of the programme, in German: http://www.eso.org/public/events/special-evt/openhouse09/index.html
Presentation of all institutes taking part of this year's Open House Day event: http://www.forschung-garching.de/
Galilean Nights LiveBlog: http://cosmicdiary.org/galilean_nights/

Tenth Colombian Astronomy Conference attracts VIP guests
The X Encuentro Colombiano de Astronomía (Tenth Colombian Astronomy Conference) held yearly by RAC (Colombian Astronomy network), was held this year in the CAFAM Convention Center, in Bogotá. The guest of honour was Mr. Gerolamo Schiavoni, Italian Ambassador to Colombia. Other attending VIPs included Mr. Ian McLennan, Vancouver (Canada) Planetary Director, and Antonio Bernal, who is the Director of Divulgation Activities of Fabra Observatory and Museum, in Barcelona, Spain. A testament to the potential of She Is An Astronomer, nearly 40% of attendees were women. In several speeches male astronomers recognised the vital work being done by female astronomers. Images from the event: http://www.flickr.com/photos/reddeastronomiadecolombia/

Digital FETTU exhibit in Canada
Astronomers in Victoria, Canada have launched their fourth digital image exhibit, this time in the Mayfair Shopping Centre. The images from the exhibit From Earth to the Universe (FETTU), the Canadian curated image archive, Canadian artists (First Nations, children, and established artists) and the Victoria RASC Centre are displayed on seven large high-definition TVs provided by their SONY partner. See more here: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/550/

Bangladesh World Space Week proves to be spectacular
World Space Week 2009 was celebrated at Enayetpur, the Space Village of Bangladesh, on 9-10 October. The theme was Space for Education and so around 24 schools with 3000 students, teachers and space enthusiasts participated. There were rocket competitions, space art, balloons, songs, cultural shows, quizzes, and even a parade! More event details are available here: http://www.astronomy2009-bd.org/wsw-2009_celebrated_at_enayetpur.htm Photos and a video are also online: http://www.flickr.com/photos/worldspaceweek/sets/72157622568584664/detail/

American Association for the Advancement of Science meets to mark IYA2009
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Caribbean Division will convene on 24 October in San Juan, Puerto Rico, with a programme to explore the importance and impact of astronomy in Latin America and beyond. This meeting's theme -"Astronomy and the Origin of Life"- links IYA2009 with the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth, and the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's masterwork, "On the Origin of Species". For more information, please visit: http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2009/1016cd_advance.shtml

Skygazers prepare to watch Orionid meteor shower
See http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/545/ for information.

Naming Pluto update
October 2009 will be a bumper month for Special Project, Naming Pluto. Father Films' award winning documentary short, directed by Ginita Jimenez & documenting the extraordinary story of young Venetia Burney Phair, will screen at 6 Film & Science Festivals, including the prestigious United Nations Association Film Festival. For useful links, please see: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/544/

From Earth To The Universe updates
See them here: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/543/

BLAST! screenings in October
Dates, times and locations are online: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/542/

The World At Night newsletter

Spanish Galilean Nights activity ready for action
A series of IYA2009-themed activities in the Spanish Extremadura region are about to reach their pinnacle with Galilean Nights. A presentation by The Department of Youths and Sport will be given, along with an official opening by Robert Hill, from Northern Ireland's Armagh Planetarium. There will also be practical workshops and the use of robotic telescopes. For more information, please visit: http://www.convivenciayocio.es/

A Year In Space: enjoy the Universe a day at a time for IYA2009
Starry Messenger Press have three enjoyable ways to help mark IYA2009: a free online calendar, free weekly e-mail, and a desk calendar. Published since 1994 by enthusiast Steve Cariddi, this one-man business is helping to bring beautiful astronomy images and fascinating facts to a very wide audience. Items are published in cooperation with The Planetary Society. Please see http://www.yearinspace.com/ for more information.

Web competition: Cosmic Collections
On 24 October 2009 the Science Museum, London, launches a competition to release hundreds of stories from our Cosmos & Culture exhibition on to the web. Join other astronomy enthusiasts, designers and web developers in an amazing mashup of creativity and ideas by creating your own websites with our objects. Whether you're interested in websites or astronomy, or a little bit of both, you can join up with people who have the skills you need to put together a winning web interface. The winning sites will be hosted on a Science Museum website - and did we mention there are two prizes of £1000 up for grabs? You can find out more about the judges, criteria and timelines here. http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/visitmuseum/galleries/cosmos_and_culture/mash-up_competition.aspx

IYA2009 News Round-up

23 October 2009

This News Round-up Day is super-special, as it falls within Galilean Nights, the IYA2009 Cornerstone project fantastico. It's been popular in the news, as evidenced by the fact that it's number one in the Yahoo News listings. It beat fierce competition from "Motorola Droid", "Metallica", and "Jackie Chan".

redOrbit has a brief mention of this mega-star-party. The Professor Astronomy blog has a very effective introduction and tips on how to get involved. The Marquette Journal Online has a more in-depth effort, complete with some interviews with enthusiasts. And, of course, the Cosmic Diary is running a LiveBlog, as has become tradition.

Now a piece from TransWorldNews. Revelling in Galilean Nights is simple as can be, thanks to Astronomy.FM and Global Rent-A-Scope. The article reports that these organisations are offering free telescopic imaging time to internet users around the world. Their Twitter feed is worth keeping an eye on, if you want alerts to make the most of this deal.

 iloubnan.info have a story from Lebanon about a small community of five astrophysicists deciding to use IYA2009 as a springboard to introducing astronomy to the local population. The motive is to tackle superstitions and familiarise people with the science of the stars. These enthusiasts are running events for Galilean Nights, so best of luck to them.

Media Newswire are spreading a press release about a talk to be given at The University of Texas at El Paso. Taking place this very News Round-up Day, the host is astronomer and Galileo-scholar Mary Kay Hemenway. 5pm in room 302 of the Education Building is when and where the action will be at.

SFGate, home of the San Francisco Chronicle, are providing good examples of Galilean Nights events happening in their area. The Manawatu Standard, Vineland Daily Journal, Cape Gateway, MagicValley.com and a whooooole lot more are doing the same.  To see what's happening near you, click here à here.

That's enough for this News Round-up Day. Now go and do some Galilean Nights stuff.

Galilean Nights are here!

22 October 2009

The latest IYA2009 Cornerstone project, Galilean Nights, is underway. This global celebration of the 400th anniversary of Galileo's observations is taking place between 22 and 24 October.

So far over 1150 events in 86 counties have been registered on the official website, and this number is growing all the time. Star parties, telescope sessions, exhibitions, competitions, and many more types of event are being run to mark this occasion.

All IYA2009 supporters are encouraged to participate, either by attending a nearby event, or organising and running one. Listings and tips are available on the official website, and any organisers who have yet to register their event are asked to do so as soon as possible.

 The Galilean Nights astrophotography competition is also an excellent way to get involved, and is open to beginners as well as experienced photographers. With prizes including a Celestron SkyScout and FirstScope, it is definitely worth entering!

Fellow IYA2009 Cornerstone project The Cosmic Diary is running two blogs, one by IYA2009 Staff Writer Lee Pullen, and another by Galilean Nights organisers. These are perfect for keeping up to date with the project and getting an insider's view.

The IYA2009 team thanks all those involved in the Galilean Nights project and wishes them clear skies - or failing that, suitable indoor activities.

Useful links
Galilean Nights website: http://www.galileannights.org/
Events listing: http://www.galileannights.org/find_event.html
Register an event: http://www.galileannights.org/register_event.html
Astrophotography competition: http://www.galileannights.org/competition.html
Cosmic Diary LiveBlog: http://cosmicdiary.org/galilean_nights/
Organisers' Blog: http://cosmicdiary.org/galilean_night/
Galilean Nights press release: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/pressreleases/detail/iya0918/

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Organisational Associates:

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