IYA2009 Updates

IYA2009 breaks another record

11 August 2009

IYA2009 breaks another record

Longest canvas in the world painted at the Oceans festival in Lisbon, under the theme Oceans and Astronomy. In this creative event that was open to families, a 4.8 km long canvas was painted with the help of many enthusiastic volunteers.


More information: http://www.festivaldosoceanos.com/home_en.html


NASA Celebrates IYA2009

10 August 2009

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), in partnership with the U.S. national node and the IAU/UNESCO, of which it is an Organizational Associate, has developed a rich and vibrant program for the International Year of Astronomy 2009.  We kicked off the event at the American Astronomical Society meeting in January 2009, with a sneak preview of the multiwavelength image of M101, taken by the three NASA Great Observatories, Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra X-Ray Observatory, and Spitzer Space Telescope.  There was a steady stream of visitors at the NASA booth at the Opening Ceremony in Paris.  Since then NASA programs have touched the hearts and souls of the young and old both in the U.S. and internationally.  All NASA programs can be accessed via the website http://astronomy2009.nasa.gov/.  Below is an update on some of the NASA programs - there are many more!

-Great Observatories Image Unveiling (HST-Spitzer-Chandra views of  M101) - travelling exhibit at 116 science centers, museums, planetariums, and schools around USA.

-Visions of the Universe: Four Centuries of Discovery traveling exhibit for public libraries

-From Earth to the Universe image exhibition has been displayed in non-traditional venues in USA and around the world.

-Object of the month: Chosen by scientists to be easily observable by the public and supported by "Discovery Guides",  "What's Up" video & podcasts, "Amazing Space" resources, "Epo's Chronicles" webcomic.

-MicroObservatory: Take and process your OWN images with the MicroObservatory robotic telescopes.

-Sun-Earth Day 2009 live webcast took place on March 20, 2009. Scientists shared top discoveries about the Sun.  Students monitored the Sun and prepared their own space weather forecast. A download of the webcast is now available with the transcript.

- Around the World in 80 Telescopes: NASA missions participating in the 24-Hour Observatory included Hubble Space Telescope (HST), THEMIS, RHESSI, and FAST, Swift, Fermi, SOHO, TRACE, STEREO, GALEX, Chandra, Spitzer, (plus ESA scientists highlighting XMM-Newton and Integral).

- "Hubble's Next Discovery - You Decide" contest drew contestants from around the world in the selection of an object for observation by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST).

- Teacher Workshops associated with the launch Kepler, HST Servicing Mission 4, WISE missions have been planned/executed.

- International participation of NASA scientists on May 6-8, 2009, in a space adventure (Aventura Espacial) in Barranquilla, Colombia

-NASA IYA Student Ambassador program has spread the excitement of NASA missions in all 50 states of the U.S., Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

-Women in Astronomy and Space Science workshop, addressing the challenges of a diverse workforce will be held in October 2009 at College Park, MD.

Hashima Hasan and Mario Perez

NASA Headquarters, Washington DC 20546, USA



2009 total solar eclipse broadcast reaches a huge audience

10 August 2009

Organisers of a live broadcast of the recent total eclipse have announced that the event reached millions of people using their feeds. 25 clients utilised the video stream, including 10 TV stations and 14 network portals. Viewers came from all over the world, from countries including Japan, USA, Poland, Singapore, Canada, Malaysia, and many others.

Special solar eclipse sections on participating web portals say they have received over 160 million clicks, while mobile phone websites were visited more than 70 million times.

The IYA2009 team would like to congratulate all involved!


IYA2009 coins celebrate this special year

10 August 2009

A new Canadian $30 sterling silver coin to mark IYA2009 has been announced. The design features an observatory with a universe of heavenly wonders shimmering within and around the beautifully painted night sky, and will be shipped late August. It can be seen here: http://www.mint.ca/store/product/product.jsp?itemId=prod650001&rcmeid=van_astronomy

This coin joins an ever-growing collection of astronomy-themed coins from the world. The Royal Australian Mint announced special one dollar and 20 cent coins in February, featuring images of the famous radio telescope located in Parkes NSW, symbolic of Australia's place in international astronomy: http://www.coinnews.net/2008/11/09/royal-australian-mint-shoots-for-the-stars-with-2009-international-year-of-astronomy-coins-4499/

In March the Austrian Mint in Vienna chose to dedicate its silver-niobium coin to IYA2009: http://www.coinnews.net/2009/03/12/austria-2009-25-year-of-astronomy-silver-niobium-galileo-coin/

And April saw Malaysia release three versions of an IYA2009 coin, available separately or together as a set: http://www.bnm.gov.my/index.php?ch=8&pg=14&ac=1805


NASA release useful resources for IYA2009

10 August 2009

NASA is using two robotic probes to study the Moon, creating a detailed atlas and analysing our natural satellite. Known as the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and The Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing satellite (LCROSS), they are missions to interest and inspire the public.

To help spread the word to the public at large, NASA have released resources centred around the missions. Of particular interest to IYA2009 supporters are the presentations and videos which can be used at star parties, and other events.

Information and resources are available by following these links:
http://www.lcross.arc.nasa.gov/resources http://www.lcross.arc.nasa.gov/observethemoonnight.htm


The 300th anniversary of the airship Passarola falls within IYA2009

8 August 2009

One of the many important anniversaries being celebrated during IYA2009 is the flight of the balloon ship Passarola in 8 August 1709.

Designed and made by Portuguese priest and naturalist Bartolomeu de Gusmão, it was truly revolutionary. His idea was to spread a sail over a machine's body, and then utilising the wind, or bellows on calm days, travel through the air. After several tests, there are reports that Gusmão travelled in 1km in the Passarola, sailing over Lisbon. Although many suggest that the "flight" was more a controlled fall, it was undoubtedly an inspirational feat using a man-made contraption.

Indeed, by some definitions Gusmão was the first man to fly, which makes the Passarola the origin of air transportation, and so by extrapolation space exploration. All in all, an important event to commemorate during IYA2009!

More information about the celebrations in Portugal: http://www.festivaldosoceanos.lpmcom.pt/index.php?option=com_eventlist&Itemid=93&func=details&did=9


IYA2009 Update

7 August 2009

Galileoscope price goes up on 10th August

Due to operational reasons the Galilescope price goes up by 10 August. So if you are planning to place an order make sure that you do it before this date! More information on: www.galileoscope.org

The World at Night update
Read the latest information here: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/404/

Solar eclipse unites India and Bangladesh during IYA2009
A Star Peace meeting between India and Bangladesh to observe the total solar eclipse in July 2009 has been hailed as a great success: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/403/

Indian IYA2009 event attracts record-breaking numbers
Each year, the Gandhi Corporation organises a theme fair at the Ahmedabad Education Society grounds for 11 days. In honour of IYA2009, this year's theme was space. In total, more than 700,000 visitors were introduced to the wonders of astronomy as part of this massive outreach opportunity of unprecedented scale. For more information, including additional links, please see: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/

Essay finds that education may boost gender equality
Called "Lost in darkness and distance: Why girls don't want to be scientists - and how the classroom might fix it", Julie Darbyshire's essay on stereotypes in science delves into the issues surrounding the under-representation of women in science careers. It suggests that different classroom approaches may provide a solution. Read the full essay here: http://www.lablit.com/article/523

Israeli observatory ready for live deep-sky webcast
The Bareket Observatory is an educational facility located in Israel. Their mission is to act as an educator's resource for schools and educational institutions.  As part of this effort, and in support of IYA2009, late August will see a live webcast of deep sky objects. Sights such as nebulae, star clusters, planets, and asteroids will all be captured in real-time using the observatory's remote educational telescope system. The event will cover around 1.5 hours, meaning that participants can drop in and out as required. Explanations of the objects being observed will be provided in English. This astro-cast is free and open to all. For more information, please visit: http://bareket-astro.com/en/telescope_internet.htm

International Light Festival to take place in Poland
Between 11 and 16 August 2009, the Polish city of Torun will be hosting artists and scientists as part of the Skyway 09 - International Light Festival. The gothic old town buildings will be tastefully lit to represent history, science, and culture going hand-in-hand to educate and inspire. Skyway 09 - International Light Festival's official website: http://www.skyway09.eu/

IYA2009 update in the United States of America


IAU General Assembly in Rio de Janeiro.

Follow the latest news and information regarding the IAU GA in Rio here: http://www.iau.org/


IYA2009 News Round-up

7 August 2009

UK newspaper The Guardian has mentioned IYA2009 in an op-ed called In praise of... astronomers. A short but sweet piece, it highlights the work done by stargazing scientists, beginning with using the heavens as a calendar, up to the Hubble Space Telescope.

Attention, young astronomers! The news round-up has some information for you. SpaceRef.com is reporting that more than 200 astronomers from around the world will gather for the first International Conference of Young Astronomers (ICYA) at the Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland, from Monday, 7 September to Saturday, 13 September 2009. So if you can get together enough cash from ma / pa / pocket money / paper round / student loan / however it is kids get money these days, why not head over and do some so-called "networking".

Hello, JoongAng Daily. What's that? You've been promoting a joint Korea Foundation for the Advancement of Science & Creativity and Korea Institute of Science & Technology Evaluation and Planning event to promote science, technology and green growth featuring a special exhibition about IYA2009? Good on you.

BBC TV's The One Show has a clip about astronomy and things on its website. At the time of writing it isn't actually working, but if memory serves the presenter does mention IYA2009.

IYA2009 events have been taken to the next level in the Indian city of Kochi, says express buzz. Research scholars of Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Department of Physics, Cusat, have been taking high-quality images of the Moon and using them to perform calculations. Students have also been involved, giving them the chance to contribute to real research. Says the article, "The year 2009 being the International Year of Astronomy, it has been the endeavour of every researcher and student to work on something new in this area of specialisation." Yeeeah!

Here's a story from Cohn Marketing. Families in 24 United States communities will be introduced to The World At Night project as the exhibition is being introduced to shopping centres around the country. Will the prints be for sale, then?

Let's finish up with an unusual one, courtesy of Physorg.com. To bring astronomy to the masses for IYA2009, the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics has a released a comic on the internet explaining just what happened during the first 40,000 years after the Big Bang.

Well that's another news round-up done and dusted. Remember to check local sources for stories in your own language.


The World at Night Update

4 August 2009

News and Report

The World at Night in collaboration with Dark Skies Awareness project, organize the International Year of Astronomy 2009 Earth and Sky Photo Contest on the importance of dark skies. It is open to anyone of any age, anywhere in the world. More

Latest Photos and Videos  

There are new stunning photos and time-lapse videos on TWAN website, featuring starry nights of the planet's landmarks from all over the world.




Zion Scorpion (Zion National Park) by Wally Pacholka
Utah Milky Way (Zion National Park) by Wally Pacholka
Late Spring Star Party (Colorado National Monument) video by Thad V`Soske
Moon and Venus Conjunction (Grand Valley) video by Thad V`Soske



An Evening With Prince of Wales (Waterton Lakes National Park) by Yuichi Takasaka
Waterton Stars (Waterton Lakes National Park) by Yuichi Takasaka



Startrails over Bolivia (Lake Titicaca) by Fred Espenak




Moon Games (Brittany) by Laurent Laveder
Light House Milky Way (Brittany) by Laurent Laveder
Brittany Morning Surprise (Brittany) by Laurent Laveder



Lake Balaton Moonrise (Lake Balaton) by Tamas Ladanyi
The Space Station above Hungary (Veszprem) by Tamas Ladanyi
Point at Jupiter (Veszprem) by Tamas Ladanyi




Moonrise in Algiers (Algiers) by Babak A. Tafreshi
The Centaur of Sahara (Tassili National park) by Babak A. Tafreshi


Asia and Middle East


To See or Not to See (Shanghai) by Tunc Tezel



Hale-Bopp and Milky Way (Geojedo Island) by Kwon O Chul
Shooting Stars (Mount Sobaeksan) by Kwon O Chul
Moon Romance (Mount Sobaeksan) by Kwon O Chul
Trails of the Far East (Mount Hambaeksan) by Kwon O Chul



Pond Moonlight (Nagano) by Shingo Takei
Starry Road (Gifu Prefecture) by Shingo Takei
Celestial Pole (Nagano) by Shingo Takei



Nature under the Moonlight (Alamut Valley) by Oshin D. Zakarian
Imamzadeh Trails (Alamut Valley) by Oshin D. Zakarian
Moon and Venus (Alamut Valley) by Oshin D. Zakarian



Moon and Three Planets (Denizli) by Tunc Tezel
Cassiopeia to Big Dipper (Lake Salda) by Tunc Tezel


Australia and Pacific


Cosmic Visitor (Western Australia) Represented by David Malin
Red (Western Australia) Represented by David Malin
Full Moon in the Morning Twilight (Tennant Creek) Represented by David Malin
Conjunction in the Zodiacal Light Represented by David Malin


Pacific Ocean

Eclipse of the Century by Babak A. Tafreshi



Guest Gallery is a well-received section on TWAN website to feature selected outstanding Earth and sky photos by non-TWAN creative photographers from around the globe. If you have such remarkable photos to share with TWAN Guest Gallery, please contact us. There are new featured photos on the Guest Gallery:

- Orion and Sirius above Desert Trees (Iran) by Ahmad Karimi

- Stars above Borobudur Temple (Indonesia) by Emanuel Sungging Mumpuni

- Great Comet McNaught (New Zealand) by Fraser Gunn

- Capitol Moonrise (USA) by John Rummel

- Planetary Alignment over Madison (USA) by John Rummel

- Moonrise over Austin Skyline (USA) by Sam Cole

- Winter Evening Venus  (Germany) by Juergen Huefner

- Ancient Stones (Germany) by Juergen Huefner

- Seychelles Islands in Moonlight (Seychelles) by Juergen Huefner

- Moon over Mount Penteli (Greece) by Chris Kotsiopoulos

- Jumbo Hut Moonlight (Canada) by Darren Foltinek
- Venus, Jupiter, Moon Conjunction over Calgary (Canada) by Darren Foltinek
- Aurora and Milky Way Panorama (Canada) by Darren Foltinek
- Orion over Sorcerer Lodge (Canada) by Darren Foltinek
- Venus, Jupiter, and the Moon (Thailand) by Suparerk Karuehanon
- Southern Sky at Alains Astrofarm (Chile) by Dr. Sighard Schrabler
- Moon, Milad Tower, and Fireworks (Iran) by Nami Namvar Yekta
- Conjunction over Yakhdon e Moayedi (Iran) by Mania Rahban
- West Kennet Longbarrow (UK) by Pete Glastonbury
- Venus, Jupiter, and Crescent Moon (Iran) by Mohamad Soltanolkotabi


Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD), a NASA's world-known website, has featured two new TWAN photos:

- 6 Minutes 42 Seconds  by Babak Tafreshi

- The Milky Way Over Devils Tower  by Wally Pacholka

- Noctilucent Cloud Storm Panorama  by P-M Heden

- TWAN is featuring six special galleries:

Latest Images
Dark Skies Importance
Cosmic Motions
World Heritage Sites
TWAN Podcast


TWAN is a global program of Astronomers Without Borders (www.astrowb.org) and a Special Project of International Year of Astronomy 2009, an initiative by IAU and UNESCO. The World at Night is to produce and present a collection of stunning photographs of the world's most beautiful and historic sites against the nighttime backdrop of stars, planets and celestial events. The eternally peaceful sky looks the same above all symbols of different nations and regions, attesting to the truly unified nature of Earth as a planet rather than an amalgam of human-designated territories.


Building bridges through the sky
The World at Night

Solar eclipse unites India and Bangladesh during IYA2009

4 August 2009

A Star Peace meeting between India and Bangladesh to observe the total solar eclipse in July 2009 has been hailed as a great success.

This historic meeting, held with the collaboration of Astronomers Without Borders, took place on the afternoon of 21 July in the border between India and Bangladesh near the Pillar No. 433 of India, about 20km from Panchagarh, Bangladesh. The Bangladesh team was led by F. R. Sarker, General Secretary of the Bangladesh Astronomical Society and IYA2009 SPoC, and the Indian team was led by Debasis Sarkar, the General Secretary of Sky Watcher's Association of North Bengal, an affiliated organisation of the Confederation of Indian Amateur Astronomers. Each team consisted of about 15 members including journalists. It was the first meeting of its kind No-Man's Land between Bangladesh and India.

The short meeting was a great leap for the astronomers of Bangladesh and India, allowing them to express their solidarity and friendship in the fields of astronomical activities with the bold conviction in mind that one day our Earth will be a place where people will live without borders.

Read more about this inspirational event, and see accompanying photos, here: http://www.astronomy2009-bd.org/Indo_bangla_meet_at_border.htm


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Organisational Associates:

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