IAU`s XXVII General Assembly, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Special Session - The International Year of Astronomy 2009

3 - 5 August 2009

The International Year of Astronomy 2009 is a global effort initiated by the International Astronomical Union and UNESCO to help citizens of the world rediscover their place in the Universe through the day- and night-time sky, thereby engaging a personal sense of wonder and discovery.

Eight months after the official kick off of IYA2009, this IAU GA Special Session on IYA2009 is an ideal opportunity to showcase what the countries, institutions and projects worldwide are implementing during 2009, and offers a last-minute chance for stakeholders to exchange ideas and resources.


  • Catherine Cesarsky (France) (catherine.cesarsky@cea.fr) (Chair)
  • Ian Robson (UK), eir@roe.ac.uk
  • Dennis Crabtree (Canada), dcrabtree@gemini.edu 
  • Lars Lindberg Christensen (Denmark - ESA/ESO), lars@eso.org 
  • Claus Madsen (Denmark - ESO), cmadsen@eso.org
  • Norio Kaifu (Japan), Kaifunorio@aol.com
  • Ian Corbett (IAU - UK), icorbett@eso.org
  • Doug Isbell (USA), disbell@noao.edu
  • Susana Deustua (USA), deustua@aas.org
  • Robert Hill (UK), rob@spaceconnections.net
  • Kevin Govender (South Africa), kg@saao.ac.za
  • Mary Kay Hemenway (USA), marykay@astro.as.utexas.edu
  • Yolanda Berenguer (UNESCO), Y.Berenguer@unesco.org
  • Pedro Russo (IAU - Portugal), prusso@eso.org

Editors of the proceedings:
Catherine Cesarsky, Lars Lindberg Christensen and Pedro Russo

List of scientific programme topics:

  • Communicating astronomy with the public
  • Astronomy education
  • Cooperation and development
  • IYA2009 global projects (Cornerstones and Special projects)
  • IYA2009 national activities
  • Astronomy and new media
  • The impact and legacy of IYA2009


SpS2 IYA2009 Programme



3 August

Session 1



11h00 - 11h15  

Welcome IAU

C. Cesarsky

11h15 - 11h30

Welcome UNESCO

Y. Berenguer

11h30 - 12h00

Coordinating IYA2009

P. Russo, L Lindberg                  Christensen

12:00 - 12:30

The International Year of Planet Earth - Lessons learnt (Invited Talk)

Ed de Mulder

Session 2

14h00 - 14h12    

FAQs in Astronomy

Aniket Sule

14h12 - 14h18   

Introduction: National Activities

Session Chair

14h18 - 14h30    


Tasso Augusto Napoleão

14h30 - 14h42


Noorali Tayabali Jiwaji

14h42 - 14h54


Pamela L Gay

14h54 - 15h06


Anny-Chantal Levasseur-Regourd

15h06 - 15h18


Silvia Torres-Peimbert

15h18 - 15h26    


Oleg Yu. Malkov


End of the Session


Session 3

16h00 - 16h12


Montse Villar Martin

16h12 - 16h24


Iryna B.Vavilova

16h24 - 16h36


Norio Kaifu

16h36 - 16h48


Patricio Michel Rojo

16h48 - 17h00

South Africa

Kevindran Govender

17h00 - 17h12


Magda Stavinschi

17h12 - 17h24


Cynthia Pajadan Celebre


End session


4 August

Session 4

11h00 - 11h15

UNESCO Starlight Reserves for Professional Observatories?

Malcolm G. Smith 

11h15 - 11h24    

The Sky of the World

Lara Albanese

11h24 - 11h36

Introduction: Organisational Nodes



11h36 - 11h48

European Southern Observatory

Lars Lindberg Christensen

11h48 - 12h00

International Planetarium Society

Alexandre Cherman

12h00 - 12h30

Astronomy and media: Rewards and problems (invited talk)

Andre Brahic

5 August



9h00 - 10h30

Invited Discourse: The legacies of Galileo

Franco Pacini

Session 5



11.00 - 11.12

Astronomical Society of the Pacific

Bruce Partridge

11.12 - 11.24

Astronomia.pl Portal Activity in 2008-2009

Krzysztof Czart

11.24 - 11.42

Special Projects

Mariana Barrosa




11h42 - 11h54

100 Hours of Astronomy

Mike Simmons

11h54 - 12h06

The Galileoscope

Richard Tresch Fienberg

12h06 - 12h18

Cosmic Diary

Mariana Barrosa

12h18 - 12h30

The Portal to the Universe

Lars Lindberg Christensen

Session 6        



14h00 - 14h12

She is an Astronomer

Helen Joan Walker

14h12 - 14h24

Dark Skies Awareness

Constance Elaine Walker

14h24 - 14h36

Astro & World Heritage

Anna Pavlovna Sidorenko

14h36 - 14h48

Galileo Teacher Training Program

Rosa Doran

14h48 - 15h00

Universe Awareness

Carolina Johanna Ödman

15h00 - 15h12

From Earth to the Universe

Megan Marie Watzke

15h12 - 15h24

Developing Astronomy Globally

Kevindran Govender


End session


Session 7



16h00 - 16h30

IYA2009 legacy towards IAU strategic plan on astronomy for the developing world (invited talk)

George Miley

16h30 - 16h45

IYA 2009 evaluation

P. Russo, L. Lindberg Christensen, M. Barrosa

16h45 - 17h00

IYA2009  legacy & conclusions

C. Cesarsky

17h00 - 17h30

General discussion

S. Deustua


  • New Astronomical Observatory in Morocco: Contribution to research and education (Zouhair Benkhaldoun)
  • Space Sciences in the Developing Countries: Position and Potential (Babagana Abubakar)
  • IYA-2009 activities in Armenia (Areg Martin Mickaelian)
  • Joyful and Scientific aspects of Astrophotography (Mojtaba Taheri , Mohammad Javad Ajdadi , Sara Khalafinejad)
  • IYA2009 in Cuba (Oscar Alvarez)
  • Astronomical Society of Shiraz University and similar societies (Sara Khalafinejad , Saeed Hojjatpanah,  Fatemeh Kamali)
  • IYA2009 - URUGUAY (Tabare Gallardo)
  • OA-UNI: an Astronomical Observatory at the Peruvian Andes (Erick Meza , José Ricra , Antonio Pereyra)
  • The UNI - Astronomy Group, twenty three years of astronomical outreach in Perú (Erick Meza , José Ricra , William Cori , Antonio Pereyra)
  • The secrets of the birth and the death of Galileo Galilei (Elena A. Gavryuseva)
  • The Role of Langitselatan as the Media on Astronomy Education in Indonesia (Avivah Yamani , Ferry M Simatupang , Aldino Adry Baskoro , Emanuel Sungging Mumpuni)
  • Ecuador taking part of the IYA2009 celebration (Ericson Daniel Lopez)
  • IGP's activities for the IYA2009 (Jesús Antonio Dalmau Cam , José Kaname Ishitsuka Iba)
  • IYA Activities at the University of Texas at Austin (Mary Kay Hemenway)
  • 1000 telescopes for 1000 schools in the UK (Helen Joan Walker , Helen Joan Walker , Helen Joan Walker)
  • Australian Aboriginal Astronomy: Comets, Meteors, and Cosmic Impacts (Duane W. Hamacher)
  • Noche de las Estrellas, a Massive Celebration in Mexico (Silvia Torres-Peimbert, Jose Franco , Irene Cruz-Gonzalez , Barbara Pichardo)
  • Pakistan Celebrates IYA2009 (Malik Ghulam Murtaza)
  • The Activities of Infini-To for the IYA 2009 (Piero Galeotti)
  • Sky Observation and Astronomy Teaching in the Tertiary Level in India (Rabindra Kumar Bhattacharyya)
  • IYA 2009 in Albania (Mimoza Hafizi)
  • Education in Astronomy: Discussing Science Technology and Society (Artur Justiniano Junior)
  • The Multiverse and the mind: Exploring cosmology s new infinities (D. Kala Perkins)
  • The You are Galileo! Telescopes (Hidehiko Agata)
  • IYA2009/PERU: the UNMSM will establish the Astronomy career as homage to IAU (Maria Luisa Aguilar Hurtado)
  • Developing Astronomy at the Brazilian Pantanal region (Telma C. Couto da Silva , Marcos G. G. C. Lima , Celio R. Pinheiro , Denilton C. Gaio , Shozo Shiraiwa)
  • Activities of the IYA2009 in Argentina (Olga I. Pintado)
  • The Astronomy Club in an isolated school in Argentina (Olga I. Pintado , Analia Juarez , Lidia Salvatierra , Carola Gomez)
  • Japanese IYA2009 Activities (Kazuhiro Sekiguchi)
  • Encouraging Spanish speaking children to explore the Universe with UNAWE en Español (Rosa M. Ros , Carolina Ödman)
  • International Year of Astronomy 2009 Activities in India (Ranjeev Misra , Dipankar Bhattacharya)
  • International Year of Astronomy 2009 Activities in Turkey (Ali Alpar)
  • Non-scientists' Perception of Telescopes and the Light They Collect (Erika D. Grundstrom, Roger S. Taylor)
  • The IYA09 activities and approaches of IIA (Prajval Shastri , Sabyasachi Chatterjee)
  • The international year of astronomy in Minas Gerais. The activities of Center of Sciences Gaia: itinerant planetarium (Peter Leroy Faria)
  • Students As Starry Messengers For IYA2009-Puerto Rico (Carmen Pantoja , Mayra E. Lebrón)
  • The International Year of Astronomy in Puerto Rico -- Progress Report (Mayra E. Lebrón , Carmen Pantoja , Daniel Altschuler , José  Alonso)
  • IYA2009-Puerto Rico activities for visually impaired public (Carmen Pantoja , Gloria Maria Isidro , Mayra E. Lebrón)


Organisational Associates:

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