IYA2009 Updates

TWAN Updates

11 January 2011

News and Report 

  • Happy New Year 2011! Enjoy our special gallery for the new year greetings featuring the best TWAN images of night sky above winter landscapes.
  • TWAN at Central European Deepsky Imaging Conference (CEDIC 2011), The conference is a major annual gathering of astrophotographers from Europe and around the world in Linz, Austria. TWAN director Babak Tafreshi will present The World at Night and hold a workshop on landscape astrophotography at CEDIC2011 which takes place March 18 – 22. Conference registration is open through February.   
  • TWAN in Beautiful Universe and SkyWatch 2011, The World at Night images are featured in two popular publications of Sky&Telescope magazine: Beautiful Universe and SkyWatch which are published annually.
  • Top Viewed Photos and Videos: October-December 2010, See the most visited photos and time-lapse videos on TWAN website during fall 2010.
  • New TWAN Mystery, Test your knowledge of the night sky with this edition of TWAN Mystery.

Latest Photos and Videos

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



Skylights Over Libya  by Tunc Tezel


The Winter Solstice  by Juan Carlos Casado


Sky From the Equator  by Kwon O Chul



Eclipse and Aurora in Motion  (time-lapse video) by Yuichi Takasaka

Aurora During a Total Lunar Eclipse  by Yuichi Takasaka

Lunar Eclipse above Yellowknife  by Yuichi Takasaka

Sky Gem  by Yuichi Takasaka

Quadrantid Meteor Above Alberta  by Yuichi Takasaka

Streak From the North  by Yuichi Takasaka

Costa Rica

Eclipsed Moon From a Cruising Ship  by Wally Pacholka


Lunar Eclipse Picnic  by Dennis Mammana

Meteor Above Mojave Desert  by Wally Pacholka

Stars Above a Joshua Tree  by Wally Pacholka

Winter View  by P.K. Chen

Summer View  by P.K. Chen

Autumn View  by P.K. Chen

Spring View  by P.K. Chen

Sky of Four Seasons  by P.K. Chen



Leonid Meteors and Their Persistent Trains  (VR/video) by Kwon O Chul


Siberia Eclipse Sunset  by Aleksandr Yuferev

Frozen Eclipse  by Aleksandr Yuferev

Chimney Eclipse  by Aleksandr Yuferev

Australia and Pacific


Back to the History  by Stephane Guisard



Unusual Sunrise  by Laurent Laveder

Port Orion  by Gernot Meiser

A Winter Night of France  by Gernot Meiser

Startrails Above Tour Vauban  by Gernot Meiser

Moon Dream  by Gernot Meiser


Wandering Sun  by Anthony Ayiomamitis

Analemma Above the Temple of Poseidon  by Anthony Ayiomamitis


Analemma over Hungary  by Tamas Ladanyi

Framing by Fibonacci Numbers  by Tamas Ladanyi

Misty Eclipse  by Tamas Ladanyi


Christmas Stars  by Juan Carlos Casado

Solar Eclipse Above Spain  by Juan Carlos Casado


Star Trails in the North  by P-M Heden

Geminid Meteors above Sweden  by P-M Heden

Family Stargazing  by P-M Heden

Noctilucent Clouds above Sweden  by P-M Heden

Halloween Night  by P-M Heden

Night in the Land of Gustav Vasa  by P-M Heden

New Year Sky Dreams  by P-M Heden

Jupiter Corona  by P-M Heden

Middle East


A Meteor Moment  by Amir H. Abolfath

The World at Night in Black and White  by Oshin D. Zakarian

Morning Trails  by Oshin D. Zakarian

Village Night  by Amir H. Abolfath

Zodiacal Light in Desert Sky  by Amir H. Abolfath

Clear Sky After Snow  (VR/video) by Babak A. Tafreshi

December Meteors  by Babak A. Tafreshi

Big Dipper and the Falling Star  by Babak A. Tafreshi

Sky Above Iran National Observatory  by Babak A. Tafreshi

Milky Way in a Moonlit Night  by Babak A. Tafreshi

The Belt of Venus  by Babak A. Tafreshi

Orion and the Persian King  by Babak A. Tafreshi

Around the Pole  by Babak A. Tafreshi

Meteor Shower of December  by Babak A. Tafreshi

The Night Begins  by Oshin D. Zakarian

Starry Winter Landscape  by Babak A. Tafreshi

Village Sky and Shooting Star  by Amir H. Abolfath

Sky Watchers of the Astronomy Town  by Babak A. Tafreshi

Falling Star of an Ancient City  by Babak A. Tafreshi

Stars and Meteors above Qumis  by Babak A. Tafreshi

Damghan Meteor  by Amir H. Abolfath

Trails Above Tehran  by Amir H. Abolfath

Bears in the Desert Sky  by Amir H. Abolfath

Sky Motion Above a Mountain Road  by Amir H. Abolfath

Starry Night of Damghan Desert  by Oshin D. Zakarian

Colors of Autumn  by Oshin D. Zakarian

A Fire Temple at Night  by Amir H. Abolfath

Sky in Motion above Ancient Fire Temple  (VR/video) by Amir H. Abolfath

Stars and Rocks  by Oshin D. Zakarian

Planets in the Morning Twilight  by Oshin D. Zakarian


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

Night at Alanya Castle  (Alanya, Turkey)  by Hakan Buyuktuncay

Korean Ruin and Star Trails  (Korea)  by Kang Jisoo

Venus in Twilight  (Zahedan, Iran)  by Masoud Sheikh Veisi

Quadrangle after Sunset  (Tempe, AZ, USA)  by Jin Lu

Lights of the Albufeira Star Party  (Lagoa de Albufeira, Sesimbra, Portugal)  by Miguel Claro

Hareer Mountains in Autumn  (Erbil, Iraq)  by Azhy Hasan

Ursa Major over the Canyzar Lagoon  (Villarquemado, Teruel, Spain)  by Vicente Aupi

Leh Panorama  (Hanle, Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir, India)  by Ajay Talwar, Vikrant Narang, Raghu Kalra

Small Magellanic Cloud and Uluru  (Northern Territory, Australia)  by Kang Jisoo

Varzane Moon and Venus Conjunction  (Varzane, Isfahan, Iran)  by Nazanin Alibeik

Present Look at the Past  (High Island Reservoir, Sai Kung, Hong Kong)  by Herman Yeung

Gahar Lake in the Moonlight  (Gahar Lake, Lorestan province, Iran)  by Saber Karimi

Eclipsed Moon Setting  (Neuhofen an der Krems, Austria)  by Herbert Raab

Moonrise Partial Lunar Eclipse  (Mandaluyong City, Philippines)  by Erika Valdueza

Devsthal Meadow  (Devsthal, Uttarakhand, India)  by Ajay Talwar

Uluru at Night  (Ayers Rock(Uluru), Northern Territory, Australia)  by Kang Jisoo

Waxing Crescent Moon meets Venus  (Kurdistan, Iran)  by Farzin Hossaini

Three friends of the Milky Way  (Portinho da Arrabida, Sesimbra, Portugal)  by Miguel Claro

Lazar Castle At Night  (Lazarea Village, Transilvania, Romania)  by Munzlinger Attila

Aurora over Alaska  (Willow Lake, off Richardson Highway, Alaska)  by Paul Alsop

Pleiades over Moutohora  (Thornton Beach, New Zealand)  by John A Davis

Transparent Observatory  (Hanle, Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir, India)  by Ajay Talwar, Vikrant Narang, Raghu Kalra

Panorama of the Milky Way  (Gayen, Iran)  by Amirreza Kamkar

Sydney at Dawn  (Sydney, NSW, Australia)  by Kang Jisoo

Ostersund by Night  (Ostersund, Sweden)  by Goran Strand

Garmeh Star Trail  (Garmeh Village, Isfahan, Iran)  by Hooman Mirrahimi

Our Galactic Neighborhood  (Azul, Argentina)  by Luis Argerich

Amateur Astronomer at Work or Pleasure?  (Hatu Peak, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India)  by Ajay Talwar

Partial Solar Eclipse at Sunrise  (Vienna, Austria)  by Peter Wienerroither

Partial Eclipse from France  (La Rosiere, France)  by Sebastian Voltmer


Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD), a NASA’s world-known website, has featured new images by TWAN photographers:

TWAN is featuring 14 special galleries:

TWAN is a global program of Astronomers Without Borders (www.astrowb.org) and a Special Project of International Year of Astronomy, 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

Virtual Telescope introduces new, amazing instruments for observing the Cosmos live through the Int

11 January 2011

After four years since it was officially launched in 2006, the Virtual Telescope project (www.virtualtelescope.eu) introduces a new important telescope, accessible via the Internet by professional and amateur astronomers from all around the world.  Initially equipped with a 280mm-aperture, remote telescope, later the Virtual Telescope hosted a Celestron 356mm-large scope, installed on a Paramount ME robotic mount and completed with a SBIG SBIG ST8-XME, class 1 CCD  camera, plus filters. 

This setup has shown incredible capabilities, thanks to its advanced specifications and to the excellent seeing conditions at the observing site (Ceccano, Italy), with an average seeing of 1.7 arcseconds and peaks of just 1 arcseconds. The instrument, accessible through the web interface of the Virtual Telescope project, has shown the sky for free to about 800.000 individuals from 192 different Countries, almost reaching the totality of the worldwide community. Over the last two years, about 100 international, free events where planned. These numbers make the Virtual Telescope the most active, remote astronomical facility on the planet

These outstanding results pushed the Virtual Telescope staff to evaluate the acquisition of another system, able to enhance further both the public and research activities. A glorious telescope was finally acquired, based on a PlaneWave 17”, corrected Dall-Kirkham optical tube assembly, with a high luminosity and wide corrected field. This optics was installed on another Paramount ME robotic mount and equipped with a  SBIG STL-6303E, large format CCD camera and filters. This is the only instrument of this kind installed in Italy and one of the first ones in the world: it sports outstanding optical, mechanical and electronic features.

 Both the robotic telescopes now part of the Virtual Telescope project are independently and remotely accessible and they are connected to the Internet with two independent, broadband connections, for the highest real-time control performances. The whole system is served by a network of four computers, controlling the telescopes, the environmental and weather conditions, the observatory facilities and doing the image/data reduction.

“We are very happy with the  amazing, growing international success we experienced since we started sharing the Cosmos”, says Gianluca Masi, astrophysicist, owner and scientific director of the Virtual Telescope project: “The new instruments will give a great boost to all our activities, confirming the leadership of this project, which has staked a lot on quality and professionalism of our services and contents.

To celebrate these recent improvements, the Virtual Telescope will host, on the next 25 Jan. 2011 at 20:00 Universal Time, a special online, free event, when our instruments will show in real-time some of the most beautiful cosmic jewels, with the live comment of our scientific team. To join, a computer connected to the Internet is all what is needed, to enter our website (www.virtualtelescope.eu) at the given date and time. Participants will have a chance to win a prize consisting in two hours of free observing time, using our new system!



Dr. Gianluca Masi, PhD

Email: gianluca@bellatrixobservatory.org

Mobile.: +39 334 9236690

Fax: +39 07751800105

Proceedings Published From 2009 Women in Astronomy Conference

11 January 2011

The Organizing Committee of the 2009 Women in Astronomy conference has published the proceedings from the year's Women in Astronomy and Space Science Conference III, titled "Women in Astronomy and Space Science 2009: Meeting the Challenges of an Increasingly Diverse Workforce." The conference was held on Oct. 21-23, 2009, at the Inn and Conference Center, University of Maryland University College, Adelphi, Md. 

Nearly three hundred women and men attended the three day conference, which focused on the diversity of today's scientific professions and the challenges of tomorrow's leaders. Speakers shared their personal route to careers in areas such as instrument development, science management, non-profit organizations, and aerospace administration. Topics presented included: best practices for recruiting, promoting, mentoring, and retaining women and minorities; unconscious biases that influence how people are evaluated and demographics within the science field. There was a focus on the senior scientists who mentor and manage the workforce, the mid-career scientists who face the full range of challenges, including balancing home and work, and the early career scientists who represent the future of the field. 


A short video on the highlights and themes of the Women in Astronomy Conference for 2009.

Space science research institutions have traditionally been populated by a majority male workforce, but this is rapidly changing. Today's workforce is much more diverse with individuals from various cultures and backgrounds increasing percentages of women and minorities and multi-generational workforces engaged in team work. 

One of the interesting aspects of the progress of women, who only a generation ago made up a small percentage of the space science and astronomy workforce, is the degree to which women mentored each other, self organized, and shared lessons. 

"One recurring theme of the meeting is the power of mentoring in all its forms: formal mentoring, informal mentoring, peer mentoring, and group mentoring," said Dr. Anne Kinney, Director, Solar System Exploration Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. "Creating an atmosphere where there is engaged interaction, especially bridging the gap between senior career and early career scientists, can set the stage for all forms of mentoring. While senior career scientists may have worked alone in their offices, early career scientists are part of a generation that shares knowledge and experience in a more fluid environment." 

In the sixteen years since the first Women in Astronomy meeting, women now make up a much larger fraction of the field. Previously, American Astronomical Society membership for those under the age of thirty was less than 20% female, today it is 40%. 

Early career planetary scientist, Carrie Anderson from NASA Goddard said "I was really excited to see the vast number of women who showed up for the meeting. They came from all over the country and I felt such pride to be among such an amazing group of women." 

As the field struggles to increase its diversity in underrepresented minorities, these lessons for success among women can prove valuable. One of the goals of the meeting was to capture successful practices in the hope of applying them in ways that increase the numbers and the success of minority scientists in the field of astronomy and space science. 

Attendees of the 2009 Women in Astronomy and Space Science Conference III Credit: NASA, Jay Freidlander 

While in the past the pipeline for minorities was insufficiently filled, the situation is changing. Strategies for success of minority scientists were discussed at the conference including Bridge Programs involving Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), focusing on the transition from high school to college, and the transition from undergraduate to graduate school. The aim of Bridge Programs is to provide a pathway for success into the science discipline. 

Roughly one-third of all Science, Technology, Engineering and Math bachelor degrees earned by African-Americans are from HBCUs. Engaging HBCUs and setting up and maintaining an educational pipeline is an important aspect of increasing the representation of minorities in the sciences. 

In attendance were managers from Carnegie Observatories, Gemini Observatory, Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, National Optical Astronomical Observatories, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Planetary Science Institute, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Space Telescope Science Institute, Spitzer Science Center, and Yale. Professional societies in attendance included: the American Astronomical Society, American Institute of Physics, and American Physical Society. Nobel laureates and representatives from fifty seven universities were also present at the conference. 

To view the entire WIA proceedings document, visit: http://wia2009.gsfc.nasa.gov/

Nancy Jones
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 

Hot Off the Press: Issue 10 of CAPjournal

7 January 2011

A new issue of the peer-reviewed journal for science communicators, Communicating Astronomy with the Public journal (CAPjournal), is now available.

Articles include an overview of how Disney Television Italy worked alongside the Education and Public Outreach office of the INAF Astronomical Observatory of Padua in Italy to help promote astronomy to children. The authors discuss the differences between the working practices of an entertainment company and an astronomical observatory, and how these were overcome to form a successful partnership.

This issue also tackles some difficult topics in science communication, such as the problems encountered when explaining complex scientific theories to a general audience and the misperceptions that can arise as a result, and how well the public interprets astronomical images.

Also in this issue, how new and existing tools can be used by science communicators, including a look at the Virtual Observatory, which is an international project that provides an infrastructure for sharing vast amounts of astronomical data online. And how microblogging sites such as Twitter can be much more than a means of communicating science to the public — they can also be tools to engage people in research and spacecraft missions.

CAPjournal issue 10: http://www.capjournal.org/issues/10/

Lennart Nilsson Award to Babak Tafreshi (TWAN project) and Carolyn Porco

13 December 2010

The 2009 Lennart Nilsson Award was presented to well-known American planetary scientist and the head of Cassini spacecraft imaging team Dr. Carolyn Porco and Iranian photographer and science journalist, the founder and director of TWAN,Babak A. Tafreshi in recognition of their photographic work, which -- each from its own perspective -- recalls humankind’s place in the universe. The annual award is the world’s most prestigious distinction in scientific photography which is presented in honor of the legendary Swedish photographer Lennart Nilsson who has been working with imagery at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm for decades. Like Lennart Nilsson the winners of the awards are mainly those who have captured worlds that are otherwise hidden from human sight. As described by the award panel the photographs of TWAN director “reclaim a night sky that most modern people have lost. Babak Tafreshi takes us to remote places where the stars still look like they did at the dawn of mankind. His work calls to mind the beauty of the universe and human life on our planet.” The award is administered by Karolinska Institute and is given to the winners each year on October 28 in theBerwald Hall of Stockholm. On his visit to Sweden for the Lennart Nilsson Award ceremony Babak Tafreshi lectured about The World at Night for Department of Astronomy in Lund University, Tycho Brahe Astronomy Association and Skane Engineering Club in Malmo, Amateur Astronomers Association of Stockholm, Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics in University of Oslo (Norway). Public lectures by Carolyn Porco and Babak Tafreshi were also organized by the award in the prestigious Nobel Museum in Stockholm. More about 2009 Lennart Nilsson Award winners on the news: New ScientistSky&TelescopeDiscovery News,TWANKarolinska Institute. Photos by Staffan Larsson and Babak Tafreshi unless otherwise noted.

More information: http://www.twanight.org/newTWAN/news_photo.asp?newsID=6060

Science in School Issue 17 Now Available

13 December 2010

The latest issue of Science in School, a free science education journal, is now available. The many exciting articles in this issue cover topics such as the science of humour, the phenomenon of supercooling, experiments at the nanoscale and a classroom project for transmitting music by laser. ESO’s own Dr J (a.k.a. Dr Joe Liske), star of the ESOcast and Hubblecast video podcasts, talks in an article about his passion for astronomy, and his role in The Eye 3D, a 3D film about ESO’s Very Large Telescope in the Chilean Atacama Desert.

Science in School is published by EIROforum, a collaboration between eight European intergovernmental scientific research organisations, of which ESO is a member. The journal addresses science teaching both across Europe and across disciplines: highlighting the best in teaching and cutting-edge research.


Beyond IYA2009 Updates

12 December 2010

Measurable effects of IYA2009 in Sweden
A recent study of the recognition of science among the Swedish public has demonstrated a pronounced change in the appreciation of astronomy. More information: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/1122/

IYA2009 Session at the Public Communication of Science & Technology Conference: The International Year of Astronomy: How did it go and what did we learn?
More information: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/1124/

The World at Night Newsletter:

GLOBE at Night 2011: GLOBE at Night encourages citizen-scientists worldwide to record the brightness of the night sky. During 2 winter/spring weeks of moonless evenings, children & adults match the appearance of a constellation (Orion in February/March and Leo in March/April) with 7 star maps of progressively fainter stars found at www.globeatnight.org. They then submit their choice of star map on-line with their date, time and location to help create a light pollution map worldwide.The GLOBE at Night 2011 campaign dates are February 26 – March 6 (worldwide) and March 22 – April 4 (for the Northern Hemisphere) and March 24 – April 6 (for the Southern Hemisphere).
More information: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/1121/

Galileoscopes in Cuba (Report by David M.F. Chapman ( Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Halifax Centre)): http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/1123/

Astrobook drive: Call to action: Astro Library-Indonesia: http://astrodrive.lakdiva.net/projects/indonesia_bookdrive.html

Summary of International Year of Astronomy 2009 Released

The Executive Summary, print-ready files and source files are now available for download here:http://www.astronomy2009.org/summary/

The World at Night Newsletter

12 December 2010

News and Report


Photo Report: TWAN Continues to Travel in Hungary The World at Night traveling exhibit and presentations in Hungary which started during the International Year of Astronomy continues in the country with new events.

Photo Report: Lennart Nilsson Award to Babak Tafreshi and Carolyn Porco

See the most visited photos on TWAN website during summer 2010.

Join TWAN fans on Facebook: Learn about the latest updates on the project and communicate with TWAN photographers at The World at Night page on Facebook page.


Latest Photos and Videos

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



Tassili Milky Way  by Babak A. Tafreshi


A Starry Evening of Libya  by Tunc Tezel

Crescent Moon Meets Crescent Venus  by Tunc Tezel

Moon, Mercury, and M22  by Tunc Tezel


Kilimanjaro Star Trails  by Kwon O Chul



Aurora Fireball  by Yuichi Takasaka

A Message From the Sun  by Kwon O Chul

Dancing Lights  by Yuichi Takasaka

Down Town Aurora  by Yuichi Takasaka

Rotating Sky and Moving Aurora  by Yuichi Takasaka


Sky in Motion above the Very Large Telescope  (time-lapse video) by Stephane Guisard

VLT in 360-degree Panoramic Video  (time-lapse video) by Stephane Guisard


Sedona Fireball  by Wally Pacholka

St. Helens Night Panorama  by Wally Pacholka

All-Sky View from Kansas  by Doug Zubenel

Jupiter over the Maroon Bells  by Thad V`Soske

The Meteor Crater  by Wally Pacholka

Moon Occults Mars  by Doug Zubenel

The Red Planet Comes Out of Occultation  by Doug Zubenel

Shooting Stars of December  by Wally Pacholka

Big Dipper Falling Star  by Wally Pacholka

Starry Sky of an Alien Lake  by Wally Pacholka



Rotating Sky above Armenia  by Oshin D. Zakarian


Himalaya Startrails  by Oshin D. Zakarian

Australia and Pacific


Uluru Moonset  by Kwon O Chul

Sky Beauty and Increasing Lights  by Kwon O Chul

Cook Islands

Ocean Stars  by Tunc Tezel



Mushroom Sun  by Pekka Parviainen


Moon Game  by Laurent Laveder


Bavarian Alps in Moonlight  by Bernd Proschold

Winter Stars above Bavarian Alps  by Babak A. Tafreshi


From the Shore of Lake Balaton  by Tamas Ladanyi

Hungary at Night  (time-lapse video) by Tamas Ladanyi

Solar Halo and Ice Crystals  by Tamas Ladanyi


The Village of Sundials  by Babak A. Tafreshi


Faro Evening Twilight  by P-M Heden

Noctilucent Clouds above Sweden  by P-M Heden

Watching Night-shining Clouds  by P-M Heden

Windmill NLCs  by P-M Heden

Moon, Pleiades, and Mysterious Clouds  by P-M Heden

Northern Stars Trail above Sweden  by P-M Heden

A Night in the Forest  by P-M Heden

Rivers of Water and Stars  by P-M Heden

King Oak  by P-M Heden

Middle East


Crescent Pair  by Babak A. Tafreshi

Zagros Mountains in Moonlight  by Babak A. Tafreshi

Mount Gargash Night Panorama  by Babak A. Tafreshi

Space Station above Mount Gargash  by Babak A. Tafreshi

Tower Star Trails  by Babak A. Tafreshi

Setting Stars above Alborz  by Amir H. Abolfath

A Spring Night of Alborz  by Amir H. Abolfath

Starry Garage  by Amir H. Abolfath

In the Silent of Night  by Amir H. Abolfath

Winter All Sky  by Amir H. Abolfath

Night River  by Amir H. Abolfath

Stars and Blossoms  (VR/video) by Babak A. Tafreshi

Eclipsed Sunrise  by Babak A. Tafreshi

Shiraz Night  by Babak A. Tafreshi

The Earth Shadow  by Oshin D. Zakarian

Damavand Moon  by Oshin D. Zakarian

Heavenly Branches  by Oshin D. Zakarian

The Quest  by Oshin D. Zakarian

Far Far Away  by Babak A. Tafreshi

Toward Polaris  by Oshin D. Zakarian

Winter Stars Rise above Zagros  by Oshin D. Zakarian

Beauty of Spring under Moonlight  by Oshin D. Zakarian

Painted by Stars  by Oshin D. Zakarian

The King Parade  by Babak A. Tafreshi


Sky Away from the Lights  by Tunc Tezel


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

Comet Hale Bopp over Nevada  (Mt. Charleston, Nevada, USA) by Sean Sabatini

Camping below the Milky way  (Central Australia) by Pascal Christian

Gathering of Planets from Portugal  (Costa da Caparica, Almada, Portugal) by Miguel Claro

Full Moon and Ruins  (Tok, Hungary) by Tamas Abraham

Pre-dawn Perseid Meteor  (Alborz Mountains, Firooz Kouh, Iran) by Mohammad Reza Zaman Sani

Moon and 4 Planets in Twilight  (Meizhou, Guangdong, China) by Phebe Pan

Milky Way above Monument Valley  (Monument Valley, Arizona/Utah, USA) by Marco Meniero

Star Trails over Mauna Kea Observatory  (Mauna Kea Observatory, Hawaii, USA)  by Richard Wainscoat

Colors in the Nordland Sky  (Andenes, Nordland, Norway)  by Terje Nesthus

Perseid from the Dome  (Bologna, Italy)  by Michele Brusa

Planets and Thunderstorm  (Naples, Florida, USA)  by Holger Ziegler

Trails of Stars and Meteors  (Rabat, Mashhad, Khorasan, Iran)  by Mohammad Javad Saffaran

Observatory Inca de Oro  (Diego de Almagro, Atacama, Chile)  by Emilio Lepeley

Observing the Southern Stars  (Sydney, Australia)  by Daniel Cafe

Dark Skies of Esfahan and Yasuj  (Esfahan, Iran)  by Mohammad Rahimi

Light Trails in the Forest  (Fonte-de-Telha, Almada, Portugal)  by Miguel Claro

Moon and Jupiter from Szomor  (Szomor, Hungary)  by Tamas Abraham

Aphrodite, Ares, and Kronos  (Aquileia, Friuli, Italy)  by Marco Candotti

Milky Way over Mount Locho  (Locho, Zahedan, Iran)  by Arman Golestaneh

Zodiac Light and Meteor  (Dehpabid, Sistan va Balouchestan, Iran)  by Mojtaba Moghadasi

Moon and Venus over Viverone Lake  (Viverone Lake, Italy)  by Stefano De Rosa

Nordland Skies  (Andenes, Nordland, Norway)  by Terje Nesthus

Summer Star Pary in Greece  (Mt. Parnon, Greece)  by Bill Metallinos

An Astronomer  (Moonkyeong Flyingland, Korea)  by Kang Jisoo

Monument Valley Skies  (Monument Valley, Arizona/Utah, USA)  by Marco Meniero

Tropical Island Full Moon  (Lanikai Beach, Kailua, Hawaii, USA)  by Richard Wainscoat

Telescopes on La Palma  (Roque de los Muchachos, La Palma, Spain)  by Pascal Christian


Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD), a NASA’s world-known website, has featured new images by TWAN photographers:

- A Twilight Occultation by Doug Zubenel

- Two Views, Two Crescents by Babak Tafreshi and Stefano De Rosa


TWAN is featuring 13 special galleries:

Latest Images
Cosmic Motions

Our Cosmic Neighbor (Moon)

Milky Way





Virtual Reality

Dark Skies Importance
World Heritage Sites

TWAN on National Geographic News

TWAN is a global program of Astronomers Without Borders (www.astrowb.org) and a Special Project of International Year of Astronomy, 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

IYA2009 Session at the Public Communication of Science & Technology Conference

8 December 2010

The International Year of Astronomy: How did it go and what did we learn?

Public Communication of Science & Technology Conference 2010

Thematic Session II C / Lecture Hall (II Floor)

Wednesday, 8 December, 16:30

Chair: Pedro Russo (IAU/ESO ePOD, Germany)

Coordinator: Steve Miller University College, London, U.K

In 1609, Galileo turned his telescope – then recently invented – towards the sky above him. What he saw amazed him and led him openly to question the then-prevailing teachings that the Earth was at the centre of the universe and that, above the near-Earth environment, the heavens were pure and unchanging. Moreover, Galileo’s observations and his interpretations of them opened up every received dogma about the natural world to critique based on personal measurements and personal reason.

To mark the 400th anniversary of that system-shattering event, the International Astronomical Union organised the 2009 International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) under the theme “The Universe, Yours to Discover”.

Many spectacular initiatives took place during 2009 and early 2010, from the twelve global Cornerstone projects to the thousands of national activities where millions of people got involved in astronomy-themed events. Citizens previously unaware of astronomy became involved in this most democratic of sciences in vast numbers. Activities ranged from star parties to street parades, touching old and young alike. Take, for example, the two worldwide star parties “100 Hours of Astronomy” and the “Galilean Nights” where more than 3 million people got involved with many citizens seeing night sky objects through a telescope for the very first time; the Indian astronomers proudly showcasing their work at the Republic Day parade in Delhi, where around 30.000 people participated; or the Guinness World Record 4.8 km-long canvas painted during the astronomy-themed Oceans Festival with more than 300 000 participants in Portugal.

But how was the celebration of an essentially western, essentially European, “scientific revolution” received across the globe, with its various social and cultural environments?

Making use of the global experiences, this session will look critically at the experience of IYA2009. It will describe some of the events that occurred, their reception and what astronomers and science communicators have learned from their experiences.


  • Pedro Russo (Germany): The International Year of Astronomy 2009: Results and Legacy
  • Fumi Yoshida (Japan): The Stars of Asia project
  • Anita Heward (UK): Europlanet IYA2009 Activities
  • Marta Entradas (UK): EsConet training for the IYA2009 nodes
  • Prajval Shastri (India): The Indian Institute of Astrophysics IYA2009 Activities
  • Kathan Kothari (India): Manthan Educational Programme Society IYA2009 Activities
  • Zhu Dayi (China): Shanghai Astronomical Observatory IYA2009 Activities

Galileoscopes in Cuba

6 December 2010

Report by David M.F. Chapman ( Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Halifax Centre)

In March 2010, I joined a group of Canadians in Havana, helping Cuban youth learn English. As luggage, I took 12 Galileoscopes donated by the Department of Astronomy and Physics at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. http://www.smu.ca/academic/science/ap/ With the assistance of Dr. Oscar Alavarez, I met Alejandro Jiminez of the National Museum of Natural History in Havana, and together we conducted 3 workshops on Galileoscopes for 125 interested persons of all ages. The full account of my adventure appears in the December 2010 issue of the Journal of the RASC. http://www.rasc.ca/journal/ and I have a personal photo essay at http://gallery.mac.com/chapmandave#100450.

Alejandro had a busy summer in 2010 as he reports: “My summer has been extremely successful… I gave two short courses of Astronomy, I participated with my students in about 5 Science Festivals, the Erathosthenes Experiment (with other Latin American schools), and 3 public observations, where Galileoscopes were used every time. Just last week, to announce some unrelated news on Astronomy on a first page of a National Newspaper, a picture with two of my students (Explorers) were used to iconize Astronomy, looking through a Galileoscope!”

My plan is to return to Havana in March/April 2011 to extend this collaboration. Plans are not final, but topics that have been discussed include: simple astrophotography, observing the Moon, and a program for Cuban youth to earn the RASC “Explore the Universe” certificate.

  1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 77 | 78 | 79 | 80 | 81 | 82 | 83 | 84 | 85 | 86 | 87 | 88 | 89 | 90 | 91 | 92 | 93 | 94 | 95 | 96 | 97 | 98 | 99 | 100 | 101 | 102 | 103 | 104 | 105 | 106 | 107 Next »
Showing 1 to 10 of 1068

Organisational Associates:

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