IYA2009 Updates

European Science Foundation announces plans for International Year of Astronomy 2009

1 December 2008

The European Science Foundation (ESF) has announced a series of activities and initiatives that will significantly widen the support for the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009), a global initiative which aims to stimulate worldwide interest in astronomy and science. The ESF announcement came amid a recently signed agreement with the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to become an Organisational Associate for the initiative. Read more.

IYA2009 Wikipedia entry updated!

1 December 2008

IYA2009 Wikipedia entry has been updated: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Year_of_Astronomy

International Polar Year: Above the Poles

27 November 2008

International Polar Year: Above the Poles

Live Event!

Joining these events is simple: you just need a computer with internet, speakers, and a microphone [optional]; or a telephone. During the event, participants of all ages are encouraged to ask questions, via voice or text chat, of experts in polar atmospheric science, meteorology, astronomy, and polar observing systems.

The events last about an hour, and allow lots of opportunity to ask questions. In fact, it's all about interaction and dialogue! The events are open to a broad audience, from primary school students through to high school scholars, teachers, undergraduates, and interested public. We also welcome english language classes. The broader the audience, the more interesting the event!

We encourage classes joining the events to research the topics beforehand, and maybe prepare some questions. Please browse these pages for background information, andlearn about the scientists joining these events .

These events occur in conjunction with the International Year of Astronomy 2009.

European Event

Download Flyer (PDF)

December 4th, UTC 1000 corresponds to: 
Alaska 0100, NYC 0500, Chile 0700, Sao Paolo 0800, UK 1000, Europe 1100, Cape Town 1200, Moscow 1300, India 1430, China 1800, Sydney 2100, NZ 2300.

Hosted by: Liz Murphy Global Media

Topics: Looking Up; Weather, Atmosphere, and Space 
Explore the regions above the snow in Antarctica and the Arctic. We will connect live to a meteorologist in Antarctica, atmospheric scientists in the UK, and astronomers. We will also connect to classes gathered at the Scott Polar Research Institute in the UK.

How to Participate: Contact Rhian Salmon to join this event, or for more information. 
If participating, please download these Participant Instructions to test the software and familiarise yourself with the system a few days before the event.

Weather and Atmosphere: 
Ags Fryckowska & Tamsin Gray, Meteorological Observers, LIVE FROM ANTARCTICA 
Helen Atkinson, Polar Atmospheric Chemist 
Eric Wolff, Polar Atmosphere and Climate Expert

Michael Burton, Polar Astronomer 
Pedro Russo, International Year of Astronomy

Satellite Observations: 
Mark Drinkwater, GIIPSY [Global Inter-Agency IPY Polar Snapshot Year]

The World at Night Newsletter

27 November 2008

- There is a new section on TWAN website. Resources page provides and presents TWAN-related publications and material, including TWAN logo. This section will continue to update with new downloadables. 

  - The new Events page explains how and where TWAN exhibition and educational events will take place. TWAN calls for the best world-wide venues to host the events during International Year of Astronomy 2009 and beyond.  There are plans for hold TWAN events in more than 20 countries. The progressing Event Calendar lists some of them.  

  -  Variety of interesting products with The World at Night logo and slogans are available now on TWAN Shop for the world wide TWAN enthusiasts and collaborators. Specially designed New Year greeting cards are available for the celebration of International Year of Astronomy 2009.

  - There are new stunning photos on TWAN website, featuring starry nights of the planet's landmarks from Australia, Asia and Middle East, to Africa, Europe and Americas:



Celestial Triangle  (Kansas) by Doug Zubenel
ISS Meets the Planets  (Kansas) by Doug Zubenel
Black Canyon Scorpion  (Arizona) by Wally Pacholka
Grand Canyon Panorama  (Arizona) by Wally Pacholka
Canadian Rockies at Night  by Yuichi Takasaka
Pyramid Mountain Startrails by Yuichi Takasaka

Magellanic Clouds from Atacama  by Stephane Guisard

Columbia Eclipse  by Gernot Meiser

Gysinge Wolf  by P-M Heden
Charming Evening  by P-M Heden
Family Skygazing  by P-M Heden
Venus, Jupiter, Brittany  by Laurent Laveder
Atlantic Night  by Laurent Laveder
Milky Way above Sein Island  by Laurent Laveder
Asia and Middle East
Can you hear me?  by Shingo Takei
All Night  by Shingo Takei
Stars of Mount Fuji  by Shingo Takei

Sea Hunter  by Kwon O Chul
Sheltered by the Trees  by Kwon O Chul

Full Moon Party in Goa  (Flash video) by Babak Tafreshi
Secrets of Hampi  (Flash video) by Babak

Mediterranean Moonset  by Tunc Tezel
Letoon Mosaics  by Tunc Tezel
Winter Sky  by Tunc Tezel

Shooting Stars  by Oshin Zakarian
Poet and Photographer by Oshin Zakarian
Mushroom Volcano  (Flash video) by Babak Tafreshi 
Milky Way and Flocks of Clouds  (Flash video) by Babak Tafreshi 
Silent of History  by Oshin Zakarian
Ancient Visitor  by John Goldsmith
Mediterranean Lightening  (Flash video) by Babak Tafreshi
Canary Islands (Spain)
Eyes of La Palma  by Serge Brunier
Milky Way and Zodiacal Light  by Serge Brunier
Windmill and Swirling Stars  by John Goldsmith
Southern Silhouette  by Shingo Takei
Australian Starry Sky  by Shingo Takei
  Guest Gallery is a 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.
 TWAN is featuring four special galleries of selected photos:

Latest Images
Cosmic Motions
World Heritage Sites

  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 www.twanight.org

Report of JENAM 2008

17 November 2008

Report of JENAM 2008; Symposium 2: Education and Communicating Astronomy in Europe - Preparing for the IYA2009

By Ian Robson (eir@roe.ac.uk)

Thursday September 11th

Dr Catherine Cesarsky, the IAU President, gave an invited Plenary Address to the Conference outlining the aims and goals of IYA2009 along with the organisational bodies and major milestones. This was followed by Pedro Russo who described the cornerstone events and showed the IYA trailer. This was followed by Thomas Posch, the Austrian SPoC, who gave an overview of the work in Austria, focusing on the dark sky inspiration theme. Interestingly enough, Austria have managed to get a locomotive with the IYA2009 banner on the side. This session was followed by a Q&A from the audience. The session was well attended with probably over 200 in the audience.

There was a very pleasant working dinner on the Thursday evening attended by most of the SPoCs and swapping ideas and barriers. This was organised by Thomas Posch.

Friday Sept 12th

This was the education session and the first speaker was Rosa Ros who talked about Astronomy in European schools after the impact of IYA2009. She used a survey from across Europe to fashion new ideas about how IYA can contribute to the new curriculum and teaching. This was followed by Magda Stavinschi who discussed how lessons of the investigations of the past can prepare us to look at the future and why this is a good tool to engage students in astronomy and the excitement therein. Charles Barclay then discussed the educational work he undertakes in and around Oxford and pointed out that it is inspiration that is crucial to changing attitudes. He also discussed an ‘Extended Project' pilot project that gives astronomy accreditation. Finally, Sotira Trifourki presented a wide-ranging description of a number of educational initiatives around the Manchester area and also feeding into UNAWE.

Friday Sept 12th 10:45-11:15

The outreach session began with a series of ten minute talks from the national SPoCs. Ian Robson got the ball rolling by outlining the activities that were planned for the UK. This was followed by Montse Villar-Martin from Spain, Joao Fernandes from Portugal and Anny-Chantel Levasseur-Regourd from France. There was then an extensive Q&A session where a number of points seemed to strike home: need to remember the poor weather in northern Europe for 100 hours of astronomy and should an autumn slot also be thought of; not to forget the underprivileged in society and to work to be inclusive. Gary Evans then reviewed the FETTU prototype exhibition that was showcased at the ASTRONET Symposium in Liverpool. Terry Mahoney reminded us that we should not forget the great work undertaken by Kepler, especially his work on optics. Finally, David Koch presented the outreach activities associated with the Kepler Mission. These two sessions had audiences of around thirty.

TWAN Update

17 November 2008

Variety of interesting products with The World at Night logo and slogans are available now on TWAN Shop for the world wide TWAN enthusiasts and collaborators. Specially designed New Year greeting cards are available for the celebration of International Year of Astronomy 2009. Link:http://www.cafepress.com/twanshop

- A major night sky photography workshop and an exhibition in India have started TWAN major worldwide programs for International Year of Astronomy 2009 and beyond. Link: http://www.twanight.org/newTWAN/news.asp?newsID=6017

- The World at Night stunning images decorates a NASA 2009 calendar and the Sky and Telescope's special Beautiful Universe 2009. Link: http://www.twanight.org/newTWAN/news.asp?newsID=6018

- TWAN calls for the best world-wide venues to host exhibitions and educational events during International Year of Astronomy 2009 and beyond. Link: http://www.twanight.org/newTWAN/news.asp?newsID=6016

- There are new stunning photos on TWAN website, featuring starry nights of the planet's landmarks from Asia and Middle East, to Africa, Europe and Americas:http://www.twanight.org/

New Year's Eve: Pulsar Countdown

17 November 2008

We are working on a program to mark the beginning of IYA using a pulsar as a clock to count down to the moment of midnight on 31 December.

The pulsar would be observed with the Parkes radio telescope in Australia, and a display of the signal sent to locations in Australia.

We would be able to make the signal available, at standard videoconferencing resolution, to up to 10 other countries: you would simply dial into a mcu unit as if you were running a videoconference.

For further information please contact:

Helen Sim
Public Relations and Media Liaison
CSIRO Australia Telescope National Facility (email: Helen.Sim@csiro.au)
Anglo-Australian Observatory (email: hsim@aao.gov.au)

Single Point of Contact (SPOC) in Australia for the 2009 International Year of Astronomy

Tel: +61-2-9372-4251
Mob: +61-419-635-905




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Organisational Associates:

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