IYA2009 Updates

Newsletter to SPoCs - IYA2009 Questionnaire, Products and Projects

29 August 2008

Dear SpoCs and Chairs,

The IYA2009 newsletter for this week:

Organisational Matters

The IYA2009 is still growing: we have 122 National Nodes and we would like to take this opportunity to welcome Lebanon, our new National Node, to the IYA2009.

IYA2009 Questionnaire to SPoCs

With our latest newsletter we sent you a questionnaire that we would very much like you to send back to us as soon as possible. We will make a report based on your replies and present it to the IAU/IYA2009 Executive Committee Working group. After that, we will share the results with you as well.

Those of you who still haven’t sent their replies, please do so as soon as possible, until the 15th of September. We will not accept more replies after that date. If you need, you can find the questionnaire attached, or simply follow this link: http://www.astronomy2009.org/files/Spocs_questionnaires.doc

IYA2009 Products

The IYA2009 Secretariat would like to advertise some resources that provide excellent opportunities for SPoCs and stakeholders. These products of undeniable quality can easily be adapted to your language and needs, and used to enhance your activities. The Secretariat will make them available to you at very attractive prices and it is up to you to find a way to take advantage of this unique business and/or communication opportunity. More information: http://www.astronomy2009.org/resources-mainmenu-47/products.html

We have a new product, the IYA2009 Planisphere:

These are standard and customised planispheres or starfinders. You can have your own planisphere, in your language you , for the latitude you want and in the colours, design, size and number you like. That is now possible and you can have the perfect planisphere for your IYA2009 activities. http://www.astronomy2009.org/files/reports/IYA2009_Planispheres.pdf

For more information, please visit http://www.astronomy2009.org/resources-mainmenu-47/products.html

IYA2009 Cornerstone Projects

100 Hours of Astronomy:

The 100 Hours of Astronomy Cornerstone project has a new web site – www.100hoursofastronomy.org – where information will be available on all the plans for this exciting event. 100 Hours of Astronomy is a round-the-clock, worldwide event with 100 continuous hours of a wide range of public outreach activities during a four-day period, 2 – 5 April 2009. A new mailing list for the project – open to all – will provide regular updates on plans and developments. There are many exciting ideas to be announced soon!

There are some great activities planned. A 24-hour webcast from research observatories around the world, including live broadcasts, will give the public an insider’s look at the world’s greatest telescopes. A 24-hour global star party – the biggest astronomical event in history – will invite everyone to join in the celebration. And it all starts with the inspiration for IYA2009 – the telescope that Galileo used for his historic observations 400 years ago, live from a gala opening event. Schools, science centres, planetariums, astronomy clubs and more are joining in. The newweb site will be the centre of activity for announcements, plans and discussions, all coming soon and building towards the big event.

Universe Awareness:

Dear all,

Ever wanted to answer a kid asking how much they would weigh on another planet? Or what the phase of the Moon is right now?

Following demand from Universe Awareness communities we have started a website of simple astronomy tools:


These are small useful reference items such as scaling the Solar System to any reference (distance or diameter), calculating telescopic magnification, observing the libration of the moon, etc. intended for all kinds of astronomy outreach. The idea is to complement reference sheets like the Astroguide (http://astronomy2009.saao.ac.za/projects/astroguide/) with something dynamic.

Feel free to use these and send us any feedback, bugs, feature requests, etc. You can send us an e-mail directly at carolina.odman@unawe.org or use the online feedback form on the website.

We hope this is useful!



Upcoming IYA2009 meetings and events:

· JENAM2008 (Wien, Austria) - 8-12 September 2008 - http://www.univie.ac.at/jenam2008/ or http://www.roe.ac.uk/ukatc/test/symposium.html

· IYA2009 Opening Event, 15-16 January 2008 - http://www.astronomy2009.fr/opening

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Kind regards,

Pedro and Mariana

IYA2009 Secretariat

Newsletter to SPoCs - IYA2009 Products

14 August 2008

Dear SpoCs and Chairs,

The IYA2009 newsletter for this week:

Organisational Matters:

The IYA2009 network keeps on growing. Presently we have 122 National Nodes and 26 Organisational Nodes. We would like to give a warm welcome to our new National Nodes: Ghana, Syrian Arab Republic, Trinidad & Tobago and Madagascar: and to our new Organisational Node, the Space Generation Advisory Council.

IYA2009 Questionnaire to SPoCs

Your opinion is very important to us and we would like to have your input regarding some aspects of the way the IYA2009 is developing and also about the work of the IYA2009 Secretariat.  For that, we have prepared a questionnaire that we would like you to fill in and send back to us, as soon as possible.  We believe now is the time to make changes if our partners feel there is a need for change. Please find the questionnaire attached.

IYA2009 Products

The IYA2009 Secretariat has produced or endorsed certain products that are excellent opportunities for the IYA2009 SPoCs and stakeholders. These products of undeniable quality can easily be adapted to your language and needs, and used to enhance your activities. The Secretariat will make them available to you at production cost and it is up to you to find a way to take advantage of this unique business and/or communication opportunity.  More information: http://www.astronomy2009.org/resources/

The IYA2009 products are:

  • Astronomical Pictures at an Exhibition, an Adler Planetarium video suite, produced and directed by Jose Francisco Salgado, with music by Mussorgsky and orchestrated by Rave. As part of its mission of inspiring the exploration and understanding of our Universe, the Adler Planetarium is partnering with symphony orchestras and educational institutions to reach broader audiences in and outside of the USA. These partnerships started in 2006 when the Adler produced a suite of high-definition videos to accompany two performances of Gustav Holst's The Planets by the Chicago Sinfonietta. The positive reception by audience members and critics prompted more collaboration between these two institutions, resulting in a second video/concert production entitled Astronomical Pictures at an Exhibition and a repeat free concert of The Planets in the Summer of 2008 in Chicago's Millennium Park. In addition to presenting these inspirational and educational works, a lecture or Q&A session is usually offered as a pre- or post-concert event, and educational materials are distributed to audience members. More information: http://www.astronomy2009.org/resources/performances/detail/performances_adler/
  • The Lives of Galileo, a journey through the history of Astronomy, the official IYA2009 cosmic comic book by Fiami. For the first time, astronomy and Galileo are presented in an historical, accessible and humoristic comic book. In 40 colour-filled pages organised into six stunning chapters, Galileo plays different roles through the ages of great astronomical discoveries. More information: http://www.astronomy2009.org/resources/books/detail/book_fiami/
  • Eyes on the Skies, 400 years of telescopic discovery, by Govert Schilling and Lars Lindberg Christensen. The International Astronomical Union's official book and movie celebrating the 400th anniversary of the telescope. The invention of the telescope is the single most revolutionary development in the history of astronomy. For thousands of years, astronomers had to rely on their eyes in unravelling the mysteries of the Universe. The telescope unveiled an embarrassment of astronomical riches, and led to a dramatic increase in knowledge about the wider world we live in. The Eyes on the Skies DVD movie and accompanying book explore the many facets of the telescope - historical development, scientific importance, technological breakthroughs, and the people behind this ground-breaking invention, their triumphs and failures... More information:

 Please take some time to go through the flyers attached to this letter, where you can find detailed information about these IYA2009 products. Feel free to contact us, in case you have any doubts or need more information and assistance.

Lars Lindberg Christensen, the IYA2009 Secretariat Manager, has been promoted!

We have some good news to share:  Lars will be the head of the new combined ESO-ESA/Hubble outreach group in Munich, Germany effective 1 September. The group is responsible for the public outreach and education for VLT, La Silla, E-ELT (the largest optical-infrared telescope in planning)  and ESA's part of the Hubble Space Telescope. He will also be responsible for European outreach connected to ALMA (the largest ground-based astronomical project currently under construction). We wish Lars the best success in this new endeavour.

A message from our Organisational Node, World Space Week:

World Space Week (WSW) 4-10 October is organized every year since its Declaration by the United Nations in 1999, celebrating the contributions made by space science and technology towards the betterment of humankind. It has been celebrated by a wide variety of organizations in around 50 nations and is meant to educate the public about space, demonstrate public support for space to government leaders, and use space to inspire students about learning.

Strong Connection with initiations to Astronomy is often used during the WSW celebrations. Hence, World Space Week -2008 (WSW-2008) is one of the best platform to informally launch and propagate IYA2009 program. It is also an opportunity to have a common-goal programmes organized around the world at the same time leading toward IYA2009.

As a participating organisation/country in the WSW programme, it is encouraged to take lead in organising outreach and public relations programmes during this week. A wide variety of activities are run during World Space Week. Outreach activities encompass exhibitions, conferences, seminars and scientific lectures, as well as TV and radio programmes to larger audience. Activities are organised with primary, secondary, and high schools, including space quiz, painting competitions, essay competitions, model rocket launch competitions.

 For more information for WSW-2008 contact: smenon@worldspaceweek.org

Upcoming IYA2009 meetings:

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

 Kind regards,

Pedro and Mariana

IYA2009 Secretariat

The lives of Galileo

6 August 2008

"The lives of Galileo: A journey through the history of astronomy" is a comic book about astronomy and Galileo Galilei, written and designed by Fiami. Further information is available here

New Nodes

6 August 2008

Welcome to the new national and organisational nodes: Syrian Arab Republic, Trinidad & Tobago, Madagascar, and the Space Generation Advisory Council.

Celestron IYA2009 Website

5 August 2008

Celestron, IYA2009 Global Sponsor and famous for its high-quality optical products and telescopes, has launched a website dedicated to the International Year of Astronomy 2009.
Visit it on http://celestronlife.com/IYA09.

Newsletter to SPoCs - International Year of Astronomy IYA2009 -- Donation Campaign

31 July 2008

International Year of Astronomy IYA2009 -- Donation Campaign

Dear SPOC, dear Task Group chair:

We have launched the IYA2009 public donation campaign under the motto
"make the IYA2009 happen!" We need your help in disseminating this
message as widely as possible so we ask you to distribute it through
your communication channels, mailing lists, etc. Your help is vital to
the success of this campaign. Thanks you for your help.




Dear Friend,

As you may know, the International Year of Astronomy IYA2009 will be a
global celebration of astronomy and its contributions to society and
culture, highlighted by the 400th anniversary of the first use of an
astronomical telescope by Galileo Galilei. The aim of the Year is to
stimulate worldwide interest, especially among young people, in
astronomy and science under the central theme "The Universe, Yours to
Discover". IYA2009 events and activities will promote a greater
appreciation of the inspirational aspects of astronomy that embody an
invaluable shared resource for all nations.

The IYA2009 is launching a donation campaign aimed at individual members
of the public to raise funds for the events due to take place during
next year and beyond.

The IYA2009 is gaining momentum and strengthening its global
organisational structure, with 11 Cornerstone Projects, 11 Special Task
Groups and Special Projects already in an advanced stage of
development, as well as 118 nations directly involved. The need for
funding to support the efforts to help the citizens of the world
rediscover their place in the Universe through the day- and night time
sky, and thereby engage a personal sense of wonder and discovery. All
humans should realize the impact of astronomy and basic sciences on our
daily lives, and understand better how scientific knowledge can
contribute to a more equitable and peaceful society.

The ultimate goal of the public campaign is to raise 350,000 EURO from
individual donations by the end of 2009. The campaign's motto, "Make the
International Year of Astronomy 2009 happen", intends to encourage all
to take part in this overwhelming scientific and educational effort. All
funds raised will go directly toward funding the IYA2009's global
projects. There are eleven of these in total, including The Cosmic
Diary, which will see professional astronomers keep blogs and write
articles about their work throughout the year, Dark Skies Awareness
which will combat light pollution, and 100 Hours of Astronomy which will
be a round-the-clock, worldwide event with 100 continuous hours of a
wide range of public outreach activities.

Please make IYA2009 happen:


If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Kind regards,

Pedro, Lars and Mariana
IYA2009 Secretariat

Newsletter to SPoCs - New Nodes, Brochure in Spanish and new Cornerstone websites

31 July 2008

New Nodes, Brochure in Spanish and new Cornerstone websites 

Dear SpoCs,

The IYA2009 newsletter for this week:

Organisational Matters:

Presently we have 118 National Nodes and 25 Organisational Nodes. New organizational nodes: RED POP Network and European Science Education Research Association.

More information:

We are proud to announce that Indian Space Research organisation is our 20th IYA2009 Organisational Associate. Please visit ISRO website: www.isro.org

We are also delighted to learn that the Executive Board of International Council of Science has agreed to endorse IYA2009. Read more about ICSU here: http://www.icsu.org/9_latestnews/latest_33.html

On 9th July, the United States House of Representatives passed House Concurrent Resolution 375, To Honour the Goal of the International Year of Astronomy 2009. This Concurrent Resolution expresses the sentiment of the House of Representatives towards IYA2009. The United States gives a wonderful example that many other nations should follow to try to have similar acknowledgements of IYA2009 by their Governments. More information: http://astronomy2009.us/

IYA2009 Brochure in Spanish

Thanks to the IYA2009 Spanish Node and astroseti.org, the IYA2009 Brochure version 3 is now available in Spanish:


Cornerstone websites

The cornerstone projects, 100 Hours of Astronomy and Developing Astronomy Globally have new on-line their own dedicated website, please check the following URLs:

100 Hours of Astronomy: www.100hoursofastronomy.org

Developing Astronomy Globally: www.developingastronomy.org

Upcoming IYA2009 meetings:

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Kind regards,

Pedro, Lars and Mariana

IYA2009 Secretariat

New Cornerstones websites

23 July 2008

New websites for IYA2009 Cornerstone Projects:
100 Hours of Astronomy
Developing Astronomy Globally

New IYA2009 Organisational Nodes

23 July 2008

A warm welcome to the new IYA2009 Organisational Nodes: CIENTEC, ESERA and RED POP.

2008 Annular Total Eclipse - Chinese Webcast

17 July 2008

Through the internet, you can observe the process of annular total eclipse in Xinjiang and the live exposition from Taiwan Astronomy Education Group. Time of live webcast: August 1, 2008 6:00 ~ 8:00 (UT 8/1 10:00 ~ 12:00). Method to watch the webcast: browse www.atlaspost.com/2008tse_en. Click the "Watch webcast" on the upper right corner.

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Organisational Associates:

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