IYA2009 Updates

Egypt promotes She is an Astronomer for IYA2009

25 January 2010

As a part of IYA2009 activities in Egypt, the Planetarium Science Center in Alexandria organised She is an Astronomer camp in Saint Catherine from 11-14 December 2009. The aim of the camp was to develop the female students' thinking skills and to encourage females to pursue astronomy professionally. The importance of scientific problem solving and team work were highlighted. These values are the cornerstone of building future Egyptian women astronomers and leaders.

The She is an Astronomer camp organisers prepared a series of activities to be presented such as lectures and workshops given by experts in astronomy, the History of Saint Catherine (the most important historical areas in Egypt) and a and safari expedition. During the camp, the ladies attended an event to observe the meteor shower which appeared in the skies of Egypt on  13 December. They enjoyed the event very much, which was supervised by resident astronomers of the Planetarium Science Center.

Dusk of IYA2009 in Iraq: an event to remember

25 January 2010

By: Azhy Chato Hasan

The sky was cloudy and rainy on 31 December 2009, so the Sun was not visible, except for its wonderful memories of past IYA2009 days. There was a solution: using Stellarium Beta 10.0 software to simulate the real Sun setting that day. The mission was a success after we projected the dusk of IYA2009 with a data show. Members of Amateur Astronomers Association of Kurdistan / Iraq (AAAK) and some guests arrived to AAAK's office in Erbil city at 04:00pm local (13:00 GMT) and the processing began at 04:50:00pm (16:50:00 GMT), then at 04:55:00pm (16:55:05 GMT) the Sun said goodbye to everyone.

The participants were happy for all great goals accomplished around the world throughout IYA2009, but sad to leave that year behind. However, promises were made to continue on the same road of programmes of cooperation and friendship between partners of AWB and SW task group and make more bridges through the sky between us.

After the event, clouds left the sky, and then the IYA2009 carnival finished with a partial lunar eclipse, a magnificent scene between patches of clouds. It was just like a gift from God to all of us, it was really the last most beautiful ending for IYA2009. It also encouraged us to begin our Beyond the International Year of Astronomy activities.

See a clip on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5OznKACNmY
AAAK website: http://kurdastro.org


Over one million people worldwide have seen the movie BLAST!

25 January 2010

BLAST! is an IYA2009 Special project. Filmmaker Paul Devlin follows the story of his brother, Mark Devlin PhD, as he leads a tenacious team of scientists hoping to figure out how all the galaxies formed by launching a revolutionary new telescope under a NASA high-altitude balloon.

Newly-released ratings show that over one million people have seen the movie, and this number is set to rise significantly in the future.


BLAST! Ratings:  

Discovery Canada 43,000
BBC Storyville 125,000
YLE Finland 31,000
SVT Sweden 300,000
VPRO Netherlands 153,000
DR Denmark 73,000
NHK Japan 400,000



Sri Lankans witness Solar Eclipse

25 January 2010

An expedition to Northern Sri Lanka for the Annular Solar Eclipse of 15 January 2010 has been described as an unforgettable experience. The Ring of Fire not only brought amazing views but the sheer joy of being able to travel north after 30 years of war. 

In addition, an associated outreach programme attracted around 2000 participants.

See a blog post about the expedition here: http://thilinaheenatigala.blogspot.com/2010/01/ring-of-fire-unforgettable-experience.html

The World At Night images featured in the Italian media

24 January 2010

Photographs from IYA2009 Special project The World At Night have been used in the travel section of Italian newspaper la Republica. The photos are by Iranian IYA2009 supporter Babak Tafreshi.

See the feature here: http://viaggi.repubblica.it/multimedia/sotto-il-cielo-dell-iran/22352906/1/1
TWAN website: http://www.twanight.org/newTWAN/index.asp

Bangladesh concludes IYA2009 with an astronomy workshop

23 January 2010

Report by Mamun Ahamed Sharif, Coordinator IYA2009 Bangladesh Node:

Professor Abdul Jabbar, former Head of the Department of Mathematics, Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET) was a legendary figure in popularisation of Astronomy in Bangladesh. He wrote about a dozen Books on astronomy which helped younger generations in Bangladesh to learn about this important subject. Professor Abdul Jabbar also was the 1st President of Bangladesh Astronomical Society which was formed in 1984.

In recognition of his extraordinary contributions in the field of astronomy, the National Committee for Celebration of IYA2009 in Bangladesh arranged three Astronomy Workshops throughout the year. The first was held from 26 April to 17 May, the second from 3 July to 4 July, and the third Workshop from 23 December to 31 December 2009. In every Workshop eminent astronomers, physicists and mathematicians in Bangladesh delivered lectures on a particular subject and interacted with students in question / answer sessions. Sky observation programmes also were held. Each student was be given a certificate and successful astronomy quiz contestants were given astronomy books as prizes.

The 3rd Abdul Jabbar Astronomy Workshop which was held from 23 December to 31 December is considered as the most important astronomical event as it was the concluding event of IYA2009 in Bangladesh. The Workshop began with a presentation on the “Celebration of IYA2009 in Bangladesh“ by  F. R. Sarker, General Secretary, Bangladesh Astronomical Society and the Single Point of Contact for IYA2009 in Bangladesh. Among the guest of speakers on different days were Mr. Ronald Cruz, the Secretary, Bangladesh Astro-Olympiad, who  spoke on “Participation in Astro-Olympiad in Tehran in October“, Dr. Rezaur Rahman, former Scientific Officer of Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission who spoke on the “Life in the Universe”, Professor Dr. Arshad Momen, Department of Physics, University of Dhaka, on the “Mathematical Cosmology“, Munir Hasan, Secretary, Math Olympiad in Bangladesh and also Secretary, IYA2009 Celebration Committee, Bangladesh, on the“ Life and Death of the Stars“, Dr. Farseem M. Mohammedy, Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical and Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) on the“ Fate of the Universe“ and Dr. A. R. Khan, President, Bangladesh Astronomical Society on the “Importance on the Research of Astronomy".

On 31 December, during the closing session of Abdul Jabbar Astronomy Workshop, among those who delivered their lectures were Dr. A. R. Khan, F. R. Sarker, Dr. Farseem and M. Mohammedy. At the end of the Workshop, Dr. A. R. Khan delivered his concluding lecture declaring goodbye to the International Year of Astronomy 2009.

Jamaica closes IYA2009 with a successful star party

23 January 2010

In late December the Astronomical Association of Jamaica (AAJ) decided to run a final star party, taking place at the UWI. Mona Campus on a patio above the Physics Department. The main reason for the meet was to introduce members and friends to the fine qualities of Galileoscopes. The AAJ was given 400 units for distribution to High and Intermediate Schools in Jamaica, and this was a practice run for the training of teachers in the assembly, and care of the telescopes.

Participants arrived early at the University, to catch Jupiter at the earliest time after sunset. Two ready-assembled Galileoscopes were brought, along with one in its component parts. Two 3-inch refractors were also present, for comparison.

The telescopes were set on Jupiter and it was explained that observers were looking for Neptune among the moons of Jupiter. Eyepiece expert Bobby Rodriques gave his assessment of the Galileoscopes, concluding that Galileo would have been very happy to have had this instrument. Everyone was pleased with the performance of the Galileoscopes and agreed that the schools will be proud to have them in science programmes.

Thanks to Errol Rickman from the AAJ for providing the information for this update.

IYA2009 News Round-up

22 January 2010

It seemed like this day would never arrive. It's the final IYA2009 news round-up. Stop cheering, it's a sad day. A SAD DAY.

Let's keep it a) brief and b) about the Closing Ceremony. IYA2009 officially ended on the weekend of the 9/10 January during a meeting in Padova, Italy. Obviously you know this already, having followed the LiveBlog avidly. NEWS reported on it as well, as the following links will indicate.

Sky and Telescope have an excellent article, complete with frankly superb images. Life-defining photographs, some may say. Article author Mike Simmons mentions many of the talks given, and includes quotes from new IAU President Robert Williams. Science Newspaper is overflowing with facts, most likely as a result of taking inspiration from the press release. As the Ceremony was hosted in Italy, it's only fair we have an Italian news story. Il Denaro have one written by none other than the famous Dr. Claudia Mignone.

Blogs made the most of the video streaming to offer write-ups. For examples, see Astronomy Sri Lanka, Science Blog, and Science Buzz. And the Sri Lankan site again. Oh, and Tuttidentro. Haven't come across that one before. The Italians ran their own LiveBlog in their native tongue if you're feeling adventurous and want to give that a go.

For video-lovers out there, the Astronomy Beyond 2009 site has recorded coverage of the Ceremony, as does Astroblogger's YouTube channel. For photo-fans, check out Flickr for pics.

Well, that's it. The Round-up Rocket has crashed on Planet News, and here it shall remain forever more. There there, dry those tears. You can always sift through the archive when Fridays arrive and you have nothing to read.

IYA2009 Updates

22 January 2010

IYA2009 Museum Collection
The International Astronomical Union and the official IYA2009 Collection Curator, Science Museum in London, UK would like to collect a sample of this material as a museum collection of the fantastic activities carried out around the world in 2009, showing the different ways that the National Nodes celebrated astronomy. Sample collections will be kept by the Science Museum in London. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/732/

IYA2009 Closing Ceremony videos now online
: Those that were unable to attend the IYA2009 Closing Ceremony in Padova, Italy, may wish to view the video recordings: http://www.virtualmeeting.info/astronomy/beyond2009/diretta.html

400 Years of the Astronomical Telescope poster released
A special poster promoting advances in telescope technology was made as a project for Science and Technology Week promoted by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan.  During the Science and Technology Week in April 2009, about 150,000 copies of the poster were distributed by MEXT in museums all over Japan. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/749/

The Lives of Galileo TV show available to watch online
All six episodes of the educational astronomical show, starring IYA2009-supporter and talented author/artist Fiami, are available to watch in French here: http://www.tsr.ch/tsr/index.html?siteSect=376321&sid=11628481

A Short Astronomical Serenade
"A Short Astronomical Serenade" is a multimedia project conceived to combine in a single event Astronomy, literature and live music. Thousands of people had the opportunity to hear and watch this production in Spain during some 30 concerts where the music was played live. Many more have seen the DVD that was produced by the Spanish National Research Council as a legacy product of IYA2009. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/736/

European Light Pollution Symposium
The first of the videos from the European Light Pollution Symposium up now at: http://www.lightpollution2009.eu/

Jodcast January 2010: Looking back, looking forward.
"Looking back, looking forward. It is the end of the International Year of Astronomy 2009. In the show we bring you some of our highlights of the year which celebrated 400 years of the astronomical telescope. We have an interview with Nancy Atkinson about the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast, Jen visits the infamous AstroBunker to talk to Newbury Astronomical Society, and we ask Carolina Ödman about Universe Awareness. As ever we have the latest astronomical news, and what you can see in the January night sky." More details: http://www.jodcast.net/archive/201001/

Thales Alenia Space meets objectives for 2009
Thales Alenia Space won contracts for seven communications satellites and three satcom payloads in 2009, along with two observation satellites, nine pressurised modules for the International Space Station, and two experimental atmospheric reentry vehicles. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/733/

IYA2009 Closing Event in France
For more information about the last days of IYA2009 in France, please see http://ama09.obspm.fr/ama09/index.php?body=cprog.html and http://cosmicdiary.org/closing_ceremony/
Beyond IYA2009 with SARM in Romania
The Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy (SARM) announces the launching of the last project of the project Astropoetry: an original photo-artistic-literary chronicle of 2009 and the largest-ever astronomical poetry tribute, with 200 participants from 6 continents, coordinated by Andrei Dorian Gheorghe, Valentin Grigore and Florin Stancu. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/730/

Education resources for IYA2009

In the last Science in School magazine, Chris Starr and Richard Harwood suggest some useful websites and other resources to inspire your astronomy teaching: http://www.scienceinschool.org/2009/issue13/iya

Musician's Illustrated Tribute to Saturn Arrives on DVD

Art meets science: A fresh sultry, circular and sweeping piece of music -- called “Anillos” -- perfectly timed with breathtaking images of the planet Saturn and perfect for a large-screen television, is available now on DVD. http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/updates/727/

400 Years of the Astronomical Telescope poster released

22 January 2010

A special poster promoting advances in telescope technology was made as a project for Science and Technology Week promoted by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan.  During the Science and Technology Week in April 2009, about 150,000 copies of the poster were distributed by MEXT in museums all over Japan.

The theme of this poster is "From Galileo to the Subaru Telescope, and Moving Toward the Future".  It introduces the history of astronomical telescopes and their scientific discoveries. "The Universe, Yours to Discover", the slogan of IYA2009, is the message adopted by the authors to young people who are interested in becoming astronomers or engineers.

"400 Year of the Astronomical telescope" Poster English Page: http://stw.mext.go.jp/tentaiboenkyo/index.html

Download the poster

Japanese version: http://stw.mext.go.jp/pdf/astro_telescope400_01.pdf

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Organisational Associates:

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