IYA2009 Updates

Tenth Colombian Astronomy Conference attracts VIP guests

22 October 2009

The X Encuentro Colombiano de Astronomía (Tenth Colombian Astronomy Conference) held yearly by RAC (Colombian Astronomy network), was held this year in the CAFAM Convention Center, in Bogotá.

The guest of honour was Mr. Gerolamo Schiavoni, Italian Ambassador to Colombia. Other attending VIPs included Mr. Ian McLennan, Vancouver (Canada) Planetary Director, and Antonio Bernal, who is the Director of Divulgation Activities of Fabra Observatory and Museum, in Barcelona, Spain.

A testament to the potential of She Is An Astronomer, nearly 40% of attendees were women. In several speeches male astronomers recognised the vital work being done by female astronomers.

Images from the event: http://www.flickr.com/photos/reddeastronomiadecolombia/

Digital FETTU Exhibit in Canada

22 October 2009

Astronomers in Victoria, Canada have launched their fourth digital image exhibit, this time in the Mayfair Shopping Centre. The images from the exhibit From Earth to the Universe (FETTU), the Canadian curated image archive, Canadian artists (First Nations, children, and established artists) and the Victoria RASC Centre are displayed on seven large high-definition TVs provided by their SONY partner. Victoria's FETTU was conceived by a non astronomer, Natasha van Bentum, who deeply loves astronomical imagery, and implemented by the National Research Council and Victoria RASC Centre. The digital approach has been very successful and avoids many of the challenges of traditional printed exhibitions. Blu Ray FETTU videos prepared by Gary Sedun are now installed in the Calgary TELUS World of Science [see http://www.flickr.com/photos/iyacalgary ], and the bilingual (English-French) posters with captions of the FETTU images are now visible from the French IYA2009 website [http://ama09.obspm.fr/ama09/images/FETTU_Poster1.pdf].

Galilean Nights Update

21 October 2009

The official press release from IYA2009/IAU, Galilean Nights: Get Ready for a Galileo Experience! went out today announcing

the start of Galilean Nights. With over 1000 events now registered the next few days will certainly see huge numbers of people observing the skies. You can see the press release here: http://www.astronomy2009.org/news/pressreleases/detail/iya0918/ Many events already have in place a "Plan B" in case of bad weather or other circumstances affecting activities, but up today on the Galilean Nights website are some suggestions of activities to consider in the event of not being able to carry out the observing that is planned: http://www.galileannights.org/runningevents_planb.html (Thanks to Nelma Silva and Ricardo Reis from CAUP (www.astro.up.pt) for the first draft)

Once your events are over, we really want to hear from you to find out how things went and to hear all of your stories. So please be sure to share the experience with us, by sending in a short report and photographs from all of your activities, this will also help us to evaluate the Galilean Nights project as a whole. To recognise the dedication and hard-work that goes into organising these events, there will also be a number of awards given out, covering the following categories: Outstanding Galilean Nights Event; Largest number of registered events held by a single group; Largest single registered event; Community outreach and Most innovative event. The recipients of the awards will be chosen based on the event reports. More details of what should be included in the reports will be announced on the website soon, but you can start preparing now!

IYA2009 Staff Writer, Lee Pullen, has started his Live Blog, building up to his upcoming trip to Munich where he will be reporting from the different Galilean Nights events taking place there. Alongside the Live Blog is the Galilean Nights group blog, with posts written by event organisers, sharing their plans for Galilean Nights and stories from their IYA2009 activities. You can access both blogs through the Galilean Nights webiste (www.galileannights.org) or you can follow both blogs directly by going to the Cosmic Diary (www.cosmicdiary.org) and choosing one of the two Galilean Nights links from the right-hand menu. Both blogs have RSS feeds that you can sign up to.

For the SPoCs and Local Contacts, if you can make one last effort to get events from your countries registered on the Galilean Nights website: http://www.galileannights.org/register_event.html. If you have events registered elsewhere you can also send along a data export so that they can be added directly to the database quickly and easily.

Good luck to all of you with your events over the next few days, I hope everything goes very well and be sure to add photos from your activities on the Galilean Nights Flick group: www.flickr.com/groups/galileannights

Bangladesh World Space Week proves to be spectacular

21 October 2009

World Space Week 2009 was celebrated at Enayetpur, the Space Village of Bangladesh, on 9-10 October. The theme was Space for Education and so around 24 schools with 3000 students, teachers and space enthusiasts participated. There were rocket competitions, space art, balloons, songs, cultural shows, quizzes, and even a parade!


More event details are available here: http://www.astronomy2009-bd.org/wsw-2009_celebrated_at_enayetpur.htm


Photos and a video are also online: http://www.flickr.com/photos/worldspaceweek/sets/72157622568584664/detail/

American Association for the Advancement of Science meets to mark IYA2009

21 October 2009

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Caribbean Division will convene on 24 October in San Juan, Puerto Rico, with a programme to explore the importance and impact of astronomy in Latin America and beyond.

This meeting's theme -"Astronomy and the Origin of Life"- links IYA2009 with the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth, and the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's masterwork, "On the Origin of Species".

For more information, please visit: http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2009/1016cd_advance.shtml

Skygazers prepare to watch Orionid meteor shower

21 October 2009

Today, 21 October, amateur astronomers will be watching an annual spectacle: the Orionid meteor shower. Orionids are leftovers from Halley's Comet, and this event occurs every year when Earth passes through the comet's debris trail.

While not as prolific as other showers, in 2009 the peak of the Orionids is before dawn and should put on a good show as experts estimate that around 20 shooting stars an hour will be visible from dark skies. Luckily the crescent Moon will be below the horizon, so will not drown out dimmer streaks.

StarDate Online have more information, including exactly where to look in the sky: http://stardate.org/mediacenter/2009-orionid-meteor-shower.html

Naming Pluto Update

20 October 2009

October 2009 will be a bumper month for Special Project, Naming Pluto. Father Films' award winning documentary short, directed by Ginita Jimenez & documenting the extraordinary story of young Venetia Burney Phair, will screen at 6 Film & Science Festivals, including the prestigious United Nations Association Film Festival.

Please visit www.fatherfilms.com for more festival news!

From Earth to the Universe Updates

20 October 2009

FETTU was exhibited in NYC this month, outside on the campus of Columbia University. Photo http://www.fromearthtotheuniverse.org/webimages/Event_Photos/ColumbiaU_7_lg.jpg an essay from one of the viewers: http://www.columbiaspectator.com/2009/10/18/cosmic-consciousness

The University of Alabama's Museum of Natural History announces the opening of "From Earth to the Universe," a photographic exhibit on display in the Museum's Atrium Gallery. This exhibition stretches around the globe. Our installation has the added feature of a research partnership with the new Planetario Habana in Cuba where these prints are on display at the opening of the new planetarium and science-outreach center in Havana. Press announcement:  http://uanews.ua.edu/2009/10/from-earth-to-the-universe-exhibit-opens-at-ua-museum/ Photo http://www.fromearthtotheuniverse.org/webimages/Event_Photos/Alabama_2_lg.jpg

BLAST! Screenings in October

20 October 2009

Fantastic BLAST! reviews from Chicago:

"Fast, fun, and beautiful to look at, BLAST! communicates the joys and heartbreaks of scientific creativity." - Chicago Reader

"Enjoy this look at a group of obsessive, brilliant people  pursuing their passion. It's like an extreme-sports doc for science nerds." - Time Out Chicago

 "The intelligence on screen thrills rather than bewilders, a tribute to both Devlin brothers." - New City

Coca-Cola Space Science Center
Columbus, GA
3:00pm Saturday, October 17th, 2009
Q&A with special guests Mark and Paul Devlin

East Tennessee State University
Johnson City, TN
Monday, October 19th, 2009
Q&A with special guest Mark Devlin

Hawaii International Film Festival
Honolulu, HI
5:15pm Monday, October 19th, 2009
9:15pm Tuesday, October 20th, 2009
With special guest Paul Devlin

Brown University
Providence, RI
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 at 7:30pm

Morris Theatre Cooperative
Morris, MN
7:00pm Sunday, October 25th, 2009

Mostra de Ciencia e Cinema
A Coruña (Galicia, España)
October 28th - 30th, 2009

For a complete list of upcoming screenings visit our website.

To book screening and speaking engagements with Mark and Paul Devlin, contact us at:
info@blastthemovie.com   +1-866-610-1520

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The World at Night Newsletter

20 October 2009

Latest Photos and Videos

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



- River and Milky Way by Wally Pacholka

- Hawaii Starryscape by Tunc Tezel

- Milky Way and Giant Trees by Wally Pacholka

- Circumpolar Startrails by Fred Espenak

- Night Camp by LeRoy Zimmerman

- Open Arch by LeRoy Zimmerman

- Stars and Clouds in the Grand Canyon by LeRoy Zimmerman


- Aurora and Moon (time-lapse video) by Yuichi Takasaka

- Green Show  (time-lapse video) by Yuichi Takasaka

- Aurora Photographers by Yuichi Takasaka

- The Ghost of Yellowknife by Yuichi Takasaka

- Majestic  by Yuichi Takasaka



- Moonrise above Agios Sotirios by Anthony Ayiomamitis


- A Night in Croatia by Bernd Proschold


- Mercury Meets the Seven Sisters by Tamas Ladanyi

Asia and Middle East


- Running to the Night (Time-lapse video) by Babak A. Tafreshi

- Moonlit Meteor Shower (Time-lapse video) by Babak A. Tafreshi


- Big Dipper and City Lights by Tunc Tezel

- Planets above Turkey by Tunc Tezel

- Milky Way and Zodiacal Band by Tunc Tezel

Australia and Pacific


- Moon and Swan River Dolphin by John Goldsmith

Guest Gallery is 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. There are new featured photos on the Guest Gallery:

- Night at Historic HongCun Village (China) by Alex Chan

- The Great Solar Eclipse in China (China) by Chao Zhang

- Moon on the top of Greece (Greece) by Chris Kotsiopoulos

- Looking Through The Dome (USA) by Jonatas Chagas Ramos

- Moon, Pleiades, and a Storm (Italy) by Marco Busi

- Iran Messier Marathon (Iran) by Arman Golestaneh

- Historic Aqueduct of Amoreira (Portugal) by Miguel Claro

- Kalahari Windmill (Namibia) by Manuel Jung

- Star Trails on a Moonlit Night (Germany) by Franz Xaver Kohlhauf

- Home with a View (Germany) by Franz Xaver Kohlhauf

- Ancient HongCun Village at Night (China) by Alex Chan

- Conjunction with Noctilucent Clouds (Romania) by Christina Tinta-Vass

- Lunar Eclipse over Slovakia (Slovakia) by Pavol Rapavy

- Moon and Venus in Colorful Twilight (Iran) by M. Saber Karimi

- The Moon and Mount Taygetus (Greece) by P. Nikolakakos


Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD), a NASA's world-known website, has featured a new TWAN photo:

- Stars Over Easter Island  by Stephane Guisard

TWAN is featuring six special galleries:

Latest Images
Dark Skies Importance
Cosmic Motions
World Heritage Sites
TWAN Podcast

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


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Organisational Associates:

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