The International Year of Astronomy Begins

I first heard about the proposal for the International Year of Astronomy when it was being discussed at the IAU General Assembly in Prague. Now, almost two and a half years later, the year has finally begun! There seems to be a buzz of excitement and I'm sharing in it.

The year celebrates the 400th anniversary of the first use of the astronomical telescope and also happens to be the 40th anniversary of the Apollo Moon landings so there could hardly be a better year for these cosmic celebrations.

Throughout the year there will be plenty of activities all over the globe so you should check with your National Node for events near you. If there are none, you could consider organising some along with local astronomers or astronomical societies. One big event to look out for is the 100 Hours of Astronomy which aims to be a 100 hour long global star party. Given that it stretches over 100 hours, it might give those of us in cloudy places a chance to participate! On the net you can also participate in the year through podcasts, blogs and twitter (I'm involved in two of those).

If you own a telescope that doesn't usually see the outside of a cupboard, then this is the time to take it out and share the wonders of the night sky (or Sun if you have a solar filter) to friends, family, neighbours, and co-workers. The International Year of Astronomy hopes to let millions of people see the night sky this year and that will only happen if we all do our bit. Go on, it'll be fun.

It's a big universe and it's ours to discover.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Thursday 01st Jan 2009 (23:45 GMT) | Permalink
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]