The End of IYA (Part 2)

The End of IYA (Part 2)

Sometimes it takes a bit longer than planned to get around to writing than expected. The second day of the IYA Closing ceremonies was filled with talks on history & vision – Who was Galileo and what was the real relationship between him and the Chrutch? How do we move forward to celebrate astronomy in years that aren’t 400 year anniversaries? How do we build on what we’ve done so that great new projects aren’t lost? And where does science go tomorrow?- Presented talks included talks from politicians, historians, and scientists. Want to see what we saw? Full video coverage is available here. In the past 400 years since Galileo turned a telescope toward the sky and reported what he was seeing, the technology has come a long ways. From...

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The End of IYA (Part 1)

The End of IYA (Part 1)

It is January 10, 2010, and IYA is coming to a close. I’m am currently sitting in the Palazzo Bo in Padau (Padova), Italy. I am here for the IYA2009 closing ceremony. It has been a long journey getting here. The idea of the IYA2009 originated form Franco Pacini in 2002, and in 2003, at the Sydney General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), a resolution was adopted to make 2009 our year to share astronomy with the world. It was to be fit within the UN Millennium goals, and we were to help educate the world in science. In 2005, our UNESCO endorsed our cause, and at the 2006 Prague General Assembly meeting of the IAU, in between sessions stripping Pluto of its Planethood, a group of determined individuals set about defining what the IYA2009...

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A new website for a New Year: Astrosphere .org

A new website for a New Year: Astrosphere .org

It’s December 25, Christmas day 2009. In 6 more days we’ll ring in 2010, and in 16 more days IYA will come to an official end. There are still pieces to tie up – the evaluations will all take place in South Africa in March, and there are a whole lot of websites that need ownerships transferred hither and yon, but the public side of IYA is this -><- close to wrapping up. As part of my own wrapping up process I need to do three things: clean my desk and triage the past 16 months of anything that came to me in paper; clean my hard drive and triage the past 16 months of anything that came to me in photons; and get websites set up to move all our cool new media products Beyond IYA. So, today I cleaned my desk (putting all the papers on the...

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A week to look up: LCROSS Impact and White House Star Party

A week to look up: LCROSS Impact and White House Star Party

As a 1 year long event, IYA2009 has worked hard to provide a steady stream of events. That said, some weeks are more interesting than others, and this week is shaping up to be one of those more interesting weeks. On October 7, Mr and Mrs Obama will host a star party at the US White House, and on the night of October 8/morning of October 9, the LCROSS mission will impact the Moon. White House Star Party There aren’t a lot of details, but here’s what I know. According to the White House Press Secratary, “the President and First Lady will host an event at the White House for middle-school students to highlight the President’s commitment to science, engineering and math education as the foundation of this nation’s global technological...

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Galileoscope: A dream of 1 Telescope Per Child

Galileoscope: A dream of 1 Telescope Per Child

I know a set of men who had a dream. They wanted to see every child in the world have access to a high-quality low-cost telescope. They wanted something that would show the rings of Saturn, survive a tumble down the stairs, and just keep revealing the sky night after night after night. This is a good dream; a dream inspired by the one laptop per child project. It is a dream that could be a reality, but it needs help. These men need you to dream with them and help their dream become a reality. The Concept is Born The Galileoscope project was launched about the time everyone realized the 2009 International Year of Astronomy idea was about to become a UN endorsed reality. Lead by Doug Arion, Rick Fienberg, and Steve Pompea, the Galileoscope telescope team gave...

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