The International Year of Astronomy

Posted By Pamela on Jan 11, 2008 | 6 comments

IYAThe avid reader may have noticed my posting hasn’t be quite as fevered as powerhouse writers Phil Plait or Fraser Cain. This is because I’ve been plotting to take over the world, and sadly that takes time to plan.

2009 has been declared the International Year of Astronomy and has received the blessings of the United Nations, UNESCO, and the International Astronomical Union. Here in the United State, IYA planning is being spearheaded by the American Astronomical Society and being that this is an AAS meeting, all of us have been here spreading the world.

Come Celebrate in 2009: The Universe is yours to Discover.

Yesterday we had a poster session and a town hall meeting, I’ve attended so many meetings I lost count. I’m excited. I’ll be doing websites and New Media.

Our goal (in the US): To provide everyone with a meaningful experience with astronomy.

Come join us online, at starparties, in science centers, on MySpace, in Facebook, in Second Life, at observatories, and even (perhaps) at the Rose Parade. We want to show you the stars. We want to give you real world experiences doing research, and provide you a chance play with optics and even build your own telescope.

You will be assimilated. Observe or be destroyed be sad you didn’t see Jupiter’s red spot(s).

We have an entire year to plan, and it is currently time to ask: What do you want to see? You have an universe to ask for. What corners of the cosmos, what little stars and giant galaxies, what rocky worlds around distant stars – what is it you want to see? What can we bring you and where do you want to explore?

Tell us. We are your guides through the skies.


  1. I am excited by the idea, but I wonder why 2009 and not 2010? My concern is regarding competing with the 200th b-day of Darwin, and the sesquicentennial of the publishing of that book.

    Just a thought.

  2. 2009 is the 400th anniversary year of when Galileo first turned his telescope to the heavens.

  3. Cool…

    Is there a museum dedicated to the history of astronomy? If not, put one adjacent to the Hayden or, at least, in Tuscon. A virtual one in Second Life would be a stepping stone, perhaps. Similar to the Int’t. Space Museum there. It would also be much more accesibile to the world.

    You could send a scale model of Galileo’s telescope and today’s HST, along with a book of both their images, to go around the planet during the year for people to see and sign there names.

    Since Galileo argued for the Sun as the center of the universe, as per the Copernican model, and discovered Sun spots as one of his accomplishments, perhaps the really big news could be announced in this year, namely…the true color of the Sun! 🙂

  4. Right now I’d be happy with RSS feeds for news and announcements from the IYA2009 web site. Having to repeatedly check a site for updates feels like web 0.1.

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