Catching up: IYA and Building Tomorrow

Posted By Pamela on Nov 11, 2008 | 6 comments

This semester has been my busiest since, well, hmmmm…. I’ve never been this busy. It has been a mad and fantastic rush toward the International Year of Astronomy. In the past 4 months I’ve been part of numerous grants (we got 1 too!), numerous papers (two submitted and others in various stages of draft), lots of new media projects (Portal to the Universe with ESO, 365 Days of Astronomy lead by Michael Koppelman, and Second Astronomy lead by Adrienne Gauthier), and, oh yeah, I’m teaching and Astronomy Cast went to two shows per week. Eek! I am working with the most amazing group of people, and we are building several really great projects, but lately I’ve had to periodically let a few things slip between my fingers as I’ve tried to stay sane and avoid severe sleep deprivation.

I’m going to try and get back to blogging more, but I can’t make any promises of success until Dec 1 or so. And here is why!

365 Days of Astronomy: This is a new podcast being brought online just for IYA2009! Our goal is to bring you (and every other person on the planet) a new roughly 8 minute piece of astronomy all 365 Days of 2009. Our shows will be made by volunteers from throughout the astronomy community – students, scientists, artists, authors, and everyone else. We’ll address a variety of topics ranging from astronomy theories to astronomy discoveries to astronomy in art. We even have a really cool theme song composed and performed by George Hrab. Want to learn more? Listen to this preview episode by me and Michael. Want to help make this possible? We are looking for $25/day individual sponsorships as well as major corporate donations to fund this project. While the shows are getting created by community volunteers, we are planning to hirer mass communications students at SIUE to centrally produce all episodes. Can you help?

Portal to the Universe has a whole website dedicated to it, so go read that šŸ™‚ And when you’re done, go register you web feed, your organization, and any nifty astronomy widgets you have!

Second Astronomy is a project to build a dynamic astronomy venue in Second Life that features IYA content, including sidewalk astronomy displays, planetarium shows, and even a theatre for streamed content. If you have space on your personal Second Life land and are interested in hosting a kiosk or sidewalk astronomy display, drop us an email and we’ll work on hooking you up with your own little piece of IYA.

IYA is something we’re working on, but we are building it for you and with lots of places you can get involved. What are your idea? What do you want to do to make IYA yours? We’re listening! email us at

The International Year of Astronomy 2009, The Universe: Yours to Discover!


  1. nice to hear from you again Doc, you were getting us worried, boy you do have a jampacked schedule. and you poor dear – two episodes a week of astronomy cast – is certainly Eek for you , but its a big WOW for us, hehe.

    3.49 pm
    Calcutta, India.

  2. Looking forward to the coming year of astronomy, enjoying the podcast immensely. any plans to come to our part of the hemisphere.

  3. I’m all signed up for Feb 4th. I’ll interview Dr. Al Wootten, ALMA Project Scientist/North America, about the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, which is being built in the Atacama high desert in Chile. This is one seriously cool piece of instrumentation! There’s so much to talk about I wouldn’t be surprised if this topic takes 2 shows to cover.

    Here’s more on ALMA for those of you who are interested:

  4. I’m so interested in what can i do for iya2009 !

    observing the night sky education is my specialty , anyway i can participate online?

  5. Hey NiteSkyGirl,

    There are lots of ways to get involved! Drop me an email at pamela at starstryder dot com and we’ll brainstorm the best places for you to play a role.


  6. Hello there, you should checkout my grants website,

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