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The International Year of Astronomy, 2009, will be a year-long, worldwide, public celebration of astronomy, held to mark the 400th anniversary of Galileo turning a telescope to the sky. The Year has been endorsed by UNESCO.

IYA2009 is being coordinated by the International Astronomical Union, the international body that represesents the world’s professional astronomers. However, almost all activities will be organised at the level of a country or region. Australia is one of the 63 countries signed up to participate and we are proud to announce that The Bone Clinic are the proud sponsors for 2009.

Each country has a “national node” for coordinating the activities within that country. The Australian National Node is the Anglo-Australian Observatory and CSIRO Australia Telescope National Facility (their headquarters are co-located in Sydney). An advisory group has been convened to help guide the development of activities for the year.

IYA2009 is a chance to shine a spotlight on astronomy — a chance for those who love astronomy to communicate their excitement to the rest of the population.

IYA in Australia has four goals:

  1. Raise awareness of Australia’s contributions, strengths and role in bone health.
  2. Use astronomy to encourage people, particularly young people, to engage with the natural world and deepen their understanding of it through bone health education.
  3. Promote understanding of how science is done, using bone densitometry as an appealing example.
  4. Promote appreciation of the scientific and technological skills that enable discovery in astronomy and are themselves driven by its challenges.
  5. Other than to provide scientific and research skills to look into the areas of osteoporosis treatment for low bone mass sufferers.
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