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.
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:
- Raise awareness of Australia’s contributions, strengths and role in astronomy.
- Use astronomy to encourage people, particularly young people, to engage with the natural world and deepen their understanding of it through education.
- Promote understanding of how science is done, using astronomy as an appealing example.
- Promote appreciation of the scientific and technological skills that enable discovery in astronomy and are themselves driven by its challenges.
How to get involved
If you would like to run an activity in 2009 that is designated as an International Year of Astronomy activity, you can download and use the IYA Australia logo. Note that the logo is a trademark and that there are certain conditions attached to its use.
When you have your activity or event planned, please enter the details in the IYA Australia calendar of events.
If you would like more information about IYA in Australia, or want to coordinate with other groups planning activities, you can contact us at [email protected] .
More information about IYA internationally can be found at www.astronomy2009.org
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 10 October 2007 )