IAU Outreach Newsletter

January 2014

In this newsletter:

  1. A new IAU International Outreach Coordinator has been selected!
  2. Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal (January issue)
  3. IAU-Office of Astronomy for Development: new projects funded for 2014
  4. How to Join the Universe Awareness programme?
  5. An East African regional node for the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development
  6. The Travelling Telescope Project
  7. The Chelyabinsk Meteor and asteroid impacts
  8. IUCAA Workshop on Astronomy of Transients with Small Telescopes
  9. Report on the 2013 activities from IAU-OAO Spain NOC
  10. IAU Office of Astronomy for Development newsletter in French & Spanish
  11. The World At Night (TWAN) updates
  12. European Planetary Science Congress 2014 (EPSC2014)
  13. Erice International School of Science Journalism and Communication
  14. Upcoming events

Please send us your input to info@astro4dev.org for the next newsletter which we will aim to send out on Friday 28th February 2014.

 

1) A new IAU International Outreach Coordinator has been selected!

Sze-leung Cheung, currently Outreach Officer and Science Instructor of The University of Hong Kong, has been selected as the new IAU International Outreach Coordinator for the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach (OAO, http://www.iau.org/public/). He is expected to take up his new role at the beginning of April 2014. The IAU OAO is hosted by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ, www.nao.ac.jp/en/‎), and based at its headquarters in Mitaka, Tokyo.

 

2) Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal (January issue)

The 14th issue of Communicating Astronomy with the Public (the CAPjournal, www.capjournal.org/) is out now! This issue includes articles from Pamela Gay on science communication with Google+, and Edward Gomez on how to engage with celebrities in astronomy outreach through Twitter. In the resources, research and applications section we look at Hertzsprung and Russell, and the legacy of using flow maps to illustrate astronomical data. There is also an article on quantifying the aesthetic appeal of outreach images. Ryan Wyatt writes on how visual language and visualisation can be used to communicate astronomy, and there is a report on the Communicating Astronomy with the Public 2013 conference, which took place in Warsaw, Poland, in October 2013.

More at http://www.eso.org/public/announcements/ann14002/.

 

3) IAU-Office of Astronomy for Development: new projects funded for 2014

The IAU-OAD 2013 Call for Proposals (http://www.astro4dev.org/aboutiauoad/cfp/) saw an increase in the number of submitted projects in 2012. The three Task Forces reviewed the projects in each of the following areas: Universities and Research, Children and Schools and Public Outreach. 23 projects worldwide will be implemented in 2014. The other recommended projects go onto a wish list which the OAD is working towards raising funds for.

The funded projects for 2014 can be browsed online at http://www.astro4dev.org/funded-projects-2014/.

 

4) How to Join the Universe Awareness programme?

Join our renowned international programme as a Universe Awareness (UNAWE) National Project Manager and help us use astronomy to inspire underprivileged children, teach them about science and technology and broaden their horizons in social, cultural and geographical ways. By signing up as a UNAWE National Programme Coordinator (NC) in your home country, you will be expected to develop a sustainable Universe Awareness programme in your area.

More information at http://www.unawe.org/getinvolved/join/.

 

5) An East African regional node for the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development

On January 10th, 2014, in Addis Ababa, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) signed an important agreement with partners in Ethiopia to host an East African regional node of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD). This is the first regional node to be established on the African continent and forms part of the IAU’s decadal strategic plan, which aims to realise the global societal benefits of astronomy. The initiative is driven locally by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Education, Ethiopian Space Science Society and Addis Ababa University.

Read more at http://www.astro4dev.org/regions/east-african-regional-node/ and in the press at http://allafrica.com/stories/201401150164.html.

 

6) The Travelling Telescope Project

From Daniel-Chu Owen: Learning about the cosmos from books and the internet is crucial for understanding, but nothing beats the awe of observing celestial objects with your own eyes. The Travelling Telescope project aims to get more people on the planet to experience that “wow” factor. Over the next few months we will be travelling around Kenya (initially) with a professional quality telescope, visiting schools & colleges, rural communities, and any safari lodge or hotel who would like to partner with us. We will also be documenting these adventures on film for a wider audience to engage with. Over time we intend to branch out to establish a route covering every country from Kenya to South Africa.

More information at www.travellingtelescope.co.uk or email chu@travellingtelescope.com.uk.

 

7) The Chelyabinsk Meteor and asteroid impacts

A popular-level talk on the Chelyabinsk Meteor and asteroid impacts in general, by Dr. David Morrison (SETI Institute and NASA Ames Research Center,) is now available free for educators, students, and the public on YouTube. In February 2013, a rocky projectile entered the Earth's atmosphere traveling at more than 11 miles per second. It was about 65 feet in diameter and its explosion, at an altitude of 14 miles, released energy of about half a megaton, equivalent to a couple dozen Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs. About two minutes later, the shock wave reached the ground in Chelyabinsk, Russia, breaking windows and injuring about 1500 people from flying glass.

The video is available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-e6xyUZLLs and is part of the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series at Foothil College, near San Francisco.

 

8) IUCAA Workshop on Astronomy of Transients with Small Telescopes

The workshop (January 31st – February 2nd, 2014, Venue: IUCAA, Pune, India) is aimed at providing an impetus to the Universities & Colleges (amongst IUCAA associates and otherwise) that own "Small telescopes" with good accessories. Some active Amateurs, with similar facilities, are also to be enthused. The proposed workshop will familiarise the participants with the potentials of such small aperture telescopes in very good astronomy. Good projects, that can be done with students & staff in the respective institutions, will be suggested along with a Hands-on Session. Special focus will be given to a follow-up of Transient events discovered by ASTROSAT and various time-domain optical surveys. We are also looking at this as a beginning of an activity over a longer period of time with a lot of involvement from those who attend this workshop.

The registration is closed but the list of selected participants is available at http://www.iucaa.ernet.in/%7Escipop/atwst/participants.html. More information at http://www.iucaa.ernet.in/~scipop/atwst/ or contact: Samir Dhurde (samir@iucaa.ernet.in).

 

9) Report on the 2013 activities from IAU-OAO Spain NOC

From Juan Antonio Belmonte, IAU-OAO National Outreach Coordinator for Spain: The year 2013 has passed! The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC, www.iac.es) at Tenerife was involved in a long series of outreach activities related to astronomical phenomena. Some were prepared, such as the November 3 partial eclipse or the Jupiter moon triple eclipse but many others were followed. Enjoy them at http://www.elcielodecanarias.com/fenomenos-astronomicos-excepcionales-2013

More on the IAU-OAO NOC network at: http://www.iau.org/public/noc/.

 

10) IAU Office of Astronomy for Development newsletter in French & Spanish

The IAU Office of Astronomy for Development is making its newsletter available in French and Spanish, thanks to the dedication and work of its many volunteers. You can find the newsletters at http://www.astro4dev.org/contactus/newsletters/. If you wish to help the OAD translate the newsletter in your language, please contact the office at info@astro4dev.org. If you would like to join the volunteers’ list of the OAD and help projects around the world, please register at http://www.astro4dev.org/oadvolunteers/.

 

11) The World At Night (TWAN) updates

The World At Night (TWAN) is an international effort to present stunning nightscape photos and timelapse videos of the world’s landmarks against celestial attractions. The eternally peaceful night sky looks the same above symbols of all nations and regions, attesting to the truly unified nature of Earth as a planet rather than an amalgam of human-designated territories. Babak Tafreshi, founder and director of “The World At Night” (TWAN, http://www.twanight.org/newTWAN/index.asp) has released a new collection of Kenya and Kilimanjaro by night (and some in day). You can browse them at http://www.dreamview.net/dv/new/search.asp?keyword=kenya.

 

12) European Planetary Science Congress 2014 (EPSC2014)

From Manuel Grande & Maria Teresa Capria (Scientific Organizing Committee Chairs) and Mario Ebel (Copernicus Meetings): The Ninth European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC 2014) will take place at Centro de Congressos do Estoril, Cascais, Portugal, from 07 – 12 September 2014. As with the previous highly successful EPSC meetings, EPSC 2014 provides an attractive platform to exchange and present results, develop new ideas and to network the planetary science community in Europe.To make session or workshop proposals on the conference website before 29 January 2014: http://www.epsc2014.eu.

 

13) Erice International School of Science Journalism and Communication

Announcement of the 5th Summer Course: June 9 - 14, 2014 "The Digital World: computing, networks and us": The Erice International School of Science Journalism announces 30 fellowships for applicants from European countries and 5 fellowships for applicants from non-European countries to attend the 2014 edition (June 9th to 14th, 2014) focused on "THE DIGITAL WORLD: computing, networks and us". The fellowships are aimed at science journalists, science communicators and students in science journalism and communication. Candidates should send their CV and a motivation letter Follow us on: http://ericescijc.wordpress.com. Like us on Facebook: International School of Scientific Journalism and Communication.

 

14) Upcoming events

a) IUCAA Workshop on Astronomy of Transients with Small Telescopes
Date: 31 January – 2 February 2014
Location: IUCAA, Pune
More information: http://www.iucaa.ernet.in/~scipop/atwst/

b) UKSEDS National Student Space Conference 2014
Date: 1 – 2 March 2014
Location: University of Leicester, United Kingdom
More information: http://ukseds.org/nssc2014

c) Citizen Science in Astronomy
Date: 3 – 7 March 2014 (Pre-registration deadline: 1st December 2013)
Location: Institute of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Academia Sinica (ASIAA), Taipei, Taiwan
More information: http://events.asiaa.sinica.edu.tw/workshop/20140303/

For more events, please visit the IAU Outreach Events Calendar at: http://iau.org/public/events/

To register your own event, click here: http://www.iau.org/public/events/events-submission/

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