Online Astronomy@Home Awards

As many of us turn online to stay connected with our communities through astronomy, we wish to recognise the incredible and inspiring efforts various event organisers worldwide are carrying out during the upcoming months. 

As the world struggles to contain the spread of COVID-19, we are committed to helping tackle this pandemic and its impact on society (please read our IAU Office's Call to Action). To help everyone cope with the prolonged times being spent indoors, and because everything is better with astronomy, we would like to reward the fun, educational, original and engaging at-home online activities you are carrying out to keep you, your family, and your community occupied, entertained and, most of all, engaged in a meaningful way with science and astronomy. 

We are asking outreach professionals, educators, amateur and professional astronomers, and astronomy enthusiasts to develop and participate in astronomy activities online. People from all backgrounds and level of experience are encouraged to organise online events using astronomy as an engagement tool to connect online with their communities. From one person streaming their night sky through a telescope at their window; astronomers holding virtual meetups; educators sharing fun activities to DIY at home; to planetariums broadcasting live remote shows; online astronomy challenges, we’re already seeing creative and engaging activities all around! 

We hope to keep this momentum going, by recognising the various event organisers worldwide through the Online Astronomy@Home Awards. The five categories for the awards are:

1) Most Innovative Event: Where organisers have come up with an imaginative or unusual approach to enthusing the public about astronomy with and online event or campaign.

2) Best Family Event: For those at home with their families, what astronomy activity they come up with (together with their family members, remotely or that are in the same house) and inspiring others along the way. 

3) Outstanding Online Event: Engaging with the public isn't necessarily the number of attendees or the scale of the event, but the quality of the experience. This award recognises the excellence of an engaging and fully online outreach experience.

4) Largest Number of Registered Online Events Held by a Single Group: Where an organising group has made an effort to take astronomy above and beyond from their own homes to the community-at-large.

5) Community Engagement: For the most interesting event that garnered participation with communities that aren't focused on astronomy, or made efforts to connect to non-astronomy-enthusiasts.

First Prize: 600 euros (one first prize per category award)
Second Prize: 300 euros (one second prize per category award)
Top ten: A four-year subscription to the printed version of the CAPjournal.
All organisers will receive a Certificate of Participation. 

1 April 2020 to 31 July 2020  

Activities must be registered on the Event Form and implemented between 1 April and 31 July 2020. Events and content that sells products or services are not eligible for these awards. 

How can you apply?
1) Plan your online astronomy activities, events, talks, meetups for engaging with your community online;
2) Register your event or activity on the IAU Global Outreach Events registration form
3) Implement your astronomy outreach activities online between 1 April and 31 July 2020
4) Tell us about your activity by filling out the report form by 15 August 2020.


Awards Agreement
- All decisions of award organizers about any aspect of the awards, including eligibility or disqualification of applications, comments and images, and final awarding, are final and cannot be appealed.
- By submitting information for the awards about the conducted Online Astro@Home Awards event, participants consent to the use, reproduction, publication, transmission and dissemination of their name, and information relating to the award by the award organizers and/or partners, without compensation, in any publications or promotional material, to promote the awards and its winners.
- The Prizes will be attributed by bank transfer and the total amount for 1st Prize (600 euros) and 2nd Prize (300 euros) include currency exchange rates at the time of the transfer and all fees associated with the transfer.
- Online Astro@Home Awards and the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach reserves the right to make changes to the awards at any time without prior notice, to temporarily interrupt the awards, or to cancel the awards without justifying or being in any way accountable for this decision. No damages or compensation may be claimed.




IAU Global Outreach Events 2020


The IAU Global Outreach Events are annual international outreach activities officially endorsed by the IAU OAO. These events can be developed and implemented by independent organisers internationally that wish to join the IAU Global Outreach Events.

To participate please register your event by submitting a description here, starting March 15, 2020.

1) The submissions must be written in English. If you are struggling with translating your event, please reach out to us! Our translators at the IAU Astronomy Translation Network (ATN) will try to support you.
2) Please note that we may edit some content if needed.
3) All events must respect the general guideline of the IAU Global Outreach initiatives: promoting the key role of astronomy for the betterment of science and society, through collaboration and with a spirit of respect, tolerance and peace.
4) Any changes to events that have been already included in the calendar should be communicated to the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach Team via with the subject lines “IAU Outreach Event Calendar 2020 - Update”. 5) If you cannot access our Online Form, please send an email to our IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach Team via with the subject line “IAU Outreach Event Calendar 2020 - Request Form”.
6) All organisers of registered activities will receive an annual IAU outreach certificate of participation and be selected to receive additional annual prizes for participating. 



Dark and Quiet Skies Awareness

The IAU will raise awareness of dark and quiet skies by endorsing actions during and around the International Day of Light on 16 May 2020. The IAU OAO intends to bring together the IAU Dark Skies Ambassadors as agents of change in crucial topics for dark skies advocacy, such as satellite constellation awareness, and natural right to view the sky, in addition to promoting independent events by astronomy communicators related to dark and quiet skies. 

Important Date: May 16, International Day of Light


Meet the IAU Astronomers!

For the Meet the IAU Astronomers! event, the IAU OAO will encourage IAU members and other astronomers to engage with schoolchildren and members of the public by visiting schools and talking with students, parents and educators about astronomy, critical thinking and the scientific profession. The events are encouraged to be carried during and around the week of 4-10 October.

Important Dates: 4-10 October, World Space Week
                          5 October, World Teachers’ Day


Inspiring Stars Program

With Inspiring Stars Programme, the IAU endorses best practices for inclusive astronomy outreach. The main goal of the programme is to broaden the horizons of children, parents and educators alike, sparking an interest in science and raise awareness for the opportunity of pursuing a career in astronomy.

Important Dates: 4 January, World Braille Day
                             2 April, World Autism Awareness Day 
                             23 September, International Day of Sign Languages
                             10 November, World Science Day for Peace and
                              3 December, International Day of Persons with Disabilities