IAU Outreach Newsletter

September 2013

In this newsletter:

  1. Pan-African total/hybrid solar eclipse (3 Nov. 2013)
  2. Donate safe solar viewing glasses to Africa!
  3. Workshops around the solar eclipse in Gabon (28 Oct. – 5 Nov. 2013)
  4. CAP2013 & the International Year of Light 2015
  5. Job Opening: ASP Executive Director (USA)
  6. Eyes on Comet ISON update (India)
  7. Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013
  8. Newsletter of the Philippine Astronomical Society
  9. Trip to view the hybrid eclipse in Turkana, Kenya
  10. Cosmic Mama'e: a “nomadic planetarium”
  11. Galileo Mobile is going to Uganda!
  12. Upcoming events

Please send us your input to info@astro4dev.org for the next newsletter which we will aim to send out on Friday 25th October 2013.


1) Pan-African total/hybrid solar eclipse (3 Nov. 2013)

On 3 November 2013 many countries in Africa will experience a total/hybrid solar eclipse (see http://www.astro4dev.org/activities/pan-african-eclipse/). This is a unique cosmic event, as well as a lifetime opportunity to talk science and technology in/for Africa. Various continent-wide initiatives are taking shape to consolidate the Pan-African intention to make this eclipse a fun and unique intra-african as well as international collaboration. The following countries are in the path of totality and will be experiencing 100% obscuration of the Sun: Gabon, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-DRC, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia. Every country in Africa will experience this solar eclipse (partial). For a detailed map of the pan-african solar eclipse, click on the following map (courtesy of Xavier Jubier): http://xjubier.free.fr/en/site_pages/solar_eclipses/HSE_2013_GoogleMapFull.html

For more information about the IAU-OAD sponsored events taking place specifically in Gabon: http://www.astro4dev.org/activities/gabon-eclipse/


2) Donate safe solar viewing glasses to Africa!

A new Astronomers Without Borders (http://www.astronomerswithoutborders.org/ ) program will provide thousands of free eclipse viewing glasses to schools across Africa where a solar eclipse will take place on 3 November 2013 (see eclipse maps here: http://www.astro4dev.org/activities/pan-african-eclipse/). This is a rare opportunity to expose students to science in a region where science resources are often non-existent. Anyone can purchase safe eclipse viewing glasses, in any amount, for donation to African schools. The need is great. Schools have been identified and vetted by partner organizations in each country, and distribution networks have been verified. Every donated pair of eclipse glasses WILL reach a student for use for the eclipse. The International Astronomical Union's Office of Astronomy for Development, which is based in Cape Town, South Africa, is providing support. For more information visit: http://www.astro4dev.org/activities/pan-african-eclipse/donate-eclipse-africa/

Donate at : http://www.astronomerswithoutborders.org/projects/eclipse-glasses-for-africa.html


3) Workshops around the solar eclipse in Gabon (28 Oct. – 5 Nov. 2013)

“Nommo Astronomia”, a Gabonese astronomical association, (http://ama09gabon.weebly.com/index.html) is organizing a regional workshop for astronomy and space science in Libreville, capital city of Gabon. The workshop will serve as an initial platform for further regional interaction towards a greater use of (space) science for a better life for Africa. This is a goal shared by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD, www.astro4dev.org), a key stakeholder in this additional endeavour towards the ongoing (scientific) Renaissance of Africa. To register: http://eclipse2013.weebly.com/index.html

The OAD is also hosting a workshop, in French, on the 4th and 5th November 2013 in Libreville, Gabon to discuss the need for a worldwide French language expertise centre to coordinate astronomy for development activities. Register to attend in person or by Skype at: http://www.astro4dev.org/activities/pan-african-eclipse/oad-workshop-french/


4) CAP2013 & the International Year of Light 2015

A CAP (Communicating Astronomy to the Public) community involvement in the International Year of Light 2015:

The International Year of Astronomy 2009 (http://www.astronomy2009.org/) has demonstrated that international years can act as springboards for massive global outreach events. The International Year of Light planned for 2015 and led by the European Physical Society (EPS), has the potential to engage thousands of scientists (from physicists to astronomers) and science educators and communicators around the world. Light is the raw material for astronomers and provides the clues that they need to understand the inner workings of the Universe. The International Year of Light 2015 (IYL2015) is a great opportunity for the IAU to foster public appreciation for astronomy. A discussion panel at the CAP2013 conference on 14-18 October 2013 in Warsaw, Poland will discuss opportunities for astronomy community to engage with broader communities, mainly in the framework of the International Year of Light 2015. More information at: http://www.communicatingastronomy.org/old/cap2013/.


5) Job Opening: ASP Executive Director (USA)

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) is seeking interested applicants for its Executive Director position. The ASP, headquartered in San Francisco, is a nonprofit organization founded in 1889. The ASP seeks an experienced and dynamic leader who shares our passion for astronomy, and our goal to use astronomy to advance science and science literacy. The ASP works with professional astronomers, teachers, outreach professionals, and amateur astronomers creating approaches to teach astronomy that ignite student and public interest in astronomy and science. The ASP also publishes two highly regarded professional publications serving the astronomy research community. We offer competitive compensation and benefits. Information about the ASP can be found at www.astrosociety.org. For a full position profile, interested applicants may email search@astrosociety.org.


6) Eyes on Comet ISON update (India)

From Prajval Shastri, for the Eyes on ISON Campaign, India:

An India-wide Mass Campaign to promote scientific temper & “science learning by doing”.

A consortium of astrophysicists, amateur astronomers, science activists and artist-designers have come together to catalyse an India-wide mass campaign on the comet’s trail. The aim is to have children learn science by doing, promote scientific temper and further public ownership of science. The campaign is all set to surpass the Transit of Venus campaign, which reached about three million school-going children. Free downloadable multilingual resource material is being generated on a web portal, a country-wide “cascading” set of training workshops has begun, and efforts are on to incorporate learning-by-doing into the school curricula, in the spirit of  the Right To Education Act of India, 2009.

Three national workshops trained a diverse set of about 200 science communicators, teachers, amateur astronomers and students, representing 27 of the 30 States. Workshops in the state languages have begun, to train 50-100 resource persons in each of the 30 States, who will go on to both train more resource persons and conduct daytime astronomy experiments as well as night sky watching camps to track the comet, both in schools and public spaces, throughout the country. The web portal will be a long-term resource on astronomy-related reference material and activities that can be used for human development goals worldwide.

More information at http://eyesoncometison.in


7) Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013

In 2013, we are celebrating the International Year of Mathematics of Planet Earth (MPE 2013), whose main objective is to show how mathematics plays a central role in matters related to our planet. Various activities are being organized to promote mathematics and its relationship with other disciplines (physics, chemistry, astronomy, biology, geography, history, information, education and visual technology, etc..). On 23 September 2013, a very simple experiment, first made more than two thousand years by Eratosthenes, was replicated. It consists in measuring the size of the shadow of a vertical stick in different places of the Earth, and thus deduce the length of the radius of the Earth.

More information at: http://www.mat.uc.pt/mpt2013/
Follow on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MatematicaDoPlanetaTerra


8) Newsletter of the Philippine Astronomical Society

From the Appulse Team:

Greetings from the Philippine Astronomical Society! The Appulse is the official newsletter of the Philippine Astronomical Society now published bimonthly. The new July-August issue of the PAS newsletter the Appulse, has now been released. Check out the usual world-class images from our PAS astrophotographers, and enjoy your scientific reading during these rainy days. For links to the newsletters, bookmark: http://www.philastrosociety.org/theappulse.htm. You are all welcome to submit articles, reports, images, observations during astronomical events to appulse@philastrosociety.org or to orion278@yahoo.com


9) Trip to view the hybrid eclipse in Turkana, Kenya

From Susan Murabana (smurabana@gmail.com):

The Rotary Club of Nairobi (http://www.rotarynairobi.org) is organising a “trip of a lifetime” to Turkana, Kenya, to enable members and their family and friends to view the “hybrid eclipse”, a once in a lifetime event. This trip is open to anyone and promises lots of fun and education (http://rotec.rotarynairobi.org/programme.htm). Our club will use the proceeds of this trip to fund community and other projects. We will also use the opportunity to visit a few of these projects. We organised both air and overland packages and accommodation is in comfortable tents with all amenities. Hurry, space is limited and will fill up fast! This is in partnership with AFAS and now China HOU. We would like to have more partners if possible.


10) Cosmic Mama'e: a "nomadic planetarium"

Cosmic Mama'e is an interactive, immersive, live performance under a nomadic planetarium. Inspired by indigenous African San (bushmen) knowledge and science to rediscover our path to the stars. It is a transformational show that will touch hundreds of thousands of people through its tour of America, Africa, Asia, Europe, and Australia. The show will reconnect everyone to his/her heart, nature and the cosmos. It will awaken the urgent need of the planet inspiring responsibility and > action to respect and regenerate our self and our precious environment.

More than a show, Cosmic Mama'e is an educational movement offering specific training programs for empowerment, reconnection and inspiration. It is committed to dynamic outreach in schools, communities and diverse groups during our national and international tours. Cosmic Mama’e will create a bridge between science, art and traditional wisdom and also between different countries and continents encouraging a more holistic and connected vision of humanity, art and our relationship with all life and cosmos.


11) Galileo Mobile is going to Uganda!

After just over a year since our last expedition, Khagol Rath, that was carried out over in India, we are embarking on a new journey, this time in Uganda. The expedition, named “In the Land of Beauty” after the Ugandan national anthem, is our first in the African continent. It is viewed as a pilot project, where experience will be gathered and more contacts will be made in view of future expeditions. More info at: http://galileo-mobile.org/.


12) Upcoming events

a) World Space Week 2013
Date: 4 – 10 October 2013
Location: Worldwide
More information: http://www.worldspaceweek.org

b) Universe Awareness (UNAWE) International Workshop
Date: 7 – 11 October 2013
Location: Heidelberg, Germany
More information: www.unawe.org

c) International “Observe the Moon Night”
Date: Saturday, 12 October 2013
Location: Worldwide
More information: http://observethemoonnight.org/

d) Communicating Astronomy with the Public conference 2013
Date: 14 – 18 October 2013
Location: Warsaw, Poland
More information: http://www.communicatingastronomy.org/old/cap2013/

e) "Nommo Astronomia" Astronomy workshop
Date: 28 October – 4 November 2013
Location: Libreville, Gabon
More information: http://eclipse2013.weebly.com/

f) Hybrid solar eclipse
Date: Sunday 3 November 2013
Location: North Atlantic and Africa
More information: http://www.astro4dev.org/activities/pan-african-eclipse/

g) IAU-OAD Francophone workshop
Date: 4 – 5 November 2013
Location: Libreville, Gabon
More information: http://www.astro4dev.org/oad-workshop-french/

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

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


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