IAU Astronomy Outreach Newsletter
In this newsletter:
- From the Editor
- IAU launches the NameExoWorlds worldwide contest
- International Year of Light 2015 website
- SPIE International Year of Light photo contest
- IAU Office of Astronomy for Development Annual Call for Proposals 2014
- The IAU Office of Astronomy for Development newsletter #6 available online
- Open Review of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development
- IAU Office of Astronomy for Development Visiting Fellowship
- Programme update: Astronomy Education Alliance Meeting
- Call for support: Crowdfunding for improving science education in Tanzania
- Sharing Stories: The BraBo (Brazil-Bolivia) Expedition of GalileoMobile
- Sharing Stories: StarDisc as Community Space
- Upcoming events
- Contributions to this newsletter
0) From the Editor
There’s a great deal of exciting news to share in this month’s newsletter, including the IAU flagship programme NameExoWorlds. Don’t miss the chance to join in with this historical event! If you are an astronomy educator or communicator, I would encourage you to promote this naming contest within your community and encourage everyone to propose names. More news from our sister IAU Office for Astronomy Development (OAD) office on their annual call for proposals, newsletter, open review and visiting fellowship programme. If you click on the links to the crowdsourcing efforts and read their stories, you will see the many happy faces of the kids and students as they get in touch with astronomy, so do please consider supporting these projects.
Last but not least, starting from the next issue, this newsletter will come twice every month, so that you can receive our updates in a timely manner.
IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach
1) IAU launches the NameExoWorlds worldwide contest
For the first time, in response to the public’s increased interest in being part of discoveries in astronomy, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) is organising a worldwide contest to give popular names to selected exoplanets along with their host stars. The proposed names will be submitted by astronomy clubs and non-profit organisations interested in astronomy, and votes will be cast by the public from across the world through the web platform NameExoWorlds. This platform is under development by the IAU in association with Zooniverse. The intention is that millions of people worldwide will be able to take part in the vote. Once the votes are counted, the winning names will be officially sanctioned by the IAU, allowing them to be used freely in parallel with the existing scientific nomenclature, with due credit to the clubs or organisations that proposed them.
Read more from IAU Press Release https://www.iau.org/news/pressreleases/detail/iau1404/
and the rules at http://nameexoworlds.org/
2) International Year of Light 2015 website
The International Year of Light 2015 (IYL2015) website is available at http://www.light2015.org . The IAU is one of the supporting organisations for IYL2015 and we are actively organising the Cosmic Light projects for IYL2015 — you can read more on IYL2015 website. More information will be soon available on http://www.light2015.org/Home/CosmicLight.html and the IAU website as well.
3) SPIE International Year of Light photo contest
SPIE has organised the International Year of Light photo contest. Submit your work by 30 September and show how light and light-based technologies play a vital role in our everyday lives.
Read more at http://spie.org/x108047.xml .
4) IAU Office of Astronomy for Development Annual Call for Proposals 2014
The IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) successfully launched its third annual Call for Proposals on Monday 30 June 2014. This is an open call for projects relating to any of the three focus areas of the OAD: (i) universities and research; (ii) children and schools; and (iii) public outreach. Projects that are not successful in being awarded a grant may still be selected for the OAD's Recommended List, for which the OAD will continue to seek additional funds and support.
The call is live on the OAD website (http://www.astro4dev.org/cfp/) with a deadline for submission of 23:59 UTC on 31 August 2014.
5) The IAU Office of Astronomy for Development newsletter #6 available online
The sixth edition of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD)'s quarterly newsletter is available on the OAD website. Read about all the exciting activities that have been taking place in the world of astronomy for development:
6) Open Review of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development
One of the guiding principles upon which the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) is built is that of humility. As such OAD is constantly exploring ways in which it can improve its activities and learn from the people it interacts with. The OAD is therefore pleased to announce the OAD Open Review — an open opportunity for people to reflect on their experiences with the OAD and provide input into their operations and future planning.
Read more on www.astro4dev.org/oad-open-review/
7) IAU Office of Astronomy for Development Visiting Fellowship
The IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) has launched the Visiting fellowship Scheme for their volunteers working on the OAD Ideas List to contribute to the vision of OAD. The Fellowship will cover flights to Cape Town, accommodation near the OAD and a modest daily subsistence allowance for a negotiated period.
Read more on http://www.astro4dev.org/work-with-the-oad/opportunities-oad/oad-visiting-fellowships/
8) Programme Update: Astronomy Education Alliance Meeting
The Astronomy Education Alliance Meeting will take place in Cascais, Portugal between 8 and 12 September 2014, co-hosted by the European Planetary Science Congress and Global Hands-on Universe. The meeting programme is now available with invited talks with topics ranging from innovative approaches in astronomy, enquiry-based teaching, to a five-year vision on astronomy education.
More info: http://handsonuniverse.org/astroeducation/program/
9) Call for support: Crowdfunding for improving science education in Tanzania
Astronomers Without Borders launched a fundraising campaign dedicated to building the Center for Science Education and Observatory in Tanzania. The new science centre aims to bring quality science education to Tanzanian children.
To support and read more at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/telescopes-to-tanzania
10) Sharing Stories : The BraBo (Brazil-Bolivia) Expedition of GalileoMobile
GalileoMobile is a multicultural itinerant educational programme that shares astronomy with schools across the world to inspire the will to learn, critical thinking, and open-mindedness in a spirit of sustainable development and cultural exchange "under the same sky". They have recently successfully acquired crowdsourcing funds to purchase materials for their expedition to Bolivia and Brazil. From 21 July to 25 August they will travel 1600 kilometres to visit 12 schools, and to reach over 1500 students and 100 teachers. To follow their journey, you can visit their blog at http://galileomobile.wordpress.com/
11) Sharing Stories: StarDisc as Community Space
The StarDisc is a visionary new art installation set high above the rooftops of Wirksworth, United Kingdom. Created by local artist Aidan Shingler to bring the wonders of the night sky to all, the StarDisc is located at the top of Stoney Wood, part of a former limestone quarry which has now been transformed into community woodland. The StarDisc is used by regional astronomical societies to educate, engage and inspire the local community and regional schools. In addition StarDisc is an open-air theatre that stages astronomically themed performances for the general public.
To learn more: http://www.stardiscenterprise.co.uk/
12) Upcoming events
a) The Astronomical Society of the Pacific 2014 Annual Meeting – Celebrating Science: Putting Education Best Practices to Work
Date: 2–6 August 2014
Location: Burlingame, USA
More information: http://www.astrosociety.org/education/asp-annual-meeting/
b) The 40th COSPAR Scientific Assembly
Date: 2–10 August 2014
Location: Moscow, Russia
More information: http://www.galileoteachers.org/teacher-training-at-cospar/
c) The 12th Asia–Pacific IAU Regional Meeting
Date: 19-22 August 2014
Location: Daejeon, South Korea
More Information: http://www.aprim2014.org/
d) The 3rd Middle-East and Africa IAU Regional Meeting (Early registration by 30 June 2014)
Date: 1–6 September 2014
Location: Beirut, Lebanon
More Information: http://www.mearim3.org/
e) 44th Young European Radio Astronomers Conference (Registration by 30 June 2014)
Date: 8–12 September 2014
Location: Toruń Centre for Astronomy, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland
More Information: http://yerac2014.astro.uni.torun.pl/
f) Astronomy Education Alliance Meeting (Late registration by 15 August 2014)
Date: 8–12 September 2014
Location: Cascais, Portugal
More Information: http://handsonuniverse.org/astroeducation/
13) Contributions to this newsletter
We are looking for news about astronomical education and outreach events, so if you are organising any large-scale events at regional or international levels, have any special innovative projects or inspiring stories to share, or created any educational resources, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.