IAU Astronomy Outreach Newsletter

#14 2014 (November 2014 #2)

In this newsletter:

  1. From the Editor
  2. Interactive Digital Astronomy Magazine — First Light
  3. Astropoetry Blog
  4. CosmicLight IYL2015: Documentary The Northern Lights — A Magic Experience
  5. CosmicLight IYL2015: Galileoscope
  6. CosmicLight IYL2015: Create an exhibition event for LIGHT: Beyond the Bulb
  7. CosmicLight IYL2015: Global Light Pollution Monitoring Network
  8. IAU General Assembly Focus Meeting on Light Pollution
  9. Upcoming meetings
  10. Contributions to this newsletter


0) From the Editor

Did you watch Rosetta’s landing? It was really exciting to experience such an historic event live, and we hope that the lander will wake up again soon. You can find a link to poetry related to the mission featured in this issue. It’s only six weeks now until the start of the International Year of Light; have you planned any activities? In this newsletter I have featured some projects for the upcoming year, such as the Galileoscope; an exhibition, LIGHT: Beyond the Bulb; the Global Light Pollution Monitoring Network, and a documentary on the northern lights. If you tell us your ideas (by email to outreach@iau.org) as well, I’ll be most happy to learn about what you’re planning to do and if possible, feature some of these exciting ideas in this newsletter.

Clear Skies,
Sze-leung Cheung
IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach


1) Interactive Digital Astronomy Magazine — First Light

First Light is a new digital astronomy magazine written in English, which can be read on a tablet, a smartphone or a computer, and including various interactive features to animate the infographics. To learn more about the magazine, you can watch their video http://vimeo.com/107792285, or visit their website www.firstlight-magazine.com.


2) Astropoetry Blog

Astronomers Without Borders is running an Astropoetry Blog, where they feature astropoets from around the world. One of the recent Astropoems was written for the Rosetta mission. You can explore the project at http://astronomerswithoutborders.org/blog/astropoetry-blog.html.


3) CosmicLight IYL2015: Documentary The Northern Lights — A Magic Experience

The northern lights, or aurora borealis, is more than beautiful on a cold winter’s night. The Northern Lights — A Magic Experience is a 25-minute documentary that takes you on a breathtaking journey through space. The documentary uses informative top-quality animations and spectacular solar imagery from NASA satellites, and tells the full story of the northern lights from myth to science. You can watch the trailer at https://vimeo.com/87472898 and more information is available at http://www.solarmax.no/Aurora/Home.html.


4) CosmicLight IYL2015: Galileoscope

The Galileoscope is a high-quality, low-cost telescope kit developed by a team of leading astronomers and science educators. No matter where you live, with this easy-to-assemble kit, you can see the celestial wonders that Galileo Galilei first glimpsed over 400 years ago, including lunar craters and mountains, four moons circling Jupiter, the phases of Venus, Saturn’s rings, and countless stars invisible to the unaided eye. The Galileoscope is one of the cornerstone projects for the International Year of Light 2015 Cosmic Light theme. You can check out the details at http://galileoscope.org/.


5) CosmicLight IYL2015: Create an exhibition event for LIGHT: Beyond the Bulb

LIGHT: Beyond the Bulb is an open-source international exhibition programme for the International Year of Light to showcase the incredible variety of light-based science being researched today across the electromagnetic spectrum, as part of various scientific disciplines, and using many different technological platforms. The exhibit materials and their striking images will be crowd-sourced and then expert-curated for science content, high-quality printability, stunning beauty and their ability to engage the greater public. Based on an award-winning proof-of-concept platform From Earth to the Universe from the International Year of Astronomy 2009, LIGHT: Beyond the Bulb could offer wide international reach, high visibility and improved public awareness on the science of light.

To start planning an event now, you can find the how-to guide and details at http://lightexhibit.org/howtoexhibit.html.



6) CosmicLight IYL2015: Global Light Pollution Monitoring Network

Globe at Night — Sky Brightness Monitoring Network is a project that aims to set up a global network to measure the night-sky brightness with dedicated monitoring stations. The project would like to invite users to set up stations at their location for long-term light pollution measurements. A user workshop will be held at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Tokyo, 7–8 Jan  2015. Online participation is also welcomed.

Details: http://globeatnight-network.org


7) IAU General Assembly Focus Meeting on Light Pollution

Protecting sites (including observatories and World Heritage sites) through slowing and reversing the encroachment of light pollution requires engaging IAU members and the public on several levels. These actions include producing long-term sky brightness data that can be compared with broader-based public monitoring programmes; taking opportunities to educate the public about the value of dark sky preservation; interacting with policy makers and public agencies ranging from local authorities to the United Nations to provide legal protection and enforcement for dark sky zones; and interacting with lighting engineers to define dark-sky preserving products and to encourage their deployment. Rapidly advancing solid-state lighting technology and associated promotion is leading to widespread and rapid deployment of blue-rich artificial light sources that threaten to impact a spectral region previously left relatively untouched. Exploring the nature, possible impact and potential mitigation of this trend is a timely aspect of this session. Similarly, the relentless commercial pressure on use of the broad radio spectrum with the widest possible areal coverage is critical for astronomer attention.

During the IAU General Assembly to be held in Hawaii 2015, a focus meeting on light pollution will be held from 11–13 August.

More details at https://www.iau.org/science/events/1148/


8) Upcoming meetings

a) The 225th American Astronomical Society Conference
Date: 4–8 January 2015
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
More information: http://aas.org/meetings/aas225

b) Globe at Night - Sky Brightness Monitoring Network User Workshop
Date: 7–8 January 2015
Location: Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan
More information: http://globeatnight-network.org/

c) East Asian Young Astronomers Meeting 2015
Date:  9–12 February 2015
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
More information: http://www.eacoa.net/event/20150209/

d) 2nd International Conference on Light Pollution Theory, Modelling and Measurements (LPTMM)
Date: 26–29 May 2015
Location: Sherbrooke, Quebéc, Canada
More information: http://lptmm.org

e) 3rd International conference on Artificial Light at Night (ALAN 2015)
Date: 30 May – 1 June 2015
Location: Sherbrooke, Quebéc, Canada
More information: http://www.artificiallightatnight.org/

f) The 29th IAU General Assembly
Date: 3–14 August 2015
Location: Honolulu, Hawai'i, USA
More information: http://astronomy2015.org/



9) Contributions to this newsletter

We are looking for news about astronomical education and outreach events; if you are organising any large-scale events at regional and international levels, offering positions for astronomy education or communications, have any special innovative projects or inspiring stories, looking for professional–amateur collaboration in astronomy, or created any educational resources, please send us an email at outreach@iau.org.


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