IAU Astronomy Outreach Newsletter

2015 #1 (January 2015)

In this newsletter:

  1. From the Editor
  2. CosmicLight IYL2015: Galileoscope
  3. CosmicLight IYL2015: Light: Beyond the Bulb
  4. CosmicLight IYL2015: Globe at Night
  5. CosmicLight IYL2015: Dark Sky Meter App
  6. CosmicLight IYL2015: CosmicLight EDU Kit
  7. CosmicLight IYL2015: Quality Lighting Teaching Kit
  8. Global Astronomy Month 2015
  9. Inspiring Science Education Competition 2015
  10. Shared Stories: Lessons Learned from the UNAWE Crowdfunding Campaign
  11. Shared Stories: GalileoMobile Documentary
  12. Upcoming meetings
  13. Contributions to this newsletter


0) From the Editor

The opening ceremony of the International Year of Light 2015 was successfully held at UNESCO last week. We are very excited that the IAU was invited, and was able to give three talks during the ceremony to address the importance of dark skies, light pollution issues, the frontiers of astronomy and also introduce the CosmicLight projects coordinated by the IAU. In this issue, there is information on these CosmicLight cornerstone projects, namely the Galileoscopes, Light: Beyond the Bulb, Dark Sky Meter, CosmicLight EDU kit and the Quality Lighting Teaching Kit. Happy IYL2015!

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


1) 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/.


2) CosmicLight IYL2015: 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, across scientific disciplines, and across technological platforms. The exhibit materials and striking images have been crowd-sourced and curated by experts for the science content, high quality printability, stunning beauty and ability to engage the greater public.

Light: Beyond the Bulb will be exhibiting all over the world. Find the location closest to you! http://lightexhibit.org/iylexhibits.html.

If you would like to host an exhibition yourself you can find the how-to guide and details at http://lightexhibit.org/howtoexhibit.html


3) CosmicLight IYL2015: Globe at Night

Globe at Night is an international citizen-science campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution by having people measure night-sky brightness and submit observations in real-time with smart phones or later with a computer. Globe at Night runs for ten days each month during 2015.  The data can be used to monitor levels of light pollution around the world, as well as to understand the effect of light pollution on energy consumption, plants, wildlife, human health and our ability to enjoy a starry night sky.

For more information visit: http://www.globeatnight.org/


4) CosmicLight IYL2015: Dark Sky Meter App

The Dark Sky Meter app uses your phone’s camera to take measurements of night-sky brightness. For IYL2015, the IAU is providing a special edition of this app free of charge. This app will help raise awareness and provide information on the impact of light pollution on night-sky brightness.

This app will be available soon. Check the website for updates.


5) CosmicLight IYL2015: CosmicLight EDU Kit

The Cosmic Light Educational Kit is a tool kit which will contain simple tools to assist educators to teach a variety of light-related subjects, in particular those related the nature of light, the impact of light in our knowledge of the Universe, and its importance for our existence.

Training sessions will also be provided to help teachers use the kit to its full potential.

For more information visit: https://www.iau.org/iyl/cornerstones/cosmiclightawareness/


6) CosmicLight IYL2015: Quality Lighting Teaching Kit

Poor quality lighting creates safety issues, affects human circadian rhythms, can disrupt ecosystems, impedes astronomy research, and wastes over 110 billion US$ /year of energy worldwide. The Quality Lighting Teaching Kit has been developed for IYL2015 and its goal is to increase student and public awareness of quality lighting issues through online tutorials, teaching kits, and hands-on activities. The programme and kits will be disseminated to formal and informal audiences worldwide. The impact sought is a change in knowledge, attitude, and behaviour in each community.

For more information visit: https://www.iau.org/iyl/cornerstones/cosmiclightawareness/


7) Global Astronomy Month 2015

The Global Astronomy Month 2015 (GAM2015), organised by Astronomers Without Borders (AWB), is April 2015. You can participate by checking out the event schedule to see the full programme that is planned for this month.

If you or your organisation would like to be involved with GAM2015, you can partner with AWB to deliver your own programme during GAM2015. For more information you can read here.


8) Inspiring Science Education Competition 2015

The Inspiring Science Education Competition 2015 is open for all schools in the European Union and candidate countries, to win a chance to visit London and some of its science museums and exhibitions.

This competition is about recognising and rewarding inspirational science teaching practice and is aimed at teachers who are planning to run an exciting experiment in their science class between now and 31 March 2015 to coincide with the International Year of Light.

More information: http://inspiringscience.eu/competition

9) Shared Stories: Lessons Learned from the UNAWE Crowdfunding Campaign

In recent years, crowdfunding has become a popular method of funding new technology or entertainment products, or artistic projects. The idea is that people or projects ask for many small donations from individuals who support the proposed work, rather than a large amount from a single source. Crowdfunding is usually done via an online portal or platform which handles the financial transactions involved. The Universe Awareness (UNAWE) programme decided to undertake a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign centring on the resource Universe in a Box. In this article we present the lessons learned and best practices from that campaign.

Read more in the latest edition of the CAPjournal: http://www.capjournal.org/issues/16/16_24.php

10) Shared Stories: GalileoMobile Documentary

GalileoMobile is a voluntary science outreach programme with a focus on astronomy. "In the Land of Beauty" is the account of the  GalileoMobile’s 2013 journey across southern Uganda. The 15-day journey included visits to five schools to perform hands-on games and activities to explain the cosmos. This documentary also covers stories of integration and acceptance between different ethnicities, cultures and beliefs as well as discussions on the relationship between science and religion.

Through the words of many promising students, as well as of local teachers, this documentary is a glimpse into Uganda and its education system and provides a viewpoint on the importance of sharing astronomy.

Vimeo - https://vimeo.com/113110857#at=0

Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoNAu5rMGv0

11) Upcoming Meetings

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

b) 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

c) 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/

d) The 29th IAU General Assembly
Date: 3–14 August 2015
Location: Honolulu, Hawai'i, USA
More information: https://web.archive.org/web/20190307163123/http://astronomy2015.org/

12) 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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