IAU Astronomy Outreach Newsletter

2015 #2 (February 2015 #1)

In this newsletter:

  1. From the Editor
  2. NameExoWorlds Contest: Propose your favorite exoplanetary system before 15 February
  3. CosmicLight IYL2015: International Night of Skyglow Observation on Pi day 3.1415
  4. CosmicLight IYL2015: Losing the Dark video
  5. More resources from the International Dark-Sky Association
  6. Call for volunteers: Develop astronomy education activities
  7. Ode to Hubble competition
  8. Latin-American Journal of Astronomy Education
  9. Save the date: Communicating Astronomy with the Public 2016 Conference
  10. Save the date: UNAWE International Workshop October 2015
  11. Upcoming meetings
  12. Contributions to this newsletter

 

0) From the Editor

Have you joined in with the NameExoWorlds contest yet? If not, encourage your organisations and schools to join in the contest now, as the first stage will end very soon, on 15 February. The International Year of Light this year is about dark skies, and on 14 March this year (3.1415 Pi day and Einstein’s birthday), you can contribute to a citizen science project and make a measurement of the skyglow.If you would like to look for more resources about dark skies awareness, check out the resources page at the International Dark-Sky Association. Don’t forget to tell us what you are doing for IYL2015 and share your stories with other global readers!

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

 

1) NameExoWorlds Contest: Propose your favorite exoplanetary system before 15 February

The IAU is organising a worldwide contest NameExoWorlds to give popular names to selected exoplanets along with their host stars. The first round of the competition allows all registered clubs and non-profit organisations to nominate up to 20 ExoWorlds (exoplanetary systems and their host stars) to be made available for the next stage of the contest, where names can be proposed for the most popular ExoWorlds. The deadline for the first stage of the contest itself is at 23:59 UTC 15 February 2015.

More details at https://www.iau.org/news/pressreleases/detail/iau1501/

 

2) CosmicLight IYL2015: International Night of Skyglow Observation on Pi day 3.1415

The IYL2015 is also the celebration of Einstein’s centenary. On Einstein’s birthday this year, 14 March (3.1415 or Pi day) you are invited to be a citizen scientist and to measure how bright the night sky is where you live. You can even do it at 9:26 pm! (i.e. 3/14/15 9:26 or 3.1415926!)

More details at http://lossofthenight.blogspot.de/2014/09/announcing-international-nights-of.html

 

3) CosmicLight IYL2015: Losing the Dark video

Starry skies are a vanishing treasure as light pollution is washing away our view of the cosmos. Light pollution not only threatens astronomy, it disrupts wildlife, and affects human health. The yellow glows over cities and towns — seen so clearly from space — are testament to the billions spent in wasted energy from lighting up the sky.

To help raise public awareness of some of the issues pertaining to light pollution, Loch Ness Productions, in collaboration with the International Dark-Sky Association, has created a 6.5-minute public service announcement called Losing the Dark. It introduces and illustrates some of the issues regarding light pollution, and suggests three simple actions people can take to help mitigate it.

Losing the Dark is a joint production of the International Dark-Sky Association and Loch Ness Productions.

Watch it at http://www.light2015.org/Home/About/Resources/Videos/Losing-the-Dark.html

 

4) More resources from the International Dark-Sky Association

The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) works towards drawing people’s attention to the hazards of light pollution. There are a number of dark-sky resources on their website, providing information on light pollution and what we can do about it. The resources include educational pamphlets and brochures which are perfect for handing out at public events, as well as videos and children’s activities.

Have a look at the resources here: http://www.darksky.org/resources-54

 

5) Call for volunteers: Develop astronomy education activities

IAU astroEDU is a platform for high-quality, peer-reviewed, open-access astronomy education activities launched by the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD). astroEDU is looking for volunteers to support the improvement and development of astronomy education activities. Selected volunteers will get the opportunity to learn about the peer-review process, enquiry-based methods and contribute towards an award-winning platform. Volunteers will gain important experience in science education; their contribution to the improvement of activities will be assessed by the astroEDU team. Volunteer contributions will be fully acknowledged and it will be possible to become a co-author. https://medium.com/@iauastroedu/call-for-volunteers-develop-astronomy-education-activities-c1bee17228b9

 

6) Ode to Hubble competition

The ESA/Hubble Ode to Hubble competition lets anyone inspired by Hubble express their feelings or share their ideas in a creative and innovative way of celebrating the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s 25th anniversary.

To learn more about the details, please visit http://www.spacetelescope.org/Hubble25/odetohubble/

 

7) Latin-American Journal of Astronomy Education

The Latin-American Journal of Astronomy Education (RELEA) helps to foster and consolidate the topic of astronomy education in Latin America and beyond. Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the 18th issue is available at the site: www.relea.ufscar.br (Portuguese only).

 

8) Save the date: Communicating Astronomy with the Public 2016 Conference

Anyone who is interested in a refreshing, inspirational, and dynamic exchange of ideas on how to bring astronomy and space closer to people is invited to save the date for the next Communicating Astronomy with the Public (CAP) conference: 16–20 May 2016. The conference is targeted towards professional communicators, research astronomers, press officers, journalists and facilitators engaging children and teenagers with science and technology.

Communicating Astronomy with the Public is the eighth in the series of conferences organised by Commission 55 of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) with the goal of facilitating the exchange of ideas and best practices in the field of astronomy and space communication, as well as informal education. CAP 2016 will be hosted by the science centre Parque Explora in the city of Medellín, Colombia. This will be the first time that a CAP conference has been held in South America.

Details at https://www.iau.org/news/announcements/detail/ann15001/

 

9) Save the date: UNAWE International Workshop October 2015

In 2013, Universe Awareness organised a very successful International Workshop with members of the network. From 5–9 October 2015 the third UNAWE International Workshop will be held in Leiden, the Netherlands. The workshop will include keynote speakers, working groups, a visit to the European Space Agency, a resource fair for children and a special workshop about the Rosetta mission.

Details will be announced on the website www.unawe.org.

 

10) 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 – 1June 2015
Location: Sherbrooke, Quebéc, Canada
More information: http://www.artificiallightatnight.org/

d) The 29th IAU General Assembly
Date: 31 July – 4 August 2015
Location: Honolulu, Hawai'i, USA
More information: http://astronomy2015.org/

e) UNAWE International Workshop
Date: 5–9 October 2015
Location: Leiden, The Netherlands
More information: http://www.unawe.org

f) Communicating Astronomy with the Public 2016 Conference
Date: 16–20 May 2016
Location: Medellín, Colombia
More information: https://www.facebook.com/CAPconference

 

11) 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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