IAU Astronomy Outreach Newsletter

2015 #3 (April 2015 #1)

In this newsletter:

  1. From the Editor
  2. CosmicLight IYL2015: Global Open Lab Day (GOLD)
  3. CosmicLight IYL2015: IDA Google+ Hangouts on Light Pollution
  4. CosmicLight IYL2015: Pre-order Special Edition of IYL2015 Galileoscope
  5. CosmicLight IYL2015: Measuring the Speed of Light Citizen Science Project
  6. CosmicLight IYL2015: Eratosthenes 2015 — Global Project to Measure the Size of the Earth
  7. Global Astronomy Month 2015
  8. The 2015 Hangoutathon and Global Star Party
  9. Workshop on Public Awareness of Research Infrastructures
  10. The Photo Nightscape Awards 2015
  11. Astrocamera 2015 Competition
  12. Campaign for Public Participation in Naming Features on Pluto
  13. Upcoming Meetings
  14. Contributions to this Newsletter


0) From the Editor

I would like to share with you many exciting projects in this newsletter, such as the IYL Global Open Lab Day, Measuring the Speed of Light Project, Eratosthenes 2015 etc. Most importantly, April is Global Astronomy Month, and you could also be part of it! I am also very happy to let you know that my office is welcoming our new IAU Assistant Outreach Coordinator — Lina Canas — who will assist in editing this newsletter in the future.

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


1) CosmicLight IYL2015: Global Open Lab Day (GOLD)

The International Commission on Illumination (CIE) is organising the Global Open Lab Day (GOLD) from 9 May to 25 May 2015. Around the world, laboratories will open their doors to the general public, demonstrating what measuring light is about and why it matters. This includes National Metrology Institutes (NMIs), industrial laboratories, universities and public testing laboratories. However, IYL-GOLD is not limited to lighting measurement labs: all laboratories dealing with light, lighting, optical radiation, laser, astronomy and other related topics are cordially invited to participate. For example, institutes within the astronomy community are encouraged to showcase their optical instruments.

More details: http://www.cie.co.at/index.php/IYL+2015/Global+Open+Lab+Days


2) CosmicLight IYL2015: IDA Google+ Hangouts on Light Pollution

The International Dark-Sky Association is producing a series of six Google+ Hangouts video calls on light pollution with six different topics, namely, light pollution and health, light pollution and astronomy, light pollution and safety, light pollution and wildlife, light pollution and energy, light pollution and heritage.

The first two Hangouts are available below

For more details, please visit http://darksky.org/


3) CosmicLight IYL2015: Pre-order Special Edition of IYL2015 Galileoscope

The Galileoscope is a high-quality telescope kit created by astronomers, optical engineers, and science educators. Because it is produced and distributed by volunteers, it is available at low cost to support science education worldwide. With some 225 000 kits already in use by teachers and students in more than 100 countries, the Galileoscope has been designated an IYL2015 IAU Cosmic Light cornerstone project, with the goal of distributing an additional 100 000 telescopes during 2015. Galileoscope is now accepting pre-orders for International Year of Light 2015 special edition Galileoscopes, for delivery in May.

Details: http://www.light2015.org/Home/About/Latest-News/March2015/Pre-Order-Special-Edition-of-IYL-2015-Galileoscope.html


4) CosmicLight IYL2015: Measuring the Speed of Light Citizen Science Project

The website http://speedoflight2015.co.uk/ is promoting a citizen science experiment to measure the speed of light. This can be achieved by observing the time of eclipses of the satellites of Jupiter, an observation which was first performed in 1675 by Ole Roemer. This represents an ideal opportunity to engage members of the public to perform simple observations with a small spotting scope or telescope. The data obtained during the project will be made publicly available and will be used in the Scottish school curriculum to highlight the orbital dynamics of Jupiter and its satellites.

Details: http://speedoflight2015.co.uk/


5) CosmicLight IYL2015: Eratosthenes 2015 — Global Project to Measure the Size of the Earth

Around 240 BC, Eratosthenes, a Greek mathematician, poet, and astronomer, calculated the Earth’s circumference using shadows and the position of the Sun in the sky. The IYL2015 Global Eratosthenes project by the University of Buenos Aires recreates this experiment on a global scale and invites secondary school students from around the world to make measurements and calculate the Earth’s circumference. Schools around the world will partner up through the Eratosthenes website and combine their measurements to calculate the size of the Earth. All measurements will take place at solar noon over a period of a few days in September 2015.

Details: http://df.uba.ar/actividades-y-servicios/difusion/proyecto-eratostenes/informacion-conctacto-eratostenes#English_version


6) Global Astronomy Month 2015

Astronomers without Borders has organised the Global Astronomy Month 2015 (April; GAM2015); you can watch the video trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8Jx-tqtDE8 . The GAM2015 AstroPoetry Contest is open. You can enter to win amazing astrophotography prints, as well as astronomy resources from Sky and Telescope and more. If you are planning any astronomy-based events in April, you can register them on the GAM2015 event page.

Details: http://astronomerswithoutborders.org/global-astronomy-month-2015/280-gam2015/global-astronomy-month.html


7) The 2015 Hangoutathon and Global Star Party

CosmoQuest is organising the 36-hour Hangoutathon from 8 am on 25 April to 8 pm on April 26. This event is being held during the Global Astronomy Month and will feature Global Star Party events from around the world. During this event, you are invited to race to map Mercury, the Moon, Mars and cold distant Vesta.

Details: http://bit.ly/CQHangout2015


8) Workshop on Public Awareness of Research Infrastructures

On 18 and 19 June 2015, the European Southern Observatory will host a workshop entitled Public Awareness of Research Infrastructures — Expectations — Experiences — Examples, organised by the Association of European-level Research Infrastructure Facilities (ERF-AISBL).

The aim of the workshop is to facilitate a dialogue between funding agencies and project managers on the goals of scientific dissemination activities. Furthermore, public relations and public information officers will share their experience and gain insights into the expectations of funding bodies, as well as hearing from experts from academia dealing with the topics of communication and the public understanding of science.

Among the topics that will be addressed are: communicating for a facility under construction, risk communication, public relations for EU-funded projects, Registration opens on 8 January 2015 and will close on 18 May 2015.

Details: https://webapps.frm2.tum.de/indico/conferenceDisplay.py?confId=14


9) The Photo Nightscape Awards 2015

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) invites you to take part in the second Photo Nightscape Awards (PNA) — an international photo nightscape competition for astrophotographers. As a partner in the competition organised by Ciel et Espace Photos, ESO will award the first-place winner of the Nightscape category a trip to Paranal, home of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in northern Chile.

The competition categories are: Nightscape, In Town and Timelapse, and they are open to photographers from all countries. The PNA Junior categories for ages 9–12 and 13–17 years are reserved for French nationals only.

Details: http://www.eso.org/public/announcements/ann15017/


10) Astrocamera 2015 Competition

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) invites you to take part in AstroCamera 2015 — an international competition in support of the popularisation of astronomy and astrophotography. The competition is organised by the Hewelianum Centre in Gdańsk, Poland. The winners will receive grants from the organisers.

Initially launched on 28 January 2011, in conjunction with the 400th anniversary of the birth of the 17th century astronomer, Johannes Hevelius, the competition is open to all astronomy and astrophotography enthusiasts. The life and achievements of Hevelius, a renowned observer of the night sky, have been an inspiration for the Hewelianum Centre to make the AstroCamera competition a regular event, with this marking the fifth time it has been held.

Details: http://www.eso.org/public/announcements/ann15018/


11) Campaign for Public Participation in Naming Features on Pluto

In partnership with NASA’s New Horizons mission and the SETI Institute, the IAU is endorsing a campaign that will allow the public to participate in naming newly discovered features on Pluto and its satellites. It is expected that many new features will be discovered in the upcoming flyby of Pluto and will be available for naming. The public is invited to suggest names within the designated IAU themes for these celestial bodies. The campaign ends on 24 April 2015, after which the New Horizons team will sort through the names and submit their recommendations to the IAU. The IAU will have the final decision on how the names are used.

Details: https://www.iau.org/news/pressreleases/detail/iau1502/


12) Upcoming Meetings

a) 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

b) 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/

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

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

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


13) 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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