IAU Astronomy Outreach Newsletter

2015 #6

In this newsletter:

  1. From the Editors
  2. CosmicLight IYL2015: Cosmic Light EDU kit workshops
  3. The IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach booth at the IAU General Assembly
  4. HighLIGHT of the Month: Using animation to celebrate light
  5. CosmicLight around the world
  6. NASA Innovation Pavilion
  7. Resources: Universe of Spectroscopy
  8. Cool stuff from around the web
  9. Upcoming meetings & global events around the globe
  10. Contributions to this newsletter


0) From the Editors

The CosmicLight programme continues! Let us know if you are interested in the ComicLight EDU kit, which supplies materials for activities, and is supported by dedicated training sessions. Also, a special mention for our friends from Universe Awareness (UNAWE) and their workshop in October, featured in upcoming meetings and events, as registrations have just opened. Global Hands-on Universe (GHOU) will be in Hawaii this time and you can now submit contributions for their meeting and the associated teachers’ workshop. And last but not least, if you still haven’t named an exoworld, the deadline to register your organisation is 1 June, and 15 June is the final date to suggest a name for an ExoWorld. Don’t miss this opportunity!

Clear Skies!
Lina Canas & Sze-leung Cheung
IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach


1) Cosmic Light IYL2015: Cosmic Light EDU kit workshops

The Cosmic Light EDU kit has been launched and the next step of this campaign will reach teachers and students in 100 countries around the world. The Cosmic Light EDU kit invites science educators around the world to organise workshops locally in the framework of IYL2015. Organisers will be sent some Cosmic Light goodies, guidance on organising workshops, given support with evaluation and information on the availability of members of a panel of experts to speak at the workshop via Skype or Hangout on Air about various topics. The workshops will be tailored training sessions for educators aiming to bring cutting-edge topics to their classrooms. Light for education is the focus for this unique opportunity, where expertise from diverse areas will be provided virtually through the team, training the participants hands-on and minds-on in the kit materials and activities.

Apply by 15 June 2015 through the online form at: https://goo.gl/HoNMMt

Learn more about Cosmic Light EDU kit here: http://nuclio.org/cosmiclightedukit/


2) The IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach booth at the IAU General Assembly

In August, the IAU will be in Hawaii for the upcoming XXIX IAU General Assembly. The IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach (OAO) will set up a booth to promote astronomy outreach in general to the participants. If you are part of a non-profit organisation doing astronomy outreach and running educational activities, and would like your educational / outreach programme promotional materials to be displayed in our booth, please contact us at outreach@iau.org.


3) HighLIGHT of the Month: Using animation to celebrate light

The Open University (UK), in partnership with the South East Physics Network and the Royal Astronomical Society, has created a special animation to celebrate the International Year of Light (IYL 2015).To help spread the importance of the science of light to as many children across the world as possible the Open University is inviting the global IYL 2015 community to help translate the animation into different languages. If you would like to help please visit the Open University’s light collection web page and register as a volunteer.

You can see the video here: https://youtu.be/8U_GEa4bM1M


4) Cosmic Light around the world

Over the next few weeks, Light: Beyond the Bulb, the open-source international exhibition programme, will be visiting Cork, Ireland; Guanajuato, Mexico; Shanghai Pudong New Area, China; Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico; Dolna Mitropolia, Bulgaria and several different places in the United States, such as, New York City, Flint, MI, San Jose, CA, East Meadow, NY and Bellingham, WA. Check http://lightexhibit.org/iylexhibits.html to find Light: Beyond the Bulb in a place near you.

On 31 May, our Japanese friends wll be able to see The discovery of a rainbow from the stars, a planetarium show in Kakogawa and on 23 May, Hiratsuka will host the second Astronomy Cosmic Light lecture series on “See the universe in Visible Light”.

In Italy, on 24 May, the Planetario e Osservatorio Astronomico G. Giacomotti is running a photography workshop entitled "Light and Backlight" explaining how to use and interpret the light and shadows around us to compose better images.

Ireland will host the Light and Shadow Festival at University College Dublin on 23 May. This public event explores light in nature, science, art, technology and health with talks, interactive demonstrations, displays, installations and film screenings. There will be an inflatable indoor dome featuring several planetarium shows during the festival.

If you’re in or near Southampton, in the United Kingdom, don’t miss the “Pint of Science: Atoms to Galaxies” from 18– 20 May. Cutting-edge research comes to the relaxed atmosphere of a true British pub for three nights, with talks covering many science topics from atoms to galaxies.

The Kition planetarium in Larnaca, Cyprus will be hosting an event with special solar observations and showing planetarium programmes such as The Sun — Our Star on 16 and 30 May.

In Marrakech, there will be astrophotography workshops promoted by the Association d’Astronomie Amateur de Marrakech.

Canada will host two conferences dedicated to light pollution: the 3rd International Conference on Artificial Light at Night on 29‒31 May, and the conference “2nd International Conference on Light Pollution Theory, Modelling and Measurements (LPTMM)” on 26‒28 May, both in Sherbrooke, Québec.

The American Association for Variable Stars Observers (AAVSO), located at Cambridge, MA, United States has a long list of activities dedicated to IYL2015. From May to October they will promote the Astronomical Research/Essay/Art Competition for Youth — Cosmic light: from the Solar System to our favorite stars! The AAVSO invites school-age children everywhere to submit entries aimed at encouraging an interest in light from the Sun or the night sky.

And these are only events dedicated to astronomy; there are many more exciting light-related events happening around the world: http://www.light2015.org/Home/Event-Programme.html


5) NASA Innovation Pavilion

The NASA Innovation Pavilion is provided by NASA’s Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation (CoECI) through its contract with InnoCentive. It gives the opportunity for individuals to become Solvers, and through crowd-sourced projects to develop innovative solutions to the unique challenges faced by NASA in achieving its mission to pioneer the future of space exploration, scientific discovery, and aeronautics research. CoECI helps NASA generate ideas and solve important problems. By using challenges, organisations can increase their creative capacity and reach by tapping into diverse talent from around the world. As a pioneer and active user of open innovation methods and tools, the NASA CoECI provides organisations with a cost-effective and complementary means of extending their innovation boundaries.

For more information about NASA’s Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation, visit http://www.nasa.gov/offices/COECI/.

Learn more on NASA’s current open challenges here: https://www.innocentive.com/ar/challenge/browse?pavilionName=NASA&pavilionId=8&source=pavilion


6) Resources: Universe of Spectroscopy

Spectra and spectroscopic data itself hardly ever shows up in the news, and is quite often regarded as too difficult and complicated to understand. This project, developed by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), comprises a set of 24 articles published by different scientists designed to introduce the wonderful “Universe of spectroscopy” and show how important the acquisition and analysis of spectra is to modern astrophysics.

Learn more about the project: http://prc.nao.ac.jp/extra/uos/en/


7) Cool stuff around the web

In this issue we wanted to highlight some news that our team spotted and enjoyed, particularly while procrastinating and browsing the internet. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

  • 100 000 Stars is an interactive visualisation created for the Google Chrome web browser. It is part of a series called the Chrome Experiments and there are many other cool projects you can also check out.
  • The BBC has launched Rosetta: The whole story as part of BBC Future. It is an overview on the Rosetta mission, very educational and well-designed.
  • Try out KerbalEdu. Players can create and manage their own space programme. This game is for any age group and demonstrates physics concepts, motivating students to engineer creative solutions through experimentation. While playing you may also find some familiar logos from NASA and ESA, organisations that have supported the project .
  • Last but not least, it’s not new but it never gets old have a look at the xkcd cartoon on IAU NameExoWorlds. Note: Fear not, we’ve got it covered!


8) Upcoming meetings & global events around the globe

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) Science & You's "Journées Hubert Curien" Conference and Forum
Date: 1–6 June
Location: Nancy, France
More Information: http://www.science-and-you.com/en/colloque/journees-hubert-curien-international-conference

d) ECSITE Annual Conference 2015: Food for curious minds
Date: 11–13 June
Location: Trento, Italy
More information: http://www.ecsite.eu/annual-conference

e) Science on Stage 2015
Date: 17–20 June
Location: London, UK
More information: http://www.science-on-stage.eu/page/display/4/14/0/festival-2015

f) European Week of Astronomy and Space Science (EWASS)
Date: 22–26 June
Location: Tenerife, Spain
More information: http://eas.unige.ch/EWASS2015/

g) Global Hands-On Universe Conference 2015
Date: 4–5 August
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
More information: http://handsonuniverse.org/ghou2015/

h) Galileo Teacher Trainings Programme (GTTP) International Teacher Training Workshop
Date: 8–9 August
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
More Information: http://handsonuniverse.org/ghou2015/

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

Focus Meetings:

6–7 August: Communicating Astronomy With the Public in the Big Data Era
More information: http://astronomy2015.org/focus_meeting_19

11–13 August: Mitigating Threats of Light Pollution and Radio Frequency Interference
More information: http://astronomy2015.org/focus_meeting_21

11–13 August: Astronomical heritage: progressing the UNESCO–IAU initiative
More information: http://astronomy2015.org/focus_meeting_2

13–14 August:: Astronomy for Development
More information: http://astronomy2015.org/focus_meeting_20

j) Hawaiian, Oceanic and Global Cultural Astronomy: Tangible and Intangible Heritage
Date: 16–20 August 2015
Location: Hilo, Hawaii, USA
More information: http://www2.astronomicalheritage.net/index.php/community/past-events/cultural-astronomy-meeting-big-island

k) International Observe the Moon Night
Date: 19 September 2015
Location: All around the World
More Information: http://observethemoonnight.org/

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

m) Earth Observation Science 2.0
Date: 12–14 October 2015
Location: ESRIN, Frascati, Italy
More information: http://eoscience20.org/

n) 2nd Symposium of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR): Water and Life in the Universe
Date: 9–13 November 2015
Location: Foz do Iguaçu — Brazil
More Information: http://cosparbrazil2015.org/


9) Contributions to this newsletter

Here at the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach we are always looking for more news about astronomical education and outreach events around the world, so please share with us your story! If you are organising any large-scale events at a regional or international level, offering astronomy education or communication job positions, have any special innovative projects or inspiring stories, looking for professional–amateur collaboration in astronomy, or created any educational resources, let us know by sending an email to outreach@iau.org.


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