IAU Astronomy Outreach Newsletter

2015 #8

In this newsletter:

  1. From the Editors
  2. CosmicLight IYL2015: Quality Lighting Teaching Kit
  3. CosmicLight IYL2015: EDU kit workshops — deadline extended
  4. CosmicLight IYL2015: SkyLight — A Global Science Opera
  5. CosmicLight IYL2015: Constellation Project
  6. HighLIGHT of the month: Global Eratosthenes IYL2015
  7. CosmicLight around the world
  8. From Earth to the Universe planetarium show
  9. Lights of the Universe exhibition
  10. New Horizons
  11. Upcoming meetings & global events around the globe
  12. Contributions to this newsletter


0) From the Editors

Last week we, the staff of the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach (OAO), visited our sister office, the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) in Cape Town, South Africa. It was a good meeting, and together we discussed plans for collaborative efforts, to achieve a higher impact for both of our offices and hence for astronomy globally. We were also very fortunate to be able to visit Shared Sky, the indigenous art/astronomy exhibition promoted by Square Kilometre Array (SKA) International. This is a truly inspirational example of outreach, showcasing the strong link between native communities and astronomy, bonding generations across countries through views of the same shared sky.

In this newsletter, we continue to share current activities related to CosmicLight and the International Year of Light. The deadline for requests to hold a CosmicLight EDU kit workshop was extended to 30 June, so you still have a chance to submit a workshop proposal and receive the support you need from the international team of experts for this project. Featured in Meetings and Events, we highlight the following upcoming conferences: Light, from the Earth to the Stars, Science in Public Annual Conference 2015 and StixCamp on Using Open Standards in Science, Education, Technology and Culture for Development. We also hope you can join the Eratosthenes project and that, in this Year of Light you have lots of fun measuring the size of Earth by using the Sun. Let us know how the experiment went!

We hope you enjoy exploring all the items in this newsletter. And remember, this is a user-generated newsletter. Tell us about your cool projects in astronomy outreach and keep sharing your favourite activities with our team!

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


1) CosmicLight IYL2015: Quality Lighting Teaching Kit

The U.S. National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) and its partners have developed a quality lighting education programme under the IAU’s CosmicLight cornerstone. The Quality Lighting Teaching Kit is intended to provide quality lighting education and encourage the best use of light for illumination. The goal is to increase student and public awareness of quality lighting issues through online tutorials, teaching kits, and hands-on activities. Interested in learning more about this kit? Please contact Constance Walker: cwalker@noao.edu.

Learn more about the Quality Lighting Teaching Kit: https://www.iau.org/iyl/cornerstones/cosmiclightawareness/


2) CosmicLight IYL2015: CosmicLight EDU kit workshop submissions — deadline extended

The CosmicLight EDU kit will reach teachers and students in 100 countries around the world. This project invites science educators around the world to organise workshops in the framework of International Year of Light 2015 (IYL2015). Light for education is the focus for this unique opportunity, where expertise will be provided virtually through the international team of experts behind the project, training the participants hands-on and minds-on in the materials and activities supplied with the kit.

The deadline for proposals to run a workshop has been extended, so apply by 30 June using the online form at https://goo.gl/HoNMMt

Learn more about the CosmicLight EDU kit: http://nuclio.org/cosmiclightedukit/


3) CosmicLight IYL2015: SkyLight — A Global Science Opera

SkyLight — A Global Science Opera will be the first science opera to be written collaboratively by children, teachers, scientists and artists. SkyLight has been endorsed by the International Astronomical Union as an official project of UNESCO’s International Year of Light 2015. It is the result of a group of projects focused on creative learning. During 2015, hundreds of students from schools in up to 30 countries will collaborate to create and perform a science opera inspired by CosmicLight.

Details here: http://www.epsnews.eu/2015/05/skylight-a-global-science-opera/


4) CosmicLight IYL2015: GalileoMobile Constellation Project

With the Constellation Project, GalileoMobile aims to establish a South American network of schools committed to the long-term organisation of astronomical outreach activities amongst their pupils and local communities. The project will involve 21 schools in seven countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru), directly reaching at least 100 teachers and 6000 pupils. Thanks to the long-term sustainability of the Constellation Project, even more pupils will benefit from events organised independently by the schools.

Details: http://www.constellationproject.org/


5) HighLIGHT of the month: Global Eratosthenes IYL2015

Around 240 BCE, Eratosthenes, a Greek mathematician, calculated the Earth’s circumference from Alexandria, Egypt. Eratosthenes’ experiment was one of the most important experiments in antiquity. To repeat this historical event in the framework of International Year of Light (IYL2015), groups in Alexandria, Egypt and the Andean Region in South America invite students and schools around the world to take measurements on 21 June and 21 September 2015.

More details: http://www.eaae-astronomy.org/eratosthenes/


6) CosmicLight around the world

On 16 June, in Edinburgh, United Kingdom, the conference Optical Demands of Astronomy took place. This conference featured upcoming science projects that will require optics for astronomy, discussed the technical issues currently blocking advances in scale for large optics, and focused on the potential for commercial exploitation of large-area optical techniques.

The International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA) and the University of Arizona will host The Heritage of Astronomical Art in Arizona exhibition. This curated collection of inspired space art from many painters will be on display from 8 June through 30 August.

In the small village of Pruno-Stazzema, Italy, at the solstice, the Sun rises exactly in the natural rock cavity of Monte Forato. From June 18 to 28 the village will host the Light's eye event. Around this wonderful natural show, there will be free artistic and cultural events to discover.

Still in Italy, but now in Rome, on 21 June, the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli will host the conference Sunlight, Celestial and Magnetic North on the Meridian Line.

On 21 June, Alcsútdoboz, Hungary, will host the The Natural Lights of the Night — Firefly Festival. The participants will be offered guided walks, and presentations where the importance of natural light, and the dangers of light pollution in our world will be highlighted.

On 21 June, Perpignan, France will inaugurate SOLART2, the artistic sundial created by Marc-Andre Figuères. Learn more here http://ma2f.com.

On 22 June, Sydney, Australia, will celebrate and reflect on the winter solstice. Across Sydney, there will be events exploring the science and mythology of solstice, the opportunity to Saturn and enjoy pizza under the stars. Learn more about the winter solstice activity on http://www.sydneyobservatory.com.au/.

The Japanese Amateur Astronomy Association is promoting a wide range of activities on their web page dedicated to CosmicLight. In this online platform, members of the public and astronomy community alike will be able to find articles translated in Japanese. Discover their website and meet their cute mascot, especially drawn for CosmicLight: http://tenmon.sakura.ne.jp/index.html

On 20 June, in Hiratsuka, Japan, there will be an astronomy lecture, CosmicLight No. 4, where the audience will learn more about how the Universe is, as seen in ultraviolet light, X-rays and gamma-rays.

In the US, Light: Beyond the Bulb is on display at the Hofstra University student dining room, the Cradle of Aviation Air and Space Museum, and at the Northeast Astronomy and Telescope Forum, where 25 000 amateur astronomers from all over the world will be able to see it until the end of this year. This exhibition will also be visiting: Graz, Austria; Washington DC, United States; Munich, Germany; Shumen, Bulgaria; Mexico City, Mexico; Asunción, Paraguay; Olsztyn, Poland; Tuscany, Italy; Christchurch, New Zealand; West Hartford, CT, United States; Anchorage, AK, United States; Dolna Mitropolia, Bulgaria and Belgrade, Serbia.
To find Light: Beyond the Bulb somewhere near you please go to http://lightexhibit.org/iylexhibits.html.

Light pollution and excessive blue light exposure have an adverse effect on human health, including susceptibility to metabolism disorders and cancer. New York Blue Light Symposium, 26– 27 June, will discuss and heighten awareness in light studies.

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


7) Planetarium show From Earth to the Universe

From Earth to the Universe is the first in-house fulldome planetarium movie produced by the European Southern Observatory (ESO). In this 30-minute voyage through time and space, the Universe is revealed to the audience through a spectacular combination of sights and sounds. The show was produced for the ESO Supernova Planetarium and Visitor Centre; which will open in 2017, and for the worldwide planetarium community for free. The script for the planetarium show is available in English, German and Greek.

Read more about the show here: http://supernova.eso.org/programme/planetarium-shows/fettu/


8) Lights of the Universe exhibition

In 2015, the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canarias (IAC), celebrates the 30th anniversary of the official inauguration of its headquarters in La Laguna and the two Canarian Observatories. For this reason, the IAC has designed an exhibition: Lights of the Universe on the history of astrophysics in the Canaries, which will be open freely to the public in La Laguna in Tenerife, from 6–28 June, and in La Palma, from 16 September to 12 October 2015.

Learn more about the exhibition here: http://www.iac.es/divulgacion.php?op1=16&id=941&lang=en


9) New Horizons

Following a journey lasting more than nine years, the surface of Pluto is becoming clearer as the New Horizons spacecraft approaches the dwarf planet. In July, New Horizons will pass at approximately 12 500 kilometres above Pluto’s surface, reaching its closest approach at 7:49 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, 14 July. NASA has created great resources that you can explore and use to learn more about the mission, Pluto, and its moons.

Learn more about Pluto & New Horizons here: http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/index.php

Do you know what Pluto Time is? Experience it yourself here: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/plutotime/


10) Upcoming meetings & global events around the globe

a) European Week of Astronomy and Space Science (EWASS)
Date: 22–26 June 2016
Location: Tenerife, Spain
More information: http://eas.unige.ch/EWASS2015/

b) Light, from the Earth to the Stars
Date: 2–3 July 2015
Location: Lisbon, Portugal
More Information: http://www.pavconhecimento.pt/visite-nos/programacao/detalhe.asp?id_obj=3388

c) Science in Public Annual Conference 2015
Date: 9 and 10, July
Location: Bristol, UK
More information: http://scienceinpublic.org/

d) StixCamp on Using Open Standards in Science, Education, Technology and Culture for Development
Date: 17–19 July 2015
Location: Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, Portugal
More information: http://www.open.org.pt/

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

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

g) 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

h) 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

i) Cartography Beyond the Ordinary World
Date: 21–22 August 2015
Location: Niteroi
More Information: http://niteroi2015.elte.hu/

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

k) The 6th International Festival of Scientific Visualization 2015
Date: 23–26 September 2015
Location: Koriyama-city, Japan
More Information: http://image.sci-fest.net/2015/en/index.html

l) International Symposium on the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) Museum
Date: 27–29 September 2015
Location: Tokyo, Japan
More information: http://prc.nao.ac.jp/museum/symp2015/

m) European Planetary Science Conference (EPSC)
Date: 27 September – 2 October 2015
Location:La Cité des Congrès, Nantes, France
More information: http://www.epsc2015.eu/

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

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

p) Conference on Light Science and Applications (ICLSA)
Date: 26–28 October 2015
Location: University of Namibia (UNAM), Windhoek main campus, Namibia
More information: http://www.unam.edu.na/light2015

q) .Astronomy 7
Date: 3–6 November 2015
Location: Sydney, Australia
More information: http://dotastronomy.com/blog/2015/05/join-us-for-astronomy-7-in-sydney/

r) 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/

s) 1st Symposium on Space Educational Activities
Date: 9–12 December 2015
Location: Padova, Italy
More Information: http://ssasymposium.org/

t) ESO Astronomy Camp
Date: 26 December 2015 to 1 January 2016
Location: Astronomical Observatory of the Autonomous Region of the Aosta Valley, Saint-Barthélemy, Nus, Italy
More information: http://www.eso.org/public/announcements/ann15038/

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

v) International Planetarium Society Conference
Date:19– 25 June 2016
Location: Warsaw, Poland
More Information: http://www.ips2016.org/

w) IAU Symposia IAUS 326: Research in Astronomy Education: Far-reaching Impacts and Future Directions
Date: 4–7 October 2016
Location: Heidelberg, Germany
More Information: https://www.iau.org/science/meetings/future/symposia/1159/


11) 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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