IAU Astronomy Outreach Newsletter

2015 #11 August

In this newsletter:

  1. From the Editors
  2. NameExoWorlds contest opens for public voting
  3. Graphic Designer Internship Opportunity at the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach (OAO)
  4. CosmicLight IYL2015: Light: Beyond the Bulb latest news
  5. CosmicLight IYL2015: CosmicLight EDU kit workshops continues to support teachers around the world
  6. CosmicLight IYL2015: Galileoscope news
  7. CosmicLight IYL2015: Measure the quality of your sky with Dark Sky Meter app
  8. Kai‘aleleiaka: the official newspaper during IAU XXXIX General Assembly
  9. HighLIGHT of the Month: Quality Lighting teaching Kit workshop in Honolulu
  10. CosmicLight around the world
  11. Upcoming meetings & global events around the globe
  12. Contributions to this newsletter


0) From the Editors

Over the past three weeks, our team attended the IAU XXIX General Assembly in Hawai’i and the Hawaiian, Oceanic and Global Cultural Astronomy: Tangible and Intangible Heritage event. It was a time to meet new friends, catch up with old ones and above all to engage in great discussions regarding the many interesting astronomy projects that are happening around the world.

In this newsletter, we invite you to take a look back at this great GA edition, where the NameExoWorlds contest opened for public voting. In the hours following the launch, thousands of people voted and the event received unprecedented global media attention. We would also like to highlight the achievements of the Cosmic Light programme and the great successes achieved so far by the different programmes supported by IAU within the International Year of Light framework. As the year advances, we're very curious to see how many more inspiring activities take place around the world.

Finally, we call your attention to the fact that the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach is looking for a graphics designer intern! Ready to spend four months with us in the exciting Tokyo and have an unique international experience in NAOJ? We welcome all your applications via outreach@iau.org.

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


1) NameExoWorlds contest opens for public voting

The NameExoWorlds contest, organised by the IAU, entered its historic final stage. The public voting on the shortlist of names for the ExoWorlds – 20 planetary systems comprising 15 stars and 32 exoplanets — was announced during the General Assembly. The vote will decide the names for the selected stars and exoplanets.

Don’t miss the chance to vote on your favourite exoworld names here: http://nameexoworlds.iau.org/

Read the full story here: https://www.iau.org/news/pressreleases/detail/iau1511/


2) Graphic designer internship opportunity at IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach

The IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach is looking for a graphics designer intern to spend four months in exciting Tokyo and have a unique international experience in the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). This is an opportunity to explore the role that graphic design has in the perception and popularisation of astronomy information. The applicant must have a background in graphic design and a proven interest in science.

Interested in joining us? Learn more here: http://www.nao.ac.jp/en/contents/job-vacancy/job-20150826-oao.pdf


3) CosmicLight IYL2015: Light: Beyond the Bulb latest news

Project leader, Kim Arcand, reports that 600 Light: Beyond the Bulb (LBTB) exhibits in some 30 countries have been displayed and/or registered as of August 2015. Placing inspiring images of current science topics in publicly accessible spaces can reach more people than would be the case in formal venues for science education and communications alone. The exhibition was held at the IAU General Assembly in Honolulu, where all the conference participants could enjoy the stunning images on display.

You can see the great pictures from exhibitions around the world on the Cosmic Light Flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/groups/cosmiclightiyl2015/


4) CosmicLight IYL2015: CosmicLight EDU kit workshops continues to support teachers around the world

The recent call to organise workshops within the framework of Cosmic Light Awareness received unprecedented feedback in the form of almost 150 workshop proposals from 42 countries, reported project leader, Rosa Doran. Although the official call has ended, the requests continue and the team wants to provide support for these educators around the world. If you’re interested in hosting a workshop in your country, you can still send your request to Thilina Heenatigala via heenatigala@nuclio.pt.

Find more details on the Cosmic Light EDU kit here: http://nuclio.org/cosmiclightedukit/


5) CosmicLight IYL2015: Galileoscope news

The high-quality, low-cost telescope kit, optimised for both optics education and celestial observation, has distributed nearly 240 000 kits, reaching over 100 countries since 2009. During the General Assembly, Galileoscope project leader, Rick Fienberg, reported that with the arrival of the International Year of Light and the support from IAU Cosmic Light, most of the 30 000 kits especially manufactured have already been claimed, including 10 000 that were donated to primary and secondary schools in the US.

Learn more about Galileoscope here: http://galileoscope.org/


6) CosmicLight IYL2015: Measure the quality of your sky with the Dark Sky Meter app

The Dark Sky Meter app supports the understanding of our dark skies and their preservation for future generations, a central theme of the IYL2015 Cosmic Light Programme, says Pedro Russo. The app project leader showcased the app to IAU General Assembly delegates in the IAU Booth. So far, the app has attracted 2900 users and registered 17100 measurements for the global citizen science programme Globe at Night.

You can download the app for free during 2015 here: http://www.darkskymeter.com/dsm-lite/


7) Kai‘aleleiaka: the official newspaper of the IAU XXIX General Assembly

Following the tradition of past General Assemblies, XXIX GA participants could enjoy the daily newspaper Kai‘aleleiaka, which means “the Milky Way” in Hawaiian, the term used by Polynesian voyagers who navigated the Pacific Ocean by the stars. For two weeks, the press team gathered the best stories surrounding the General Assembly and the hottest topics under discussion during the different sessions.

If you didn’t have the chance to read it, please go to http://astronomy2015.org/newspaper and enjoy. A special post-conference issue was also released, which you can find here: http://astronomy2015.org/sites/default/files/IAU2015-Issue11.pdf


8) HighLIGHT of the Month: Quality Lighting teaching kit hosts a training event during GA

Parallel to the IAU General Assembly, Honolulu also hosted the Global Hands-On Universe Conference along with the annual Galileo Teacher Training Programme (GTTP) international workshop for teachers and educators. One of the featured themes was the International Year of Light and the Cosmic Light global programmes. Dr. Constance Walker, Quality Lighting Teaching kit project leader, provided a special workshop on the activities and materials featured in the kit for the educators attending the workshop.

See the photos from the workshop here: https://www.flickr.com/groups/cosmiclightiyl2015/


9) Cosmic Light around the world

On August 14 to 16, the mountain Gurnigel, in Switzerland, hosted a special star party organised by the Nature Park Gantrisch, with a special session on light pollution.

From August 14 to 27, Sydney, Australia, is holding the Winning Sky Photographs, an exhibition of the top entries from the David Malin Awards astrophotography competition, held annually by the Central West Astronomical Society. The competition is open to amateur astronomers and photographers around Australia, and the photographs are judged by world-renowned astrophotographer Dr. David Malin.

Scouts Australia (ACT Branch) worked with astronomers from the Australian National University to deliver a series of astronomy-based activities. Their work, “Reach for the Stars”, culminated in a special event at Mount Stromlo Observatory, during Australia's National Science Week in Canberra on August 15.

On August 16 to 20, Hilo hosted the “Hawaiian, Oceanic and Global Cultural Astronomy: Tangible and Intangible Heritage” event. Cultural Astronomy is concerned with beliefs and practices related to the sky, including the ways in which cultures conceive of and apply notions of light. Throughout the four day event, all participants considered and discussed the ways in which indigenous viewpoints impact relevant scholarship.

On August 17, Talciona, Poggibonsi (SI), Italy, was the stage of "Le Stelle Raccontano". These “Star Tales” featured guided tours of the Romanesque Talciona church, a party with fresh, local produce, and a conference about the mystery of the stars in the Middle Ages.

On August 17 to 19, Sydney, Australia, hosted the “Quantum Astronomy and Stellar Imaging: Celebrating the 50th birthday of the Narrabri Stellar Intensity Interferometer” meeting, where all participants could explore tomorrow's visionary astronomical instruments.

On August 19, in Radicondoli (SI), Italy, hosted “The Second Star to the Right”, where Prof. Mariotti (UNISI) opened the night with a workshop on optical physics, and Marchini, from the Astronomical Observatory (UNISI), guided the participants in a night sky observation.

On August 20, Tom Price, Australia, hosted the “Red Earth Night Sky Astro Fair”. The event saw an array of exciting indoor and outdoor activities, demonstrations for the whole community, meet ups with professional astronomers, observations of the Pilbara night sky, and the amazing light science fair.

On August 20, Colle di Val d'Elsa (SI), Italy, hosted “The Etruscans' Stars”, a conference on the mysteries of ancient Etruscan cosmology and astronomical observation in the Etruscan necropolis of Dometaia. One of the key goals for this meeting was to promote dark skies awareness and to appreciate the beauty of the night sky above this fascinating archaeological site.

Paredes de Coura, Portugal, as a part of AstroCamp 2015, hosted a series of lectures, from August 10 to 21. The topics ranged from “Solar wind and solar sails” to “The Physics of Life (and Aliens)”.

Pune, India, hosted from August 21 to 23 the exhibition "Hubble & Beyond", based on 25 years of the Hubble Space Telescope and the next generation of space and ground-based telescopes.

In Serres-Ano Vrontou, Greece, on August 21 to 23, hosted Astrinigth2015. For three days, participants were able to socialise and discuss lots of themes of astronomical interest, as well as topics such as biodiversity and history.

Córdoba, Argentina, was the perfect stage for “A stone across time - Scientific Theatre” on August 21. Grupo Torre - Facultad de Lenguas UNC joined the celebrations of the IYL through a blend of science and art. 'A Stone across Time' took the audience on a journey through Einstein’s life and discoveries.

Sydney, Australia, hosted the “Stargazing Live: A new Guinness Book of World Records”. This telescope viewing, which took place on August 21, attempted to be the world’s largest telescope viewing event and to break the long-standing world record for simultaneous stargazing with a telescope. Every participant got a special ‘Galileo’ telescope with their admission.

Saga, Japan, on August 22, hosted the “Star Festival 2015”. This event is an annual festival to enjoy the stars and the universe. During the day, there were lectures on how to use telescopes and, in the evening, a stargazing party.

Melbourne, Australia, on August 22, hosted the “Astronomy and Light Festival”. The Festival showcased and celebrated Australian astronomy and light in conjunction with the International Year of Light.

Perth, Australia, on August 23, hosted a free stargazing event called “Save Our Stars”. The participants were able to see Saturn through telescopes, discover how to save our stars by protecting the night sky from light pollution and chat with local astronomy club members.

Light: Beyond the Bulb continues throughout August. Besides being on display at the Hawai’i Convention Center in Honolulu during IAU General Assembly, the exhibition could be seen in Geelong Victoria, Australia; La Quita, CA, United States; Christchurch, New Zealand; Gauteng, South Africa; Berrien Springs, MI, United States and East Hawthorn, VIC, Australia

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


10) Upcoming meetings & global events around the globe

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

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

c) 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/

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

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

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

g) 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

h) International Conference on Communication and Light
Location: University of Minho, Braga, Portugal
Date: 2-4 November 2015
More Information: http://www.comlight2015.org/

i) .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/

j) 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/

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

l) 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/

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

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

o) 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 your story with us! 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 have created any educational resources, let us know by sending an email to outreach@iau.org.


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