IAU Astronomy Outreach Newsletter

2015 #12 September #1

In this newsletter:

  1. From the Editors
  2. IAU signs agreements for five new coordinating offices of Astronomy for Development
  3. OAD Call for Proposals: Projects in 2016
  4. HighLIGHT of the Month: Celebrating light with NASA
  5. CosmicLight around the world
  6. Space Scoop in Sri Lanka
  7. Deployable models of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope to promote hands-on learning
  8. 1st Symposium on Space Educational Activities
  9. National Astronomical Observatory of Japan dedicates international symposium to astronomy museums
  10. Upcoming meetings & global events
  11. Contributions to this newsletter


0) From the Editors

Exciting times for NameExoWorlds contest! The public voting campaign continues and in four weeks it has received nearly 230 000 votes. If you still haven’t cast your vote, please do so before 31 October.

Following on from the General Assembly, we will be featuring the many activities suggested there in our newsletter. We are working to respond to all the requests made by everyone who approached us. We will share these projects in the upcoming weeks and will try to accommodate all the great projects suggested to us.

In this issue, we congratulate our friends from Space Scoop Sri Lanka for their amazing efforts in taking astronomy to all. We also congratulate the team from the James Webb Space Telescope for their successful crowdfunding campaign. CosmicLight continues around the world, and we are amazed at the incredible number of activities that are happening, and a huge thank you to everyone who has shared their activities with us.

Clear Skies!

Lina Canas & Sze-leung Cheung

IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach


1) IAU signs agreements for five new coordinating Offices of Astronomy for Development

The International Astronomical Union’s (IAU) Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) has established new coordinating offices in Armenia, Colombia, Jordan, Nigeria and Portugal. Supporting the use of astronomy as a tool for development in specific regions and languages, the new partnerships form part of the IAU’s decadal strategic plan — which aims to realise the societal benefits of astronomy. The agreements were signed at the Hawai'i Convention Centre in Honolulu, Hawai'i, during the IAU’s triennial General Assembly.

Learn more here: https://www.iau.org/news/pressreleases/detail/iau1512/


2) OAD Call for Proposals: Projects in 2016

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) established the Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) to fulfil the IAU’s ten-year strategic plan. This plan aims to realise the global developmental benefits of astronomy. Each year, the OAD coordinates a call for proposals to fund projects. The IAU has earmarked €110 000 for OAD projects to be selected in 2015 and implemented in 2016. This is an open call for project proposals, with individual project grants ranging from about €500 to about €15 000. The deadline for submitting full project proposals is 23:59 UTC/GMT on 15 September 2015.

Learn more here: http://www.astro4dev.org/aboutiauoad/cfp/


3) HighLIGHT of the Month: Celebrating light with NASA

Addressing the fact that light is an important part of NASA's scientific journey of discovery, in January 2015, the NASA IYL Blog began. This is a series of articles related to the International Year of Light (IYL). The topics range from robotic spacecraft to plant fluorescence, illustrating the various ways that NASA scientists and engineers make use of light.

You can read the NASA IYL Blog here: http://science.nasa.gov/international-year-light/international-year-light-blogs/


4) CosmicLight around the world

From 1–30 September in Ishikawa, Japan will host the exhibition Glow of the Heavens, Gleam of the Earth. The exhibition showcases astro-landscape photographs by nine photographers, highlighting the balance between cosmic light and terrestrial lights.

Planetariums and observatories contribute to the development of optical technologies in the field of education. The city of Minsk, Belarus will host the event Teaching - light from 1 September to 31 December. Activities will include: a photo exhibition, planetarium shows, lectures, an observing session and a photo.

Daegu in the Republic of Korea will host the YYL Star Festival of Korea from 1–30 September. This event consists of an exhibition and special lectures and is co-organised by the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, the Korean Astronomical Society, and the Korean Space Science Society.

Ensenada, Mexico will host an international meeting of experts called Right to dark skies from 1–30 September. The meeting will aim to exchange experience and information to develop a joint reflection on light pollution in Mexico and worldwide.

The fourth Astronomy Festival of Ifrane, will run from 4–7 September in Ifrane, Morocco. "Our star the Sun... source of light and energy" is the theme of this event, which will include conferences, outdoor astronomy workshops, planetarium sessions, competitions, an astro-fair, stargazing nights, and artistic displays.

Ennis, Ireland is hosting a series of 12 lectures on Astronomy for beginners from 5 September to 5 December. These lectures will cover topics from constellations through to cosmology with a strongly themed emphasis of how light-based observations are used in understanding the Universe, including information on the different detectors for all wavelengths. There will also be sidewalk observing with telescopes.

In Yellow Giant artist Helen Schell has worked with leading solar physicists to present a series of large and dramatic artworks exploring features of the Sun and solar science. The exhibition will be on display in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, from 10 September 3 October.

Don’t miss the Globe at Night programme for September. This international citizen science campaign for monitoring light pollution runs its next event through 3–12 September.
Learn more here: http://www.globeatnight.org/

Light: Beyond the Bulb continues throughout the upcoming week to dazzle audiences with astronomy across different countries. The exhibition can be seen in Montevideo, Uruguay; Krasnoyarsk, Russia; Cork, Ireland; Flint, MI, United States; Bogotá, Colombia; San Diego, CA, United States; Asunción, Paraguay; Murcia, Spain; Paisley, United Kingdom and Dolna Mitropolia, Bulgaria.
Find Light: Beyond the Bulb in a place near you at http://lightexhibit.org/iylexhibits.html.

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.


5) Space Scoop in Sri Lanka

From August 2015 onwards, UNAWE's Space Scoop articles are being published in four major newspapers in Sri Lanka weekly, with a combined print circulation of 500 000, including 100 000 free copies for students in rural areas. The articles are printed in all three main languages; Sinhalese, Tamil, and English.

Learn more: http://unawe.org/updates/unawe-update-1541/


6) Deployable models of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope to promote hands-on learning

To expand the extent of ongoing education and public outreach activities about NASA's next observatory, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the team has developed and refined many prototypes of their small robotically controlled deployable models. Those models were used successfully at dozens of public events held across the country to engage students, educators and the public. We congratulate them on their successful Kickstarter campaign.

Learn more about the project here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2027183511/james-webb-deployable-model.


7) 1st Symposium on Space Educational Activities

From 9-12 December, the University of Padova, Italy, in collaboration with ESA, will host the 1st Symposium on Space Educational Activities. The aim of the symposium is to provide a comprehensive overview of space-related activities conducted by university student teams and young professional teams from different countries. The final day of the event will feature the one-day SGAC European Student Workshop organised by the Space Generation Advisory Council. Submissions accepted until 20 September.

More Information: http://ssasymposium.org/


8) National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) dedicates international symposium to astronomy museums

From 27–29 September in Tokyo, Japan will hold an international symposium at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) Museum. With astronomy museums as the central focus, science communication methods, activities, management, visual content will also be discussed. The symposium also aims to explore the significance of astronomers interacting with visitors.

Please find more information on how to join here: http://prc.nao.ac.jp/museum/symp2015/.


9) Upcoming meetings & global events

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 at 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/


10) 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.


Donate to the IAU

Donate to the IAU

General Assembly 2024

IAU General Assembly 2024

IAU Strategic Plan 2020–2030

Strategic Plan

IAU Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct

Symposia and Meetings



How to Become a Member

Deceased Members

Deceased Members

Centre for the Protection of the Dark and Quiet Sky from Satellite Constellation Interference


IAU Catalyst

Latest Catalyst

IAU e-Newsletter
Volume 2024 n° 1

Latest e-Newsletter

Subscribe to the e-Newsletter


IAU Office of Astronomy for Development

Office for Astronomy Development

IAU Office for Young Astronomers

Office for Young Astronomers

IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach

Office for Astronomy Outreach

IAU Office of Astronomy for Education

Office of Astronomy for Education

International School for Young Astronomers

International School for Young Astronomers

WG Small Bodies Nomenclature Bulletins

WG Small Bodies Nomenclature Bulletins

IAU WG Women in Astronomy Newsletters and Ensemble Magazine

WG Women in Astronomy Newsletters