IAU Astronomy Outreach Newsletter

2015 #18 December #1

In this newsletter:

  1. From the Editors
  2. Inauguration of the IAU-OAD West African Regional Office in Nigeria
  3. Inauguration of the IAU-OAD Arab Regional Office and Language Expertise Centre
  4. IAU National Outreach Contact Corner: News from Honduras
  5. CosmicLight around the world
  6. HighLIGHT of the Month: Subaru challenge — gather Cosmic Light! (JP)
  7. IYL 2015 Film Festival at the IYL 2015 Closing Ceremony
  8. Space Place Calendar 2015-2016
  9. A Subject Index to “Astronomy Education Review” (2001-2013)
  10. Upcoming meetings & global events around the world
  11. Contributions to this newsletter


0) From the Editors

In this issue, we proudly announce that the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development has inaugurated the West African Regional Office and the Arab Regional Office and Language Expertise Centre. Congratulations to the teams at our sister offices, for their incredible efforts in using astronomy to make the world a better place.

With 2015 almost over, we invite you to take a look at the Space Place Calendar for 2016, where you can learn about all of the exciting cosmic events that will occur throughout 2016. We also invite you to participate in the Subaru Challenge, currently being promoted by Japan, in which everyone is invited to observe and gather Cosmic Light! As we encroach upon the end of the year, the International Year of Light (IYL2015) and Cosmic Light activities around the world are coming to their conclusion. But many more activities are planned in the near future, so stay tuned for upcoming issues of this newsletter.

Finally, we want to send a warm thank you to all of the contributors to this newsletter and our National Outreach Coordinators, who have shared with us some of the activities happening in their countries.

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


1) Inauguration of the IAU-OAD West African Regional Office in Nigeria

The West African Regional Office of Astronomy for Development officially opened in Enugu, Nigeria. This marks the commencement of activities for the third regional office on the African continent and one of nine regional offices globally.

Learn more about it: https://www.iau.org/news/announcements/detail/ann15045/


2) Inauguration of the IAU-OAD Arab Regional Office and Language Expertise Centre

The Arab Regional Office and Arabic Language Expertise Centre have officially joined the IAU-Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) network in Amman, Jordan. This signals an important step forward for Arab countries in maintaining good scientific relations with the international astronomical community, and will provide opportunities for young astronomers to participate actively in international conferences.

Learn more about it: https://www.iau.org/news/announcements/detail/ann15046/


3) IAU National Outreach Contact Corner: News from Honduras

Contributing to the worldwide celebration of the International Year of Light 2015, the Faculty of Spatial Sciences (FACES) of the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) has organised a NOC-Local, which is hosting various activities related to light.

Its webpage can be consulted here: http://faces.unah.edu.hn/iyl/.

(by Ricardo Pastrana, Honduras NOC)


4) HighLIGHT of the Month: Subaru challenge — gather Cosmic Light! (JP)

From the 1–15 December, the Astronomical Consortium of Japan, constituted by JAAA and JAPOS, will host the December edition of Subaru challenge — to observe and gather Cosmic Light! This is a Japanese public contest within the Globe at Night - Sky Brightness Monitoring Network (GaN-MN) program.

Learn about the details here (Japanese only): http://www.jaaa-astro.jp/


5) CosmicLight around the world

On 4 December, Asunción, Paraguay hosted the “Open House Benjamin Franklin Science Corner”. The event highlighted the importance of light and light-based technologies through the exhibition Light: Beyond the Bulb as well as through demonstrations about optics and robotics, which were performed to school students.

On 5 December, the city of Lausanne hosted “The Power and Wonder of Light — Closing Ceremony Switzerland”. To foster learning, inspiration and wonder, this celebration brought together bright minds from Google X, UNESCO, a ESA astronaut and a Nobel Laureate, among others.

Also on 5 December, Lakewood, Washington, the United States, hosted “A Celebration of Light” to commemorate 2015 as the International Year of Light! Audiences of all ages enjoyed hands-on science activities about light, live planetarium presentations, and the premiere of the video composition: Mysteries of the Unseen World.

On 10 December, in Valparaíso, Chile, there will be a “Colloquium on Light”. To celebrate it’s 50th anniversary, the PUCV Photometric Laboratory will hold an event providing interesting insights into light pollution, astronomy, lighting design, lighting history, regulations, philosophical and physiology implications.

On 13 December, Geneva, Switzerland, will host the “28th Texas Symposium on Relativistic Astrophysics” The Texas symposium on relativistic astrophysics will discuss science and the interface between astrophysics and the relativistic theory of gravitation, such as black-holes, neutron stars, gamma-ray bursts, particles, dark matter and dark energy.

On 22 and 23 December, Skopje, Macedonia (FYROM), will host “The Light Fantastic”. The basic principles of geometrical optics with lasers, then interference, diffraction, fiber optics, and homemade holography, will be demonstrated. At night, the group will organise stargazing with several telescopes.

From 26–28 December, Mumbai, India, will host the “Solar Lamp Competition” The competition invites students to design an innovative lamp, for study purposes, based on solar technology. Techfest is Asia's largest science and technology festival. It is hosted by IIT-Bombay and has received UNESCO patronage.

The exhibition Light: Beyond the Bulb will continue to dazzle audiences in the upcoming weeks as it continues to travel across different countries, visiting: Mieres, Spain; Bellingham, WA, United States; Radford and Christiansburg, both in VA, the United States. Find Light: Beyond the Bulb near you at http://lightexhibit.org/iylexhibits.html.

From 2–11 December, don’t miss the Globe at Night international citizen science campaign for monitoring light pollution. Learn more here: http://www.globeatnight.org/.

These are only the events dedicated to astronomy; there are many more exciting light-related events happening around the world.

Learn more here: http://www.light2015.org/Home/Event-Programme.html.


6) IYL 2015 Film Festival at the IYL 2015 Closing Ceremony

The International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL 2015) will be brought to an official end with a closing ceremony to be held over three days from 4–6 February 2016 in the city of Mérida, Mexico. As a parallel event, the IYL 2015 Film Festival will showcase videos and documentaries produced to celebrate the IYL 2015. A call for entries is currently open to select films for the festival.

More about the IYL2015 Film Festival: http://bit.ly/1m0BZYW and the IYL2015 Closing Ceremony: http://bit.ly/1Qjf8Dc


7) Space Place Calendar 2015–2016

Now that the year 2015 is nearly over, the Universe’s younger enthusiasts can enjoy a great, new calendar for 2016. At NASA Space Place, you can download — for free — important astronomy related information in a helpful calendar format. NASA Space Place is the official children’s website of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and has many other useful resources for children to explore.

Learn more about the calender & the other resources here: http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/calendar/en/


8) Astronomy Education Review (2001–2013) Index Archive

During its 13-year existence, the Astronomy Education Review — a journal on astronomy education, research and practice — published over 250 papers and articles. An index of the full contents of the journal has now been compiled and published, organised by topics that both astronomy education researchers and practitioners would be likely to look under.

Learn more at: http://aas.org/teach/subject-index-papers-astronomy-education-review-2001-2013


9) Upcoming meetings & global events around the world

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

b) 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/

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

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

e) 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/

f) IX International Conference on Oriental Astronomy
Date: 15 - 18 November, 2016
Location: Pune, India
More Information: http://icoa2016.tifr.res.in/


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 specially 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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