Telescopes for All:

Inspiring Stars & Stars Shine for Everyone Collaboration


[News UPDATE]: Deadline for submissions extended to June 1, 2020.


In 2020, and following the much successful collaboration during the IAU100 celebrations, we will team up once again with the Belgian initiative Sterren Schitteren voor Iedereen (Stars Shine for Everyone - SSVI) and Leiden University/Universe Awareness (UNAWE) to distribute 15 telescopes to underserved communities around the world. The telescopes were signed by astronauts and scientists including three Nobel Prize winners, with the help of


The SSVI project is a cooperation between Volkssterrenwacht A.Pien vzw (Public Observatory Armand Pien) and Ghent University. The project is based on the idea that ”All children in special education and vulnerable people should have the opportunity to admire the starry sky with the help of a telescope.” says project leader and founder Jean-Pierre Grootaerd.


We encourage applications related to our IAU Global Outreach Events for 2020, especially in alignment with our Inspiring Stars Programme, in which the IAU endorses best practices for inclusive astronomy outreach. The main goal of the programme is to broaden the horizons of children, parents and educators alike, sparking an interest in science and raising awareness for equal opportunities for pursuing a career in astronomy.


If you want to participate, reach out to your National Outreach Coordinator (NOC) and present them your proposal to request an endorsement.



The IAU National Outreach Coordinators (NOCs) are encouraged to endorse applications and identify groups that will excel in using the telescopes to the service of their communities. Priority will be given to activities that tackle gender equality and take underrepresented and underserved groups into account. The IAU National Outreach Coordinators are also eligible to participate.



1. Be an IAU National Outreach Coordinator (NOC) or have a recommendation from one;

2. Submit 1 paragraph (max 300 words) describing how and where you would use the telescope to inspire underserved children with astronomy and send it to with the subject line: Telescopes for All 2020.


Submissions are considered based on 

(1) creativity (if your proposal is original, or has an original component to it), 

(2) impact (how will affect the communities it will be implemented)

(3) sustainability (if you will continue to use the telescope beyond and how); 

The deadline for submissions is June 1, 2020. *NEW*
Winners will be announced by June 15, 2020. *NEW*


The Telescopes

The telescope is a refractor Bresser 90/900 and will be delivered with a special mount, custom-made by ATM group “kijkerbouw VSRUG” (Ghent Belgium) for the project SSVI. The equipment comes complete with telescope tube, viewfinder, zenith prism, one accompanying eyepiece plössl 25mm and the mount. This telescope can be used to observe the Moon, the planets of our Solar System, some of their moons, and the most bright Messier objects (for example the Orion Nebula, globular clusters and binary stars). A sun filter is also included.

*IMPORTANT NOTICE* The use of a sun filter is mandatory to observe the Sun. Severe eye damage will occur if you don't use a sun filter.

Notes on Shipping

Winners will be sent a telescope (in one single package) with a tracking number. Information about the educational value of the telescope will be included. The recipient of the telescope will be responsible for any local expenses (like customs taxes). It is not possible to resend the telescope, so accurate address and contact phone number should be provided.



Stars Shine for Everyone Project, is a cooperation between Volkssterrenwacht A.Pien vzw and Ghent University.

The telescopes are BRESSER MESSIER AR-90/900, donated by BRESSER with a self-build assembly by 'Kijkerbouw'.

''Sterren Schitteren Voor Iedereen'' is carried by the Amateur Telescope Making group (Kijkerbouw) of the UGent Public Observatory Armand Pien.

Belgian astronauts DIRK FRIMOUT and FRANK DE WINNE parented the project SSVI and S4G.

This initiative takes place in collaboration with Euro Space Society, Universe Awareness.
This project could not be accomplished without the support of the University of Leiden and the


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