Telescopes for All
An IAU Global Outreach Project
The Telescopes for All project distributes telescopes signed by astronauts and scientists, including Nobel Prize winners, to underserved communities around the world. The project aims to broaden the horizons of children, adults and educators while sparking an interest in science and raising awareness for equal opportunities in pursuing careers in astronomy.
This project is conducted in partnership with Sterren Schitteren Voor Iedereen (Stars Shine for Everyone — SSVI) and Leiden University/Universe Awareness (UNAWE).
In 2021, the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach (OAO) will team up once again with the Belgian project Sterren Schitteren Voor Iedereen (Stars Shine for Everyone — SSVI), Bresser and Leiden University to distribute 12 telescopes to underserved communities around the world. The telescopes are signed by astronauts, Nobel laureates, astronomy communicators and scientists with inspiring roles in their communities.
We welcome proposals for projects that will broaden the horizons of children, parents and educators alike, sparking an interest in science and raise awareness of equal opportunities for pursuing a career in astronomy.
- Submit a proposal to your IAU National Outreach Coordinator (NOC) and receive a recommendation.
- Proposals should be 1 paragraph (max 300 words) in English and describe how and where you would use the telescope to inspire underserved children with astronomy.
- IAU NOCs are not required to issue a recommendation for your proposal. Individual IAU NOCs will decide if they will accept a resubmission of a proposal for review.
- Please note that individual NOCs may have deadlines specific to their country.
- Submit your proposal and the recommendation from your IAU NOC to the IAU OAO at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Telescopes for All 2021”.
If your IAU NOC is not participating in Telescopes for All or there is no IAU NOC for your country/area, the IAU OAO will accept your proposal directly. These proposals must include a letter of support from a local institution (e.g. university, school, NGO, government, etc). The institution should not be directly involved in the project indicated in the proposal. Proposals should address:
- The institution's knowledge of and experience with the proposer.
- Recognise the relevance of the project to the underserved community and the impact it may produce in that community.
Proposals and recommendations, as applicable, must be submitted to the IAU OAO by 23:59 local time on 1 June 2021.
Winners will be announced by 15 June 2021.
Participating NOCs (Alphabetical Order)
If a link is available, click on the country name for the specific country's contest.
Afghanistan, Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia (Contact Deputy NOC), Gabon, Germany, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mongolia, Morocco, Nicaragua, Palestine, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Tanzania, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Zambia. (Spreadsheet)
Update 1: Tanzania and Serbia added
Update 2: Colombia added, links added
Update 3: Afghanistan added
Update 4: Gabon added
Update 5: Dominican Republic link added
Update 6: Luxembourg added
Update 7: Romania added
Update 8: Brazil, Indonesia, Peru, and Malaysia links added
Find contact information for your NOC here: https://sites.google.com/oao.iau.org/iauoaonews/national-pages
Submissions will be evaluated by a representative from IAU OAO and SSVI and will be considered based on:
- Creativity (if your proposal is original or has an original component to it),
- Impact (how it will affect the communities where it will be implemented),
- Sustainability (if and how you will continue to use the telescope beyond the project).
- Communities that are underserved in terms of telescopes provisions in the area/region will be given priority.
This project is open to the public worldwide.
The IAU NOCs are also eligible to participate. In countries in which the NOCs are participating the rules of countries without NOCs apply and the IAU OAO will accept proposals directly. These proposals must include a letter of support from a local institution (e.g. university, school, NGO, governmental, etc).
The telescope is a refractor Bresser 90/1200 and will be delivered with a special mount, custom-made by amateur telescopes making group Kijkerbouw of the Public Observatory Armand Pien Belgium for SSVI. The equipment comes complete with a telescope tube, viewfinder, zenith prism, solar filter, 25mm and 15mm Plössl eyepieces, one electronic eyepiece (webcam), tripod and mount. This telescope can be used to observe the Moon, the planets of our Solar System, some of their moons, and the brightest Messier objects (e.g. the Orion Nebula, globular clusters, binary stars).
IMPORTANT: The use of a solar filter is mandatory to observe the Sun. Severe eye damage will occur if you don't use a solar 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 an accurate address and contact phone number must be provided.
Sterren Schitteren Voor Iedereen (Stars Shine for Everyone - SSVI) 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,” according to project leader and founder Jean-Pierre Grootaerd.
SSVI is carried out by the amateur telescope making group Kijkerbouw of the UGent Public Observatory Armand Pien in Ghent, Belgium. Belgian astronauts Dirk Firmout and Frank De Winne parented the project SSVI and Science4Girls. SSVI is in collaboration with the Euro Space Society and Universe Awareness.
Bresser has generously donated the telescopes to SSVI and Telescopes for All project. Telescopes for All is also possible thanks to the support from Leiden University.
Agreement with Applicants
- All decisions of the project organisers about any aspect of the Telescopes for All, including eligibility or disqualification of applications, comments and images, and final distribution, are final and cannot be appealed.
- By submitting information for the Telescopes for All about the conducted proposals, applicants consent to the use, reproduction, publication, transmission and dissemination of their name and information relating to the project by the organisers and/or partners, without compensation, in any publications or promotional material, to promote the projects and its winners.
- Telescopes for All and the organisers reserve the right to make changes to the project at any time without prior notice, to temporarily interrupt the project, or to cancel the project without justification or being in any way accountable for this decision. No damages or compensation may be claimed by applicants to the project.
- By submitting a proposal, applicants acknowledge that Telescopes for All, the organisers, and collaborators are not responsible for any local expenses (such as customs taxes) associated with receiving the telescope if the applicant wins a telescope.
- Telescopes for All, the organisers, and the collaborators are not responsible for injury acquired through the use of a telescope acquired through Telescopes for All. Telescope users are responsible for their use of the telescope.
Please address questions to Lina Canas at email@example.com.
2020 Telescopes for All Press Release
Last updated: 30 April 2021