The International Year of Astronomy 2009

The vision of the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) is to help the citizens of the world rediscover their place in the Universe through the day- and night time sky, and thereby engage a personal sense of wonder and discovery. All humans should realize the impact of astronomy and basic sciences on our daily lives, and understand better how scientific knowledge can contribute to a more equitable and peaceful society.

The International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) will be a global celebration of astronomy and its contributions to society and culture, highlighted by the 400th anniversary of the first use of an astronomical telescope by Galileo Galilei. The aim of the Year is to stimulate worldwide interest, especially among young people, in astronomy and science under the central theme “The Universe, Yours to Discover”. IYA2009 events and activities will promote a greater appreciation of the inspirational aspects of astronomy that embody an invaluable shared resource for all nations.

The IYA2009 activities will take place locally, regionally and nationally. National Nodes in each country have been formed to prepare activities for 2009. These Nodes establish collaborations between professional and amateur astronomers, science centres and science communicators in preparing activities for 2009. More than 90 countries are already involved, with well over 140 expected. To help coordinate this huge global programme, and to provide an important resource for the participating countries, the IAU has established a central Secretariat and this website as the principal IYA resource for public, professionals, and media alike.


Press Releases:

The first IYA2009 Cornerstone Project brings the stars to Liverpool (05 jun 08)

The IYA2009 welcomes the 100th participating country (17 jan 08)

The UN declares 2009 the International Year of Astronomy (20 dec 07)

IYA2009 web page public, National Node chairs appointed (21 dec 06)

The IAU announces the IYA (27 oct 06)



Pedro Russo
E-mail: russo@strw.leidenuniv.nl This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

IAU Press Officer/Manager of IAU IYA2009 Executive Committee Working Group
Lars Lindberg Christensen
ESA/Hubble & IAU, Garching, Germany
Tel: +49-89-32-00-63-06
Cellular: +49-173-3872-621
E-mail: lars@eso.org


For further information, visit the IYA2009 website:



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