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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

International Year of Astronomy 2009

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) launched 2009 as the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) under the theme, The Universe, Yours to Discover. IYA2009 marks the 400th anniversary of the first astronomical observation through a telescope by Galileo Galilei. It will be a global celebration of astronomy and its contributions to society and culture, with a strong emphasis on education, public engagement and the involvement of young people, with events at national, regional and global levels throughout the whole of 2009. UNESCO has endorsed the IYA2009 and the United Nations proclaimed the year 2009 as the International Year of Astronomy on 20 December 2007.

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.

Astronomy is one of the oldest fundamental sciences. It continues to make a profound impact on our culture and is a powerful expression of the human intellect. Huge progress has been made in the last few decades. One hundred years ago we barely knew of the existence of our own Milky Way. Today we know that many billions of galaxies make up our Universe and that it originated approximately 13.7 billion years ago. One hundred years ago we had no means of knowing whether there were other solar systems in the Universe. Today we know of more than 200 planets around other stars in our galaxy and we are moving towards an understanding of how life might have first appeared. One hundred years ago we studied the sky using only optical telescopes and photographic plates. Today we observe the Universe from Earth and from space, from radio waves to gamma rays, using cutting edge technology. Media and public interest in astronomy have never been higher and major discoveries are frontpage news throughout the world. The IYA2009 will meet public demand for both information and involvement.

There are outstanding opportunities for everyone to participate in the IAU IYA2009 events. This brochure outlines some of the events planned at the global level, which will be supported by thousands of additional national and regional activities.

The IAU, UNESCO and our Organisational Associates wish everyone a year rich in astronomical experiences as we all celebrate the International Year of Astronomy 2009!

For resources in the form of powerpoint and PDF, click on the following links.
  1. Powerpoint slides
  2. PDF Version (Not the original version, this is more compressed versions)

This video below is the official trailer for the IYA 2009

Source : www.astronomy2009.org

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