Find the latest IAU-related news, with Issue 23 of the Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal. The IAU is a partner organization of Starmus V Festival and the 2019 edition will be a special one. The IAU Working Group Network for Astronomy School Education (NASE) challenges all educators to participate in the International Day of Light celebrations with a special activity.
In this issue, we would like to highlight the “Star Chorus” project in Japan, the Amateur Radio on International Space Station (ARISS) in Cyprus, and the International Science Engagement Camp (ISEC).
Our newsletter gathers activities, resources and events around the world related to astronomy outreach and education. Our efforts wouldn’t be possible without the energetic support of the whole worldwide community. Our team would like to send everyone a big, warm thank you for the never-ending inspiration you are to us all!
Wishing you all Happy Reading & Clear Skies!
The IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach Team
1) Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal Issue 23 is now out!
The 23rd issue of the Communicating Astronomy with the Public journal is now available. In this issue, you will discover upcoming plans for IAU’s 100th year anniversary celebrations, interesting first results of studies on astronomy’s influence on children’s behaviour, and original ways of using gastronomy to conduct astronomy outreach. CAPjournal is a free, peer-reviewed journal for astronomy communicators published by the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ).
Created by Garik Israelian, a researcher at the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC), the Starmus Festival is a combination of science, art and music that has featured presentations from astronauts, cosmonauts, Nobel Prize winners and other prominent figures from science, culture, the arts and music. Now celebrating its fifth year, and timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Moon landings, Starmus V will take place in Bern, Switzerland, from 24 to 29 June 2019. The IAU is a partner organisation of Starmus and among the confirmed speakers will be IAU Secretary General, Piero Benvenuti, and IAU President-elect, Ewine van Dishoeck.
3) Celebrate the International Day of Light with NASE
The IAU Working Group from Commission C1: Network for Astronomy School Education (NASE) proposes to celebrate the International Day of Light by recreating the historical experiment carried out by William Herschel in 1800. This is a call to all educators to join the celebrations and repeat this activity during May. Share your results and photos with the Working Group by contacting Beatriz Garcia (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Rosa Ros (email@example.com).
4) Outreach for Development — Astronomy for Himalayan Livelihood Creation
The project plan is to leverage astronomy as a means to further develop the economy of the region by promoting Astro Tourism in rural Himalayan solar homestays that have been set up by the Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE) (www.ghe.co.in). GHE seeks to provide clean energy access, digital education and livelihood access through solar power for remote, unelectrified Himalayan communities. Thirty solar Himalayan homestays are run by local village women and promoted as unique destinations for tourists who travel to these villages to experience local culture and traditions.
a) Star Chorus
Because there’s no air in outer space, we cannot hear pulsating sounds there. But, if we could hear these sounds, what would they sound like? In an unusual combination of astronomy and pleasant music, the flight travel company Starflyer is presenting its customers with music from the stars using pulsating variable stars, stars of varying sizes (a very famous one is the North Star or Polaris). This is an experimental program to convert the pulsation of a star into music to create a challenging new music experience with sounds that blend into the environment so they’re relaxing, making in-flight travel much more pleasant.
b) Lunar Eclipse — Japan & Argentina
On January 31, people around the world stopped to witness a fantastic lunar eclipse. In a testimony of good international relations and collaboration the Argentine national TV station "Todo Noticias" connected live with the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) to talk with two Japanese outreach astronomers about this natural phenomenon. "This was a chance to make a difference. When there is a lot of confusion about crediting astronomers, not astrologists, speaking about the phenomenon is very important”, said Beatriz Garcia, the NOC of Argentina. “In addition, this was a great opportunity for people in Argentina to enjoy the lunar eclipse from Japan in daytime". Interviewees at NAOJ Kumiko Usuda-Sato and Masaharu Ishizaki commented “It was a great surprise for us, and we were very happy to reach Argentine people from the opposite side of Earth! We believe that the IAU OAO network enables more twinning activities in many places around the world”.
Find more about the news here: https://tn.com.ar/envivo/24hs (Thank you to our IAU NOC from Argentina Beatriz Garcia, Kumiko Usuada-Sato and Masaharu Ishizaki for sharing this news with us.)
6) News from Cyprus
Amateur Radio on International Space Station (ARISS)
On January 24, 2018, for the first time in Cyprus, students experienced the excitement of talking directly with crew members of the International Space Station via the Amateur Radio on International Space Station (ARISS) project (http://www.ariss.org/ ). The connection was organized with the help of the Cyprus Amateur Radio Society and the event was hosted by the English School Radio amateurs club (5B4ES) that invited students from other schools in Cyprus. During the event, students participated in the “International Collaboration ISS” workshop created and delivered by the Kition Planetarium & Observatory (Cyprus). The connection lasted 10 minutes, during which the students asked astronaut Mark Vande Hei (NASA) questions. About 250 students and officials participated in the event.
The record of the main part of the program is available on the site http://www.astronomycyprus.eu/ (We would like to thank George Troullias for sharing this news.)
7) News from Bangladesh
a) Lunar Eclipse Activities in Bangladesh
The last day of the first month of 2018 will remain unforgettable as the day the rare lunar trifecta unfolded, witnessed by millions of people around the world. In Bangladesh, there were two astronomical observation camps to observe the phenomenon, one of them organized in Dakha by Anushandhitshu Chakro, a renowned, and well-reputed science organization, and the other by the Bangladesh Astronomical Society in Purbachal.
You can find the full report here: http://bit.ly/2o2J9iQ (We would like to thank Farseem Mohammedy, our IAU NOC from Bangladesh for sharing the news with us.)
8) International Science Engagement Camp (ISEC)
The International Science Engagement Camp (ISEC) will be taking place in La Garriga, near Barcelona, from July 6 to 22, 2018. It is a two-week camp for 15- to 22-year-olds, focused on project work and research, on subjects like astronomy and other related scientific topics (e.g. physics, biology, chemistry, programming, technology, and science communication). Grants are available, to make sure that the camp is accessible to all.
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11) Contributions to the IAU Outreach Newsletter—looking forward to hearing from you in 2018
Here at the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach, we’re always looking for news about astronomical education and outreach events around the world. Please continue to share your stories with us in 2018! If you are organising large-scale events at a regional or international level, offering astronomy education or communication job positions, have any 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 email@example.com.