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IAU Astronomy Outreach Newsletter

#1 December 2017

In this newsletter:

0) From the Editors
1) IAU highlights Pro-Am Collaborations
2) IAU Symposium 335: Education and Outreach Session
3) National Outreach Contact (NOC) Corner: News from Ethiopia
4) Join Globe at Night (GaN) for 2018 campaigns!
5) European Southern Observatory (ESO) launches new Virtual Reality Tours to experience its sites
6) Latin American Olympiad of Astronomy and Astronautics 2017
7) Science Communication at the European Geosciences Union (EGU) 2018
8) Communicating Physics and Astronomy to a Visually Impaired Audience
9) Meetings & Global Events
          Important Dates

10) IAU Astronomy Outreach Newsletter in other languages
11) Contributions to IAU Outreach Newsletter

0) From the Editors

Our team has been busy with the Astronomy Translation Network, that currently has more than 110 translators around the world doing translations for thirty different languages. Our NOC Social Media Week continues, already in its 14th week! A huge thank you to our NOCs from Indonesia, Japan, Argentina, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, South Korea, China Taipei, Honduras, Nepal, Armenia, Algeria, Canada and Colombia - we couldn’t do it without the support of our awesome National Outreach Contacts (NOCs) and the community around the world. 

In this issue, we highlight the IAU Symposium on “Space Weather of the Heliosphere: Processes and Forecasts” education and outreach initiatives, the upcoming citizen science Globe at Night Campaigns, and ESO’s Virtual Reality Tours.

Last, but not least, we want to thank our community for continuously sharing with us their favourite astronomy outreach and education activities. As 2017 ends, we can't wait to discover what 2018 will bring!
Happy reading and clear skies!
The IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach team

1)  IAU highlights Pro-Am Collaborations

In the last two decades, citizen science has seen a rise in visibility and the ability to increase awareness among professional astronomers of the valuable contributions amateur astronomers can make to their research, undertaking long-term observational studies that wouldn’t be feasible within the time allocated at professional observatories. Furthermore, telescopes with small apertures are better suited to some studies. An alternative type of Pro-Amateur (or ‘Pro-Am’) collaboration involves professional astronomers doing follow-up observations based on discoveries made by amateurs. Through, we wish to curate a list of some ongoing successful Pro-Am collaborations. If you would like to add a project to the list, please contact us:

Find out more on    


2) IAU Symposium 335: Education and Outreach Session

The recent IAU Symposium 335 on “Space Weather of the Heliosphere: Processes and Forecasts” held at the University of Exeter in the UK from July 17 to 21 2017 was a great occasion to promote this field of astronomy to the wider local community. The professional astronomers participating in the symposium were given the opportunity to engage in discussing space weather with local students, teachers, and the general public in an active parallel education/public outreach program.

Discover more about this session in the full report: 
Photos from the event can be found here:

3)  National Outreach Contact (NOC) Corner: News from Ethiopia

a) Space Awareness High-Level Workshop 
International Astronomical Union’s Office of Astronomy for Development (IAU OAD), European Union Space Awareness project, Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute (ESSTI) and the East African Regional Office of Astronomy for Development conducted a high-level workshop on October 7, 2017, at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).  The workshop brought together stakeholders for an engaged dialogue about the use of space topics for education, outreach, and space technology for sustainable development. The discussions were preceded by a teachers’ workshop in the morning where local teachers had the opportunity to explore best practices and innovative uses of astronomy and space science for education.

Discover more about this activity:

4) Join Globe at Night (GaN) for 2018 campaigns!

Globe at Night is an international citizen-science campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution by inviting citizen-scientists to measure night sky brightness and submit their observations. It's easy to get involved—all you need is a computer or smartphone. So far, in 2017, citizen scientists from around the world have contributed 14,753 data points, but you can still help the GaN team to achieve their goal of collecting over 15,000 data points by year’s end!

Campaign dates for 2018 have been announced! Check them out and make plans for next year’s participation:

5) European Southern Observatory (ESO) launches new Virtual Reality Tours to experience its sites

ESO’s Virtual Tours are a collection of hundreds of 360-degree panorama pictures that can be used for many purposes. ESO’s latest release includes options to view the images in virtual reality mode or 360-degree panoramic mode. You can now use a cell phone with either a standard cardboard virtual reality headset or oculus rift glasses to experience tours of ESO’s facilities in an exciting new way. This latest release also includes new and updated virtual tours of ESO’s observatories and facilities, bringing better functionality on computers and new panoramic views.

Read more details here: 

6)  Latin American Olympiad of Astronomy and Astronautics 2017

The Latin American Olympiad of Astronomy and Astronautics is an interschool scientific meeting between delegations of students from Latin America to share and improve their knowledge about astronomy and astronautics, considering different theoretical and practical competences for the young participants. Its 2017 edition was organized at a national level by the Chilean Society of Astronomy (SOCHIAS). The delegations comprised a maximum of five students, a Leader and Co-Leader (both adults), plus additional observers. Participating countries included Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay Peru, Uruguay, and additionally Panama, with an observer country status.

Find the full press release (In Spanish) here: 

7) Science Communication at the European Geosciences Union (EGU) 2018

The European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly will be held in Vienna, Austria, from 8 to 13 April 2018. If you are a geoscientist who communicates science in a new and innovative way, if your research group or institution participates in public engagement activities, or if you wish to evaluate or publish your education and outreach efforts, please consider attending. Submit an abstract to EOS6 - Communication and Education in Geoscience: Practice, Research and Reflection: a session that encourages critical reflection on science communication practices and provides an opportunity for science communicators to share best practice and experiences with evaluation and research in this field. The deadline is 10th January 2018.

Find out more:  

8) Communicating Physics and Astronomy to a Visually Impaired Audience

The event “Communicating Physics and Astronomy to a visually impaired audience” is a free event that will take place at the Royal Astronomical Society, UK on 14th December, with the goal of leading to the formation of a consortium of people/projects working together to open up physics and astronomy to this underserved community. It will be devoted to presentations during the morning, by different projects, including Tactile Universe, Tactile Collider, Touching Space, g-Astronomy, Grapheel and 'unconference' style. The meeting is open to anyone who is interested in working with members of the visually impaired community, and the expected audience will be a mix of physics researchers and academics, outreach and public engagement professionals, teachers, and informal educators.

Find out more about the event:

9) Meetings & Global Events

Here you can find a list of astronomy outreach & education conferences and events around the world. Plan ahead for a year full of interesting events!

Important Dates
Call for Posters Open until December 20, 2017

ESOF (EuroScience Open Forum) 2018
Dates: 9-14 July 2018
Location: Toulouse, France
More Information:


a) International Conference New Perspectives in Science Education
Dates: 22 - 23 March 2018
Location: Florence, Italy 
More information:

b) Communicating Astronomy with the Public - CAP2018
Date: 24–28 March 2018
Location: Fukuoka, Japan
More Information: 

c) European Week of Astronomy and Space Sciences (EWASS)
Dates: 3-8 April 2018
Location: Liverpool, UK 

More information:

d) 15th International Public Communication of Science and Technology Conference (PCST2018)
Date: 4–6 April 2018
Location: Dunedin, New Zealand
More Information:  

e) 11th International Meeting of Astronomy and Astronautics
Date: 12—14 April 2018
Location: Campos de Goytacazes, Brazil
More Information: 

f) International Planetarium Society 2018
Date: 1–6 July 2018
Location: Toulouse, France
More Information:

g) ESOF (EuroScience Open Forum) 2018
Dates: 9-14 July 2018
Location: Toulouse, France
More Information:

h) Robotic Telescopes, Student Research and Education (RTSRE) Conference & the InterNational Astronomy Teaching Summit
Dates: 22-27 July 2018
Location: Hilo, Hawai'i, USA
More information:

Have we missed something? Then share your astronomy outreach and education international meetings or events with us via

10) IAU Astronomy Outreach Newsletter in other languages

-     Translations into Serbian are available, by Dr. Liliana Gracanin from Serbia: ;
-     Translations into Spanish are available by: 
             - Dr. S. Meneses-Goytia (ICG-UoP, UK):;  
             - Basilio Solís-Castillo, PhD Student, Max-Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy,
               University of Bonn:;
             - The Association of Amateur Astronomers from León, Nicaragua:

-     Translations into Japanese are available, carried out by Akihiko Tomita and Mikako Kuwamura through the Astronomy Translation Network: If you want to receive the Japanese newsletter translation, please subscribe to the Japanese Amateur Astronomers Association here:, or the Japanese Society for Education and Popularization of Astronomy here:;
-     Translations into Galician are available, by Agrupación Astronómica Coruñesa Ío, in Spain here:    
-     You can find older issues of this newsletter in Spanish by the Astronomical Spanish Society here:  

If you are interested in translating our newsletter to your language, please let us know via

11) Contributions to this newsletter - looking forward to hearing from you in 2017!

Here at the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach, we are always looking for more news about astronomical education and outreach events around the world. Please continue to share your stories with us in 2017! If you are organising any 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

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