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IAU Astronomy Outreach Newsletter

#2 January 2018

In this newsletter:

0) From the Editors
1) IAU Astronomy Outreach for Development (OAD): Results of the 2017 Annual Call for Proposals
2) Communicating Astronomy with the Public (CAP) 2018 Satellite Events
3) News from Sri Lanka
4) News from the Netherlands
5) Astronomers Without Borders (AWB): Get ready for 2018
6) "Ada's Adventures in Science" comic book series
7) 2018 Awards For Excellence in Astronomy Education
8) Scale Solar Systems Around the World (Cont.)

9) Meetings & Global Events
10) IAU Astronomy Outreach Newsletter in other languages
11) Contributions to IAU Outreach Newsletter

0) From the Editors

This issue, we are excited to announce the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) funded projects for 2018! The IAU OAD grants continue the IAU’s massive support of the global astronomy community! We invite you to discover this year’s exciting funded projects, especially those that use outreach to impact development.

We highlight some of this year’s activities to look forward to, including the Astronomers Without Borders projects for 2018, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific Awards for Excellence in Astronomy Education, and the first announcement of the Communicating Astronomy with the Public satellite events with the “Astronomy Education Meeting in Kagoshima”. 

Last but not least, a big thank you to Mikael Ingemyr, Peter Jaquiery, Andy Simmonds, and Alexandre Amorim for sharing with us details of the scale solar systems in their countries! We invite everyone to share news, via, of the scale solar systems that are close to your community!   

Happy readings and clear skies!
The IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach Team

1) IAU Astronomy Outreach for Development (OAD): Results of the 2017 Annual Call for Proposals

Now that the IAU-Office of Astronomy for Development’s (OAD) sixth annual call for proposals has concluded, 16 projects have been selected to receive funding in 2018. The OAD call for proposals in 2017 was conducted in two stages: At stage 1, 114 applications were received from which 40 were chosen to proceed to stage 2 after a task-force review. The OAD then received 35 full applications by the 15th September 2017 deadline. The three task forces reviewed all the completed applications and submitted recommendations to the steering committee, which approved the final list of projects. The total amount that will be granted to the funded projects is €112,661. 

Find out more about the exciting projects funded during 2018: 


2) Communicating Astronomy with the Public (CAP) 2018 Satellite Events

Following the Communicating Astronomy With the Public meeting in Fukuoka, the local organisation wishes to invite all participants to join the “Astronomy Education Meeting in Kagoshima” that will be held on March 30 at Kagoshima University. Taking this opportunity when around 400 astronomy communicators will gather from around the world in Japan, we would like to share various astronomy education activities in a casual meeting as part of the CAP 2018 satellite events, in the south of Kyushu Island. Along with its many other exciting activities, this meeting will be a great chance for local school teachers to communicate with international educators.

Find more information at:   

3) News from Sri Lanka 

Guinness World Record
Our National Outreach Coordinator (NOC) from Sri Lanka, Thilina Heenatigala, reports that the Guinness Record for most water rockets launched simultaneously is 1 950, achieved by students at Royal College, Colombo (Sri Lanka) on November 10, 2017. The Royal College Astronomical Society organised the event to celebrate World Science Day and the 50th Anniversary of their astronomical society. 

Find out more about this Guinness World Record here: 

4) News from the Netherlands 

Wikipedia: double theme week on astronomy 
From February 25 through March 11, 2018 Wikimedia Netherlands is organising a double theme week on astronomy, together with the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA). The kick-off will take place during the national stargazing days, where scientists, students, information officers, astrophotographers, amateur astronomers and Wikipedians will be writing new articles, expanding existing ones, translating English articles, and adding visual components. 

More details follow via (in Dutch): 
(Our special thanks to David Redeker for sharing.)

5) Astronomers Without Borders (AWB): Get ready for 2018

Last year, 2017, was a very busy for Astronomers Without Borders (AWB), with the Great American Eclipse as the highlight. And AWB has BIG plans for 2018 as well, as in Big Impact Giving (BIG), the crowdfunding program that provides the essential missing pieces for successful programs. And our Moon will be the theme for the internationally long-awaited Global Astronomy Month (GAM) in April 2018, with special programs for the public to take part in and watch online. Get ready for the 2018 editions of the popular GAM AstroPoetry, AstroArts, and astrophotography contests.
More is taking shape at the AWB website, so stay tuned in 2018 and find out more about AWB’s program here:  

6) "Ada's Adventures in Science" comic book series

As a scientist and artist partnership, Dr Edward Gomez (education director for Las Cumbres Observatory) and Laura Sorvala (independent illustrator) created the "Ada's Adventures in Science" comic book series. The central character, Ada, starts off as an excited schoolgirl talking about her science heroes to friends on the school bus. Over the course of the series Ada goes to high school and finally becomes a professional scientist and fulfils her dream of being part of an amazing discovery. Their Kickstarter campaign, which will send copies of these comic books to schools across the world, runs until 16 February.

Find the full story here:
(Our special thanks to Edward Gomez for sharing.)

7) 2018 Awards For Excellence in Astronomy Education

Founded in 1889, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific is an international scientific and educational organisation, which brings together scientists, educators, and amateur and “armchair” astronomers.  Its mission is to increase the understanding and appreciation of astronomy and to enhance and support the work of those engaged in science education and public outreach. The Astronomical Society of the Pacific is now accepting nominations for the Society’s 2018 awards honouring outstanding work in astronomy education and public outreach. The deadline for nominations is March 1, 2018. 

Submission guidelines can be found at  
(Our special thanks to Andrew Fraknoi for sharing.)

8) Scale Solar Systems Around the World (Cont.)

Following our popular call for scale solar systems around the world, we start by highlighting one of the largest-scale solar-system models, located in Sweden. At a scale of only 1:20 000 000, the Sun is 71 meters in diameter, and thus the model covers the whole country. Now moving to Western Australia, we find a scale solar system walk at the Gravity Discovery Centre at Gingin. It's a one-kilometre walk through the Australian bush, and there's also the Leaning Tower of Gingin, exhibitions, a science museum and an observatory open to the public. Not far away, in New Zealand, you can find the Otago Central Interplanetary Cycle Trail, where the Solar System has been shrunk by a factor of one hundred million to one and mapped onto the trail. Since 2009 the local astronomy group NEOA-JBS1 (Núcleo de Estudo e Observação Astronômica “José Brazilício de Souza”) has been promoting its “Caminhada Astronômica” (Astronomy Walk). In their city, Florianópolis, Brazil, with a scale solar system along one of the main avenues called Beiramar Norte where planet plates are separated one from another at the following scale: 1 meter = 1 million kilometres.

9) Meetings and Global Events in 2018

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!

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 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:    
-     Translations into Spanish are available by: 
             - Emílio Zuniga, The Association of Amateur Astronomers from León, Nicaragua:;
             - Basilio Solís-Castillo, Max-Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, University of Bonn:;
             - You can find older issues of this newsletter in Spanish by the Astronomical Spanish Society here: and by Dr S. Meneses-Goytia (ICG-UoP, UK):;    

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

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

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