The year started the best way for the IAU 100 years celebrations, with the 100 Hours of Astronomy, over 1200 astronomy activities took place across 85 countries worldwide from 10 to 13 January. We want to express our warm thanks to everyone — both organisers and participants, who shared their stories on social media and personal messages. We also want to highlight Bethany Downer’s fantastic work coordinating this global effort.
Our team knows that the amount of IAU100-related information and number of activities featured during the various Global Projects are immense. Therefore, in 2019, we welcome a slightly different format to this newsletter, focusing on making sure that throughout the year, you can receive firsthand all the news and updates regarding events, resources, open call and competitions happening. And we want to give a big welcome to Jorge Rivero, the IAU 100 Coordinator, that will co-edit this publication during 2019.
In this issue, we want to highlight the success of the 100 Hours of Astronomy event, the upcoming IAU Women and Girls in Astronomy Day, and encourage participation on the IAU Amateur Astronomy Day event in Brussels, Belgium.
Last but not least, we can’t forget our contributors — the community who, over the past years, have shared their favourite and relevant astronomy outreach initiatives from across the globe and are now a vital part of our fantastic IAU extended family. We’ve set up a special edition that will continue to share your stories with us in 2019, so stay tuned for more news.
Wishing you the clearest skies for 2019 and all the very best! Lina Canas, on behalf of the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach Team
Jorge Rivero, on behalf of the IAU100 Secretariat
1) 100 Hours of Astronomy
To kick off the centennial IAU100 celebrations in 2019, the 100 Hours of Astronomy event brought together amateur and professional astronomers, astronomy enthusiasts and the general public to share their enthusiasm for astronomy and space. Over 1200 astronomy activities took place across 85 countries worldwide from 10 to 13 January.
Read the full article: https://www.iau-100.org/sucessful-100hours-of-astronomy
Enjoy the many stories shared on social media: IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach Facebook & Twitter.
2) Celebrate the IAU Women and Girls in Astronomy Day
Under the theme "Inclusive Astronomy" the IAU100 celebrations will organise a wide array of global activities and events throughout the year to promote inclusivity, equity, and diversity in astronomy. These events will kick off around 11 February 2019 with the celebration of the IAU100 Women and Girls in Astronomy Day within the framework of the United Nations’ International Day of Women and Girls in Science. This is the perfect opportunity to celebrate girls and women in astronomy — by encouraging girls to consider careers in astronomy and by celebrating women astronomers. We encourage everyone to get involved with the Women and Girls in Astronomy Day by running events in your local community.
3) IAU100 Amateur Astronomy Day Event on 13 April 2019 in Brussels
On Saturday 13 April 2019 at the Palace of the Academies in Brussels, Belgium, the International Astronomical Union will organise its first event for amateur astronomers. With an inspirational full-day event that will include NASA astronaut John Grunsfeld, renowned scientists involved in hot topics in astronomy and presentations from the amateur astronomical community. With this event, the IAU aims to further build the relationship between amateur astronomers, their organizations and the IAU. The IAU100 Secretariat hereby invites amateur astronomers to engage with the event by attending and/or sharing their work as an amateur astronomer.
The Inspiring Stars Exhibition and Inclusion Workshop was conducted on 3 January 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Around 200 participants took part, among them secondary school and university students with vision and hearing impairments attending special needs education. The workshop had a panel discussion about inclusive education in Ethiopia followed by the exhibition. The exhibition and workshop are part of the IAU100 Global Project and it was organised in Ethiopia with the collaboration of the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute (ESSTI), the East Africa Regional Office of Astronomy for Development (EA-ROAD), Kotebe Metropolitan University (KMU), the Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS), the Ethiopian Scientific and Academic Network (ESAN), and Ethiopian Educators Without Borders (EEWB 2018).
The IAU100 Global Project Dark Skies for All project aims to raise awareness of the need to preserve quiet, dark skies and claim the right for future generations to continue to access our true night skies. The IAU100 is issuing a call for proposals to receive the “Turn on the Night” educational kit and encourages educators, astronomy professionals, and enthusiasts around the world to apply.
Throughout the IAU100 Global Program, about 200 educators around the world will be able to have this kit at production cost. Around 50 additional kits will be attributed and distributed for free by the IAU100 Secretariat to those who cannot afford the production cost. To apply for these IAU100 special conditions, please submit the completed application by 1 March 2019.
6) Call for Participation in the Open Astronomy Schools Project
The Open Astronomy Schools project will build teachers’ capacity to deal with scientific topics and teaching techniques by organising teacher training worldwide that enables the development of scientific literacy and acquisition of modern teaching skills. The call for proposals is targeted at providing seed funding (up to 500 Euros) and basic support to stimulate teacher training workshops in developing regions. This funding to support the OAS activities that can be used to produce materials to distribute to workshop participants or travel/subsistence support for teachers to attend the workshop.
The call for proposals will be open until the end of the IAU100 celebrations. Proposals requesting funds have to be submitted by 28 February 2019 at 11:00 pm UTC. All applicants requesting financial support will receive feedback regarding the decision in March 2019.
Applications are open for Royal Astronomical Society - Office of Astronomy for Development (RAS-OAD) grants which provide mobility funding to establish or nurture research, educational and/or development-related collaborations between the UK and countries where astronomy research is not well established. The call is open for scientists, engineers, or educators either based in the UK or traveling to the UK. The deadline for application is: February 28, 2019.
8) Results of the 2018 OAD Annual Call for Proposals
The International Astronomical Union — Office of Astronomy for Development’s (IAU OAD) seventh annual call for proposals has concluded and 20 projects have been selected to receive funding to address various challenges around the globe using astronomy. The OAD is pleased to announce the results of its 2018 annual call for proposals. Twenty projects will receive funding from the IAU in 2019 to address challenges using astronomy-related interventions. The OAD has placed 18 projects on a 'Recommended List' — proposals approved by the reviewers but which we are unable to support due to funding limitations. http://www.astro4dev.org/2019-recommended-projects/
9) News from Around the World — the NOCs & IAU100 National Committees Stories
With the IAU100 celebrations and the nearly 100 National Outreach Coordinators (NOCs) extremely active, many events are occurring worldwide. Some of these activities are being reported by the various national coordinators and contacts wishing to highlight important events in their country.
i) 3rd Workshop on Dissemination and Education of Astronomy (WDEA III)
Dates: 2 July (Solar Eclipse), 4- 5 July 2019
Location: San Juan, Argentina
More information at http://sion.frm.utn.edu.ar/WDEAIII/
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12) Contributions to the IAU Outreach Newsletter—looking forward to hearing from you in 2019
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 2019! 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can send us your suggestions until the 4th (for issue #1) and the 17th (for issue #2) day of each month. We are looking forward to hearing from you.