In this issue, take the time to discover more about Backyard Worlds and join the quest for Planet Nine. If you are a Hypatia of Alexandria fan then vote to make 20 March Hypatia Day! And discover more about the latest IAU OAD-funded projects for 2017 — this time on developing new content for planetariums.
We want to highlight the contributions from our National Outreach Contacts (NOCs) and other members from our community who continue to share their national activities with us . We feel truly inspired to see so many international collaborations growing from what were once only national activities to reach a wider regional and even international audience.
Happy reading and clear skies!
The IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach team
1) National Outreach Contact (NOC) Corner: News from USA
a) Maunakea Coin Contest
The Maunakea Coin Contest aims to raise awareness of the convergence between astronomy (such as the night sky, constellations, and telescopes) and the Hawaiian culture of Maunakea (such as plants, animals, insects, the environment, and natural history) among K-12 students on the Big Island of Hawai‘i. K-12 students are invited to create the design for a coin that includes both astronomy and Hawaiian themes related to Maunakea and to express their aloha and respect for the impressive mountain. The deadline is Friday 10 March 2017.
3) Naval Hill Planetarium: Context-appropriate Content Development Project
This is a Task Force 3 – Public Outreach funded project for 2017 and will focus on developing new content for planetariums. The Naval Hill Planetarium is presently the only digital planetarium in South Africa and it’s patrons come from vastly diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. In order to make pre-rendered shows (typically produced in developed countries in the northern hemisphere) accessible and relevant, the team from Naval Hill Planetarium will produce supporting full-dome planetarium content and translate existing content that is culturally relevant and speaks to the needs of the local population.
4) SkyLight — a Global Science Opera: The Refugee Song and Dance
"SkyLight — a Global Science Opera" is a project officially endorsed by IAU-Cosmic Light, part of UNESCO's International Year of Light 2015 (IYL2015) and is the first science opera in history to be written together by a global community of children, teachers, scientists and artists from 35 nations. The Refugee Song and Dance is the finale to the opera's 2016 edition. It celebrates and shares the contributions of modern science to our understanding of humanity's common origin in the stars, and how we now have detailed knowledge of our inter-dependencies, our inter-relationships, and our interconnections.
5) Commemorating the first female astronomer — Hypatia of Alexandria
Attention Hypatia fans around the world! Currently 20 March is being petitioned as an ideal date to commemorate the first female astronomer — Hypatia of Alexandria. As the petition gains momentum — there are 40 participating countries overall, Uruguay, Colombia, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Chile having recently joined — the organisation is aiming to formalise a proposal to UNESCO so that on Hypatia Day we can globally celebrate Women in Science day.
The International Day of Planetaria (IDP) goal is to involve the international planetarium community in a collaboration that promotes awareness of planetariums to the public. The IDP was first conceived by the Associazione Amici dei Planetari in Italy. In 1995, when other planetariums in Europe joined in the celebration, it became a truly international day. Today it is also celebrated in the United States and Australia and it hopes to continue to grow towards having a global reach.
7) Making the Case: Outreach & Communications for Large, International Science Projects
“Making the Case: Outreach & Communications for Large, International Science Projects” is a three-day workshop that will provide Workforce, Education, Public Outreach and Communications (WEPOC) leaders from high-energy physics and astronomy projects with a forum for considering some fundamental questions for large, international science projects. The workshop will run from 11 to 13 April 2017 and will be hosted in Pasadena, California.
Backyard Worlds is hoping to discover a large planet at the fringes of our solar system — a world astronomers call Planet Nine. But Backyard Worlds need your help! Finding such dim objects requires combing through images by eye, to distinguish moving celestial bodies from ghosts and other artefacts. So come and join the search — there are many images to look through. In the end you might discover a rogue world that's even nearer to the Sun than Proxima Centauri!
c) 10th International Meeting of Astronomy and Astronautics
Date: 6–8 April 2017
Location: Campos, RJ, Brazil
More Information: http://bit.ly/2e3Gj5k
d) Making the Case: Outreach & Communications for Large, International Science Projects
Date: 11–13 April 2017
Location: Pasadena, CA, USA
More information: http://conference.ipac.caltech.edu/wepoc2017
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.