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IAU Astronomy Outreach Newsletter

#1 March 2020

In this newsletter:

0) From the Editors
1) Conference on Dark and Quiet Skies for Science and Society
3) CAP Conference Abstract Submission Deadline Fast Approaching
4) Galaxy Cruise — Online Citizen Science Project Opens
5) Participate in the Globe at Night campaigns for Pi Day
6) 1st Space Science and Astronomy Symposium and Competition in Sierra Leone
7) Eratosthenes Experiment
8) Asteroid Day 2020

9) Meetings & Global Events
10) IAU Astronomy Outreach Newsletter in Other Languages
11) Contributions to IAU Outreach Newsletter

0) From the Editors

Dear friends and colleagues,

As most of you probably know, the coronavirus COVID-19 has been spreading across Japan and other parts of the world. Our OAO team members have been luckily staying healthy, but we wanted to take a moment to remind everyone to wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds and to cover your mouth with the inside of your elbow or shoulder when you cough. Protecting everyone means playing our role in limiting the spread of the virus. See the World Health Organization website for more guidelines in protecting yourself as the virus continues spreading.

Regarding our newsletter, the Galaxy Cruise citizen science project launched and is welcoming participants. Additionally, a special Globe at Night is happening this month and we encourage you to participate. Lastly, the registration for the CAP conference in Australia has opened. We encourage you to join us in Sydney in September and together, learning from each other, supporting each other become better astronomy communicators.

Wishing you the clearest skies and good health!

Lina Canas & Izumi Hansen, on behalf of the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach Team

1) Conference on Dark and Quiet Skies for Science and Society

The International Astronomical Union (IAU), the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Government of Spain are organising a conference with the provisional title “Dark and Quiet Skies for Science and Society”. The event is scheduled for 5-8 October 2020 and expected to be hosted at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) at Santa Cruz La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain.

Detailed programme and logistics information will soon be published on the IAU website, UNOOSA website and a dedicated conference website.

Find out more:


2) CAP Conference Abstract Submission Deadline Fast Approaching

Abstracts for the CAP Conference are due on 15 March 2020, just one week from now. The Communicating Astronomy with the Public (CAP) Conference will take place from 21-25 September 2020 in Sydney, Australia. The conference welcomes professionals from science communication, informal education, planetaria and science centres, as well as professional and amateur astronomers, journalists and creative types, to exchange ideas and best practices.

IAU100 event organisers are encouraged to submit proposals pertaining to IAU100 events, activities and projects to the conference.

More information on submitting travel grant and abstract applications is here:

The IAU100 announcement for the conference is here:

3) Kaifu-NAOJ Telescope Kit: A Legacy of the IAU100 Celebrations

In remembrance of the former IAU President and NAOJ Director General, 251 telescopes have been distributed in 22 countries during 26 teacher trainings. These trainings have brought telescopes to many students, allowing them to experience the wonders of astronomy with their teachers. We would like to thank NAOJ for donating these telescopes in conjunction with the IAU100 and tangibly allow more people access to experiencing the wonders of space.

Find out more about the kit:

4) Galaxy Cruise — Online Citizen Science Project Opens

The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) has released the citizen science project Galaxy Cruise in English and Japanese. Citizen scientists are invited to identify galaxies imaged by the Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) of the Subaru Telescope to help scientists improve their research.

More information is available here:

Thank you to Kumiko Usuda-Sato for sharing this news!

5) Participate in the Globe at Night campaigns for Pi Day

The Globe at Night will be celebrating Pi Day by encouraging people to go out and observe the sky. The project asks people to go out and measure the magnitude of the stars in Gemini and Orion depending on their location, then submit their findings for a citizen science project on the impact of light pollution. Observations of Orion will be part of a special comparison project with data from 2012. Other dates for future observation periods and constellations are available on the Globe at Night website.

More information is available here:

6) 1st Space Science and Astronomy Symposium and Competition in Sierra Leone

The non-profit STEAD is organising the 1st Space Science and Astronomy Symposium and Competition in Sierra Leone. STEAD is a registered NPO “dedicated to increasing space exploration, innovation and technology in Sierra Leone and the African continent by developing an enabling environment for the advancement of space education and other fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.” The events will be held 23-24 April 2020 at the British Council in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

More information is available here:

Thank you to Alimamy Conteh, our Sierra Leone NOC, for sharing this news!

7) Eratosthenes Experiment

The Eratosthenes Experiment is holding a worldwide experiment to calculate the circumference of the Earth on 20 March 2020. Schools are welcome to join the experiment and submit your data to the Eratosthenes Experiment. The experiment can be performed in collaboration with another school at the same longitude. Registration takes place between 10 March 2020 (12:00 CET) and 16 March 2020 (12:00 CET).

Find out more:

8) Asteroid Day 2020

Asteroid Day will be held on 30 June 2020 to “inspire, engage and educate the public about asteroids opportunities and their risks.” There will be a live broadcast of the UN-sanctioned event on the Asteroid Day website and events held around the world. People are invited to submit their independent Asteroid Day events on their website.

More information here

9) Meetings and Global Events 

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

a) Asia-Pacific Regional IAU Meeting (APRIM)
Date: 6-10 July 2020
Location: Perth, Australia
More information:

b) International Astronomical Youth Camp
Date: 12 Jul-1 Aug 2020
Location: Baños de Montemayor, Spain
More information:

c) CAP Conference 2020
Date: 21-25 Sep 2020
Location: Sydney, Australia
More information:

d) IAUS 367: Education and Heritage in the Era of Big Data in Astronomy
Date: 9-14 Dec 2020
Location: Bariloche, Argentina
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

Interested in translating our newsletter into your language? Please let us know via

Our newsletter is being translated into the following languages:

Translations into Japanese are available, carried out by Akihiko Tomita through the Astronomy Translation Network: If you want to receive the Japanese newsletter translation, please subscribe through the Japanese Amateur Astronomers Association ( or the Japanese Society for Education and Popularization of Astronomy (

Translations into (European) Portuguese are available, carried out by Catarina Leote, João Ferreira & Jonas Souza through the Astronomy Translation Network (ATN) Portuguese Language Group (the previous issue can be found here).

Translations into Spanish are available by Emílio Zuniga, the Association of Amateur Astronomers from León, Nicaragua:;

Translations into Galician are available by Martin Pawley, Agrupación Astronómica Coruñesa Ío, in Spain here:;    

Translations into Serbian are available by Dr Liliana Gracanin from Serbia:;

Translations into Italian are available by Eleonora Piromalli, AstronomiAmo, from Italy here:;

Translations into Russian are available by Artem Mokhnaktin, Central Astronomical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Pulkovo. You can find the latest translations of the newsletter here.  

11) Contributions to the IAU Outreach Newsletter—looking forward to hearing from you in 2020

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 2020! 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 

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.


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