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IAU Astronomy Outreach Newsletter

November 2016 #2


In this newsletter:

0) From the Editors
1) National Outreach Contact (NOC) Corner: News from Serbia
2) Rosetta Strato Charity Campaign
3) The SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System
4) Cassini Scientist for a Day Essay Contest
5) Catch a Star
6) Discover the Chandra X-ray Observatory website
7) Train like an astronaut in 2017
8) World’s best stargazing sites
9) Meetings & global events
    a) Upcoming
10) IAU Astronomy Outreach Newsletter in other languages
11) Contributions to IAU Outreach Newsletter for 2016

0) From the Editors

In this issue, we would like to encourage you to discover Chandra's X-ray Observatory website resources, to support UNAWE’s Rosetta Strato Charity campaign and, if you are a primary school teacher, to launch a challenge to your students: train as an astronaut!

We would like to welcome to the team Martin Pawley and the Agrupación Astronómica Coruñesa Ío, in Spain; they are currently translating this newsletter into Galician. A huge thank you to everyone on the team contributing. 

Clear Skies!
The IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach team

1) National Outreach Contact (NOC) Corner: News from Serbia

a) A Book about Space - World Space Week
During the 2016 World Space Week last October, participants from around the world were encouraged to submit space-themed drawings, pictures, poems, stories or articles. The works received, from Macedonia, USA, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, and Montenegro, have now been collected and released in the form of an e-book in Serbian.
The e-book can be downloaded here (.pdf).

b) Best photograph of the Moon - International Observe the Moon Night
As part of the International Observe the Moon Night, the astronomical societies “Milutin Milankovi ć” and “Eureka” have organised a contest for the best photograph of the Moon. All photographs that were entered into the contest will form part of a special exhibit that will be shown at science clubs across the country in the coming months.

c) Astrophotography Workshop at Vidojevica Observatory
The first Astrophotography Workshop was organised by the Belgrade Astronomical Observatory  and held at Vidojevica Observatory, where the 1.4-m Milutin Milanković telescope was installed this summer. The workshop was attended by 20 amateur astronomers, most of whom also brought along their own telescopes and equipment.

d) Astronomy portals and translations into Serbian
Apart from the IAU Astronomy Outreach Newsletter, there are a few other materials translated to Serbian, such as SDO's "Pick of the Week", the Daily NASA-APOD, the ESO Public Page, and the Serbian ESA Twitter page. A very dynamic astronomy community in Serbia also gathers around a prominent and up-to-date web portal “Astronomski magazin”.

2) Rosetta Strato Charity Campaign

The Rosetta mission took the world by storm with a hugely successful outreach campaign. Teaming up with UNAWE, Design & Data GmbH has recently launched the Rosetta Strato crowdfunding campaign. The campaign aims to inspire children between the ages of four and ten across the world to take an interest in space sciences, using the Rosetta plush toy. The toy will be sent to where it's needed most — underprivileged schools around the world.
You can support this campaign here:

3) The SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO)/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) is a Digital Library portal for researchers in Astronomy and Physics. Hosted at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), the ADS maintains three bibliographic databases containing more than 12.3 million records. Operated by the SAO under a NASA grant, this digital library covers publications in Astronomy and Astrophysics, Physics, and the arXiv e-prints. A specially selected subset of publications is available: the Science Education Search, that offers a basic interface to the literature in Science Education Research and related publications.

You can find the Science Education Search here 
And learn more about the ADS here: 

4) Cassini Scientist for a Day Essay Contest

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has announced the 2016–17 staging of its Cassini Scientist for a Day essay contest. Since the Cassini mission to Saturn will be ending on 15 September 2017, this will most likely be the last essay contest for the Cassini mission, for which students are asked to write an essay of up to 500 words about one of three possible imaging targets that the Cassini spacecraft has observed during the past few years. Winners and their classes are invited to participate in a teleconference with Cassini scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The deadline for entries is 24 February 2017.

For contest rules, a flyer, frequently asked questions, and more information, please visit:

5) Catch a Star

The Catch a Star contest is the result of a collaboration between the European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). The aim of the Catch a Star programme is to encourage secondary school students around Europe to express their creativity through autonomous work, to strengthen and expand their astronomical knowledge and skills, and to help the spread of information technologies in the educational process. The deadline for entries is 30 November 2016, at 5pm CET.

Learn more about this competition here:

6) Discover the Chandra X-ray Observatory website 

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory is a satellite designed to detect X-ray emission from hot regions of the Universe. The Chandra X-ray Center, hosted by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), operates the satellite, processes the data, and distributes it to scientists worldwide for analysis. The Center maintains a public website focusing on the scientific results and an education program related to the project. There you can find images, illustrations and other multimedia focusing on the Chandra mission and X-ray astronomy. You can also find a glossary of terms, links and many other useful resources for education and outreach.

Discover more on

7) Train like an astronaut in 2017

Mission X is an international challenge for pupils aged 8 to 12 years old and is an initiative of NASA, ESA, and other space agencies around the world. It focuses on fitness and healthy eating — two very important topics for astronauts.  During the challenge, the students take part in six weeks of training to get fit like astronauts. Don’t miss the chance to register your class onto the Mission X challenge 2017 and train with ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet and his crew members! You have until 31 December 2016!

Read ESA’s press release here:
You can also visit the official website here: 

8) World’s best stargazing sites 

"World’s best stargazing sites " National Geographic article by Babak Tafreshi, renowned photographer and the founder of The World at Night (TWAN) photography programme. Running since 2009, The World At Night (TWAN) is a programme to create and exhibit a collection of stunning landscape astrophotographs and time-lapse videos of the world’s most beautiful and historic sites against a nighttime backdrop of stars, planets, and celestial events. To photograph the world at night, over the past two decades, Babak Tafreshi has spent nearly a thousand evenings under stars in all continents around the world. Don’t miss the chance to learn more about his favourite places to watch the stars. 

You can read the article here:
You can also check "Top Ancient Sites for Stargazing":
Learn more about TWAN here:

9) Meetings & global events

Here you can find a list of astronomy outreach & education conferences and events around the world.


a) Southeast Asia Astronomical Network (SEAAN) 
Date: 12 and 13 December 2016
Location: Hanoi, Vietnam
More Information: 

b) ESO Astronomy Camp
Date: 26 December 2016 to 1 January 2017
Location: Aosta Valley, Italy.
More information:

c) 7th International Festival of Science Visualization — Dome Fest
Date: 5–7 March 2017
Location: Tokyo, Japan
More Information:

d) 10th International Meeting of Astronomy and Astronautics 
Date: 6–8 April 2017
Location: Campos, RJ, Brazil
More Information: 

e) 13th Asian-Pacific Regional IAU Meeting (APRIM 2017)
Date: 3–7 July 2017
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
More Information: 

f) International Symposium on Astronomy and Astrobiology Education
Date: 3–8 July 2017
Location: Utrecht, Netherlands
More Information:

g) International Planetarium Society 2018
Date: 1–6 July 2018
Location: Toulouse, France
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 the Association of Amateur Astronomers from León, Nicaragua: ;
-     If you want to receive the Japanese newsletter translation, please subscribe to the Japanese Amateur Astronomers Association 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 IAU Outreach Newsletter for 2016

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 2016! 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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