Our team has recently met our colleagues at the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD), in South Africa, joining the OAD in the regional face-to-face meeting as observers. It was a very important time for us, to learn from our colleagues and to strengthen our ties with the different OAD regions (ROADs) and language centres (LOADs). We also attended the Science for Development workshop, jointly hosted by the International Science Council’s Regional Office for Africa and the IAU OAD. It was a pleasure meeting with our colleagues in other sciences to find how we can support the use of astronomy to better our world. Our congratulations to our colleagues for hosting a very successful and impactful workshop!
In this newsletter, we highlight the Pale Blue Dot celebrations—the best way to end a year of IAU100 celebrations! We also want to make a call for your contribution to the contemporary Women in Astronomy guide and suggest that you spend a unique Valentine’s Day by showing your love for the stars by participating in the Globe at Night program.
Wishing you the clearest skies,
Lina Canas & Izumi Hansen, on behalf of the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach Team
1) Worldwide Activities Celebrate Pale Blue Dot’s 30th Anniversary and the Earth
After one year of looking at one hundred years of milestones in astronomy with the IAU100, the IAU is now asking you to look back at us, planet Earth. In the final IAU100 global project, events around the world will show how astronomy helps us understand the place of our home planet in the universe and how we can address global challenges. Events will take place between 13-20 February 2020.
2) North American Regional Office of Astronomy for Development Launched
The North American Regional Office of Astronomy for Development was officially established on 29 January 2020 at a signing ceremony in Cape Town, South Africa. The office will work closely with the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD). The event was attended by the Ewine van Dishoeck, IAU president, and marked the formation of the eleventh Regional Office of Astronomy for Development.
4) Contribute to a Guide on Contemporary Women in Astronomy
The IAU Working Group Network for Astronomy School Education invites you to participate in the creation of a basic guide to contemporary women in astronomy. Each country can send up to four names with respective photos and a brief biography. The astronomers will become part of the guide Women Hold Half of the Sky.
The announcement was made on 11 February, International Day of Women and Girls in Science, and the guide will be published on 8 March, the International Day of Women.
Thank you to Andrew Fraknoi for sharing this news.
6) STEM Writing Contest for Students Aged 13-19
The New York Times Learning Network and Science News are holding a writing contest for students. Students are asked to choose an issue or question in science, technology, engineering, math or health that interests them, then write a 500-word explanation that will engage and enlighten readers. The international contest closes 3 March 2020.
Thank you to Steven Collins for sharing this resource.
8) Love the Stars? Astronomers Have a Unique Suggestion for Valentine’s Day
Few sights are more romantic than a star-filled sky, but there are fewer and fewer places on Earth where we can still enjoy a truly dark, star-filled sky. Light pollution means we risk losing one of the most romantic spectacles in nature, so this Valentine’s Day astronomers are asking the public to help show their love for the stars by making light pollution observations as part of the Globe at Night program.
d) IAUS 367: Education and Heritage in the Era of Big Data in Astronomy
Date: 9-14 Dec 2020
Location: Bariloche, Argentina
More information: http://sion.frm.utn.edu.ar/iaus367/
Have we missed something? Then share your astronomy outreach and education international meetings or events with us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
10) IAU Astronomy Outreach Newsletter in Other Languages
Interested in translating our newsletter into your language? Please let us know via email@example.com.
Our newsletter is being translated into the following languages:
Translations into Japanese are available, carried out by Akihiko Tomita through the Astronomy Translation Network: http://bit.ly/2xlNyCR. If you want to receive the Japanese newsletter translation, please subscribe through the Japanese Amateur Astronomers Association (http://www.jaaa-astro.jp/jaaa-ml.html) or the Japanese Society for Education and Popularization of Astronomy (http://www.tenkyo.net/).
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 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 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.