Our team has been busy making the final preparations to launch our annual plan of activities for 2020, but here is a sneak peek to what we have in store for you. This year we are excited to announce that we will team up once again with the Belgian initiative Sterren Schitteren voor Iedereen and UNAWE to distribute 12 telescopes signed by astronauts and scientists, including three Nobel Prize winners, to underserved communities around the world.
In 2020, we will promote actions on dark and quiet skies awareness and grow the IAU Dark Skies Ambassadors, a network we invite you to join to help raise awareness of dark skies. This year we will be particularly focused on raising awareness about satellite constellations.
Our team is also part of the Scientific Organising Committee for the 2020 CAP Conference in Sydney, Australia. We strongly recommend you to apply for a travel grant and submit an abstract through the links listed later in this newsletter.
Wishing you the clearest skies! Lina Canas & Izumi Hansen, on behalf of the IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach Team
1) IAU Issues Current Understanding of the Impact of Satellite Constellations on Astronomy
In June 2019, the International Astronomical Union expressed concern about the negative impact that the planned mega-structures of communication satellites, called satellite constellations, may have on astronomical observations and on the pristine appearance of the night sky when observed from a dark region. The IAU has recently issued the current understanding of the impact of satellite constellations on the night sky.
2) Communicating Astronomy with the Public 2020 Opens Registration
From 21 to 25 September 2020, Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia and the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Commission C2—Communicating Astronomy with the Public (CAP), will host the world’s largest conference on astronomy communication: Communicating Astronomy with the Public 2020 (CAP2020). Professionals from science communication, informal education, planetaria and science centres, as well as professional and amateur astronomers, journalists and creatives, are invited to attend the conference to exchange ideas and discuss best practice in astronomy communication. Under the central theme of Communicating Astronomy for a Better World: Environment, Culture and Peace, the Scientific Organising Committee (SOC) welcomes proposals for oral presentations, posters, and workshops. Proposals can be submitted online by 15 March 2020.
3) IAU Dark Skies Ambassadors: A Legacy of the IAU100 Celebrations
In 2019, one of the most prominent IAU100 Global Projects was Dark Skies for All, a project that grew into a network of 123 ambassadors in 45 countries who organised 197 activities in 30 countries throughout 2019. Understanding that the ambassadors have an important role in raising awareness of light pollution issues amongst the general public, the IAU has decided to maintain the IAU100 Dark Skies Ambassadors network beyond 2019, reforming the network into the IAU Dark Skies Ambassadors. In 2020, the IAU intends to work with the IAU Dark Skies Ambassadors as agents of change in crucial topics for dark skies advocacy, such as satellite constellation awareness and equitable access to the natural right of a dark sky.
In 2020, and following the much successful collaboration during the IAU100 celebrations, the OAO will team up once again with the Belgian initiative Sterren Schitteren voor Iedereen (Stars Shine for Everyone—SSVI) and Leiden University/Universe Awareness (UNAWE) to distribute 12 telescopes to underserved communities around the world. The telescopes were signed by astronauts and scientists, and, with the help of newscientist.nl, including three Nobel Prize winners. We encourage applications under our IAU Global Outreach Events for 2020, especially in relation to our Inspiring Stars Programme, in which the IAU endorses best practices for inclusive astronomy.
5) Visitor Selected for the 2020 IAU Outreach Visitor Program
Jorge Rivero González has been selected as the 2020 IAU Outreach Visitor, after a deliberation over 31 candidates from 20 countries. Following his work as global coordinator of the IAU100 celebrations, Jorge will be staying at the OAO, at National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) Mitaka Campus, collaborating on the IAU100 legacy and lessons learnt. The IAU100 celebrations had over 5000 registered activities in 143 countries/regions that reached over 100 million people. Our team is looking forward to welcoming Jorge to Tokyo.
The Wellcome Foundation, in collaboration with the Gallup World Poll, published a survey of more than 140,000 people in 144 countries to assess public attitudes towards science and medicine around the world. Although the survey is not astronomy-specific, the results nevertheless provide useful insights for science communicators.
Thank you to Donna Vanzetti for sharing news of these events.
8) The African Astronomical Society (AfAS) Conference
The first African Astronomical Society (AfAS) meeting will be held from 16-19 March 2020 at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) in Cape Town, South Africa. The meeting will focus on the science coming out of astronomical research in Africa and cultivating collaboration among countries in Africa as well as collaborations between Africa and the rest of the world. The conference will also look at attracting and retaining youth in astronomy and strengthening the teaching of astronomy and related sciences.
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 email@example.com.
10) IAU Astronomy Outreach Newsletter in Other Languages
Interested in translating our newsletter into your language? Please let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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.