The fourth Middle-East and Africa Regional IAU Meeting will take place in Ethiopia, shortly after the 39th International School for Young Astronomers (ISYA) which will also be held in Ethiopia. It will be a great chance to meet with a diverse audience and exchange ideas in the sessions dedicated to outreach and education.
In this issue, we report that the Global Science Opera project, endorsed by IAU Cosmic Light, has announced its theme for 2017 — once again astronomy and space science will be the focus. There is still time to apply for the first S’Cool LAB Summer CAMP promoted by CERN. And the Starmus Festival program for 2017 is available and once again it promises to be a great event.
As 2017 gets under way our team hopes you will make the protection of dark skies one the highlights of your education and outreach activities for the coming year. If you need some support or ideas, please consider joining one of the programs suggested by the IAU working group "Achieving sustainable development within a quality lighting framework". More news to come, so stay tuned.
The IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach team
1) Fourth Middle-East and Africa Regional IAU Meeting (MEARIM IV)
MEARIM IV will take place from 22 to 25 May 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and will have the theme of “Exploring our Universe for the benefit of Humankind”. This IAU Meeting is jointly hosted by Entoto Observatory & Research Center (EORC) and the East African Regional Office of Astronomy for Development (ROAD-IAU). The 39th International School for Young Astronomers (ISYA) 2017 will also be held in Ethiopia, from 8 to 19 May 2017. The ISYA school will last for two weeks and will include a series of lectures on astronomy and astrophysics, along with relevant observational and data reduction techniques and hands-on activities.
The IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) has put together a toolkit to assist with the creation of student physics societies at Universities. The guide is aimed at university undergraduates who wish to start their own student society. Download the folder at the link below for the full guide, as well as some additional resources. Your feedback on how the toolkit can be improved is important! Please send your comments and input to Munira Hoosain (munirahoosain1996[at]gmail.com).
4) National Outreach Contact (NOC) Corner: News from Vietnam
The Hanoi Amateur Astronomy Society is an organisation founded in 2009 by young stargazers in Hanoi, Vietnam, that aims to be a community where space enthusiasts can meet and share their knowledge and passion, as well as bringing the wonders of the Universe closer to the public. However, as most of them are students who cannot afford commercial telescopes, they tried to find alternative ways to build telescopes for themselves — and they succeeded!. Some of the club members have made the mechanical parts from available low-cost materials and used manufactured lenses to obtain a good quality telescope at low cost. They have prepared detailed instructions and shared them on social media so anyone can make a telescope. An English version is currently in preparation.
You can find more information (currently in Vietnamese only) with the instructions on how to make a refracting telescope here and here.
5) Global Science Opera announces 2017 theme: Moon Village
In 2017 the Global Science Opera will produce the opera “Moon Village”. This science opera will be performed around the world and streamed online — a year-long creative inquiry shared by schools, universities and art institutions in 25 countries. It will communicate the process, science and technology of the European Space Agency’s Moon Village. “Moon Village” will be a collaboration between a network of institutions and international education projects. Click here to become part of this exciting initiative!
6) CEDIC, the Central European Deepsky Imaging Conference
The Central European Deepsky Imaging Conference (CEDIC) was introduced during the 2009 International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) "100 Hours of Astronomy" by three Austrian astrophotographers, and it was the first international astronomical imaging conference in Europe. The conference takes place every two years and is a growing event offering two days of lectures and workshops. Although the primary focus is deep-sky imaging, other topics in astrophotography are covered, such as The World at Night (TWAN) photography, time-lapse photography, planetary imaging, comet imaging, scientific astronomy, etc.
CERN is offering high-school students the opportunity to spend their summer at S’Cool LAB — CERN’s hands-on particle physics learning laboratory — with a great programme of lectures and tutorials, their own team research projects, and visits to CERN’s research installations. This first summer camp will take place from 23 July to 5 August 2017; 22 students, aged 16 to 19, from all around the world will spend two weeks exploring the fascinating world of particle physics. The programme is free of charge for the selected candidates, and travel expenses, accommodation and meals will be covered. If you wish to participate in this programme, please apply by 5 February 2017.
The Starmus Festival was initiated to celebrate science and the arts with the goal of bringing an understanding and appreciation of science to the public at large. This year, Buzz Aldrin, Charlie Duke and Harrison Schmitt will all be together for the Starmus IV festival and will participate in a debate under the title of “To The Moon And Beyond” in which the three moonwalkers will explore their incredible experiences and share their views on future missions to Mars. Starmus IV will be held in Trondheim, Norway, gathering scientists, artists, musicians, writers and business leaders to celebrate science in an exciting combination of talks, concerts, debates, parties, and learning. A festival not to miss!
Here you can find a list of astronomy outreach & education conferences and events around the world. Plan ahead for a year full of interesting events!
Central European Deepsky Imaging Conference (CEDIC)
Date: 10–12 March 2017
Location: Linz, Austria
More information: http://www.cedic.at/
Fourth Middle-East and Africa Regional IAU Meeting (MEARIM IV) Abstract Submission deadline: 30 March 2017
Date: 22–25 May 2017
Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
More Information: http://www.eorcworkshop.com/mearim-iv-home
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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.