April is just around the corner and, as usual, with it comes the hotly anticipated Global Astronomy Month promoted by Astronomers Without Borders. We encourage you to actively participate and join the numerous worldwide celebrations. This is a chance for sharing the night sky with your family and friends, but also an opportunity to connect with many different people around the world and to celebrate as one, under the same sky.
In this issue, plan ahead for the major astronomical events of the year with the free Universe Today ebook. Discover two inspiring projects from our sister office, the Office of Astronomy for Development: The Sky on a Bike, for underprivileged children in India, and a workshop designed to promote astronomy to science teachers in Nigeria. And if you’re a photography enthusiast, learn how you can participate in the Eclipse Megamovie Project.
Happy reading and clear skies!
The IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach team
1) "Astronomy for All" during Global Astronomy Month
For Global Astronomy Month (GAM) 2017, the IAU Working Group Astronomy for Equity and Inclusion has teamed up with Astronomers without Borders (AWB) and compiled a list of thirty resources to highlight during April. The thirty resources constitute a free, open source collection intended to support and facilitate the implementation of activities for people with disabilities. This collaboration between the IAU WG and AWB is also a call to action, to everyone who wishes to implement these kinds of inclusive activities and wishes to know more about how to create and implement resources for people with disabilities.
2) Hands-on Basic Space Science Training for Primary and Secondary School Teachers (HBSST)
The “Hands-on Basic Space Science Training for Primary and Secondary School Teachers (HBSST)” project received an IAU Office of Astronomy for Development grant in 2017 from Task Force 2 — Children and Schools. HBSST is a workshop designed to promote the appreciation of astronomy amongst primary and junior secondary education science teachers in Nigeria. The workshop will be set in two locations: in Nsukka in the Enugu State, from 20 to 22 April; and in Port-Harcourt, in the Rivers State, from 23 to 25 April. All Nigerian teachers in primary and secondary schools can apply until 6 April 2017.
“The Sky on Bike” project was funded in 2016 by an IAU Office of Astronomy for Development grant, by Task Force 3 — Public Outreach, with the goal of popularising science via Astronomy and Space Sciences. This project has been introducing the wonders of the night sky to groups of economically disadvantaged people in India. Telescopes were carried on bicycles and set up at locations where the public was gathered. The objective was to foster science education and dispel myths related to celestial events, common in many areas of India. The team visited locally based NGOs to cater to the curiosity of underprivileged children, reaching around 450 children from nearby slums and other similar backgrounds.
4) National Outreach Contacts (NOC) Corner: News from Serbia
a) Aktuelna Astronomija Online
A new, free weekly astronomy newsletter, the AAO — Aktuelna Astronomija Online (Latest Astronomy Online News) is now available to all Serbian-speaking readers. The "AAO-Astronomy Online" bulletin will feature the latest international astronomical events and other curiosities in connection with astronomy. It will be published online every week in the Serbian language and each new issue will be ready for download every Sunday.
You can read the latest issues here: http://bit.ly/AAObilten
b) Nova Galaksija
The new online science magazine “Nova Galaksija” has been launched and is available in the Serbian language. The magazine has been inspired by an old popular Yugoslavian printed magazine “Galaksija” that was issued between 1972 and 2001. We hope that the new magazine will prove to be a worthy successor and we invite you to explore it at http://galaksijanova.rs/.
c) Radio Galaksija
The astronomy radio show and podcast “Radio Galaksija” has been running since 2008 had its 100th episode in October of 2016. The show is in the Serbian language and all episodes can be found online together with the latest — 104th — episode on the history of astronomy. https://www.mixcloud.com/radiogalaksija/
5) Get ready for Global Astronomy Month 2017
This year’s Global Astronomy Month as usual takes in a variety of engaging programmes — the Global Star Party on 1 April; the observing event Online Messier Marathon on 4 April; the Cosmic Concert on 28 April; and many more special celebrations throughout the month. Be inspired by the Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) motto “One People, One Sky” and join the worldwide celebrations.
Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) has a vast list of events prepared. Here is what you can expect for 2017:
Contribute to a first-of-its-kind citizen science project — the Eclipse Megamovie! The project is looking to obtain photographs of the 21 August total solar eclipse to build a movie of images from coast to coast across the United States. The team coordinating the project is seeking skilled photographers to help create the movie as well as support solar science. The final goal is to recruit over 1000 amateur photographers and astronomers who will be on the path of totality on 21 August 2017. Team members will receive training and will submit a practice image before the eclipse.
To promote understanding of the importance of reducing and eliminating light pollution, the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) has compiled a list of interactive lesson plans that support educators who wish to incorporate light pollution awareness into their curriculum. The lesson plans range from “Too Bright at Night?”, created by ScienceNetLinks to "Hands-on-Activity: Measuring Light Pollution", by Teach Engineering — a series of seven lesson plans in total.
"101 Astronomical Events 2017" is a free ebook, launched by Universe Today and written by David Dickinson. Amateur astronomers such as Cory Schmitz (PhotographingSpace) and Paul Stewart (The Upside Down Astronomer) provided some of the beautiful photographs. This book inspires you to get outside with your friends and family and enjoy the best predicted astronomical events for 2017, such as occultations, eclipses, meteor showers, and much more.
c) 10th International Meeting of Astronomy and Astronautics
Date: 6–8 April 2017
Location: Campos, RJ, Brazil
More Information: http://bit.ly/2e3Gj5k
d) Making the Case: Outreach & Communications for Large, International Science Projects
Date: 11–13 April 2017
Location: Pasadena, CA, USA
More information: http://conference.ipac.caltech.edu/wepoc2017
k) Royal Astronomical Society National Astronomy Meeting 2017
Date: 2–6 July 2017
Location: University of Hull, United Kingdom
More Information: https://nam2017.org/
l) The International Symposium on Education in Astronomy and Astrobiology
Date: July 3-7, 2017
Location: Utrecht, the Netherlands
More Information: http://ise2a.uu.nl/
m) 13th Asian-Pacific Regional IAU Meeting (APRIM 2017)
Date: 3–7 July 2017
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
More Information: http://www.aprim2017.tw/
n) Big Data in Astronomy: A Potential Tool For Social Innovation (BAriSta)
Dates: 7 - 11 August 2017
Location: Flic en Flac, Mauritius
More Information: https://sites.google.com/ska.ac.za/barista/home?authuser=0
o) European Planetary Science Congress 2017
Date: 17–22 September 2017
Location: Radisson Blu Hotel Latvija, Riga, Latvia
More Information: http://www.epsc2017.eu/
p) 3rd COSPAR Symposium
Date: 18–22 September 2017
Location: Jeju Island, South Korea,
More information: https://cosparhq.cnes.fr/
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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 email@example.com.