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Image exhibition: from CAP to IYA

In preparation for the International Year of Astronomy (IYA) in 2009, efforts are underway to create an exhibition of astronomical images in Athens. The exhibit, which is scheduled for early 2008, will serve as a prototype of a fleet of such exhibits to be shown around the world during 2009. The concept for the image exhibitions would be to feature astronomy in non-traditional, potentially outdoor, spaces that would engage the public in an unexpected way. The image exhibition project, currently using the title of “The Universe from Earth”, is being considered as one of the key projects in IYA planning efforts.


The images for this exhibit, which could number up to 100, will be culled from both professional and amateurs. We strongly urge those who attend CAP to submit images from their institutions or personal collections. Please note that we will only be selecting astronomical images – no spacecraft or hardware pictures or artistic renderings. For the prototype exhibit in Athens in early 2008, we need your images *no later than November 9, 2007*. Details on the submission of images will be given.

In addition to input of the images, we are looking to members of the CAP community to consider acting as representative for their country or region for the full implementation of the image exhibitions during IYA 2009. In order to make these exhibitions happen, we need three elements:

  1. Location: A public space that would have the room to house large format images, either wall mounted or on stands with high traffic. Again, the goal of this project is to reach not just to the local science center or planetarium, but also beyond. This could include parks, metro stations, art museums, etc.

  2. Point of Contact: A lot of logistical planning will be necessary to secure such locations as listed above. We need a person(s) who are willing to pursue and coordinate with all of the necessary local officials and act as an intermediary with the IYA Image Exhibit task group. This is very important. Such a large, worldwide effort cannot be centralized in the hands of a few individuals and responsibility must be taken on at the local level.

  3. Funding: It should be considered unlikely that we can obtain funding for this project from the major agencies (NASA, IAU, ESA). Therefore, it is imperative to the success of this project to identify and secure funding from outside entities: corporations, foundations, etc. The host country or region must take responsibility for acquiring funding for the scope of the exhibit they would like to see go forth in their area.

If you are interested in participating in the IYA image exhibition effort, please contact one or more of the following individuals. Please note planning and action on an image exhibition in any location must begin as soon as possible. We look forward to working with you on this exciting project.

Kim Kowal Arcand

Megan Watzke

Lars Lindberg Christensen

Manolis Zoulias