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IYA-ESO 2007
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Abstracts are listed in alphabetical order by presenter.

IYA in Italy - The "perspicillum" side?

Leopoldo Benacchio

No abstract submitted.

NASA Science Mission Directorate Contributions to the International Year of Astronomy 2009

Doris Daou

The NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) Education and Public Outreach (E/PO) community joins the American Astronomical Society, the International Astronomical Union, and other international communities in celebrating Galileo and his discoveries. We have establisehd a series of goals that we hope to achieve through a coherent portfolio of IYA-themed activities. Working on these goals, the SMD E/PO community envisions a multi-pronged approach that draws on an underlying philosophy of authentic partnerships between scientists and educators. In this talk we present our goals and the approaches of our community in regards of the International Year of Astronomy in 2009.

IYA 2009 in the United States of America

Susana Deustua, Douglas Isbell, and Rick Fienberg

To coordinate the U.S. celebration of IYA 2009, the American Astronomical Society (AAS) appointed two committees whose members are drawn from leading organizations that engage in astronomy education and public outreach in the United States, plus liaisons to Canada and Mexico. The Program Committee is charged with developing themes and activities that spread appreciation of astronomy's rich scientific and cultural role throughout human history; the Development Committee will work to secure funding to support these activities. The overarching goal of the U.S. IYA 2009 program is to offer an engaging astronomy experience to every person in the country. This will be accomplished through events and activities organized in six emerging themes: Looking Through a Telescope; Dark Skies are a Universal Resource; Astronomy in Art, Entertainment & Storytelling; Research Experiences for Students, Teachers, and Citizen-Scientists; Telescope Building & Optics Challenges; and Sharing the Universe Through New Technology. Each theme will be coordinated by a working group of interested professionals and amateurs, supported by a centralized Web portal.

IYA2009: Southern Africa to Africa

Kevin Govender

Astronomy in South Africa has been growing at an ever increasing rate with major projects like the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), the Karoo Array Telescope (KAT) and the bid for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). Existing facilities in South Africa include a number of optical telescopes at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) as well as a radio telescope at Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO). Moving north, neighbouring country Namibia is home to the largest gamma ray telescope in the world - the High Energy Stereoscopic System (HESS). With all these exciting projects in Southern Africa, there is great potential for us to lead Astronomy outreach in Africa. South Africa already has a hard working Astronomy outreach community who have much experience in taking the stars to the people. This presentation will cover a brief summary of Astronomy in South Africa as well as the plans we have for IYA2009. Ideas for taking Astronomy into Africa will also be explored.

Canadian Preparations for IYA2009

Jim Hesser, Dennis Crabtree, Jayanne English, Peter Jedicke, Remi Lacasse, John Percy, Andy Woodsworth, Scott Young

The "IYA2009 Canada Committee" (IYACC), a partnership of organizations in Canada involved in communicating astronomy as a science and hobby with the public and students, organizes and coordinates Canadian endeavors to celebrate the International Year of Astronomy in 2009 (IYA2009) by:

1. defining, developing, coordinating and/or managing national programs;

2. providing a bilingual (French, English) website that serves as the central resource for Canadian IYA2009 activities and as a clearinghouse of local and regional IYA2009 activities to encourage, inspire and support broader participation at the local level

3. raising funds for the definition, development and management of national programs and activities for IYA2009

4. promoting IYA2009 through our website, the media and our member organizations

The IYACC Steering Group (the authors of this abstract) is developing Working Groups on Programs, Resources, and on Web and Media Relations; and is bringing expertise from outside the astronomy community to facilitate achievement of our goals. The broad goal of the IYACC is to ensure that Canada's celebration of IYA2009 reaches as many Canadians as possible, including through active engagement with the First Nations and Inuit (aboriginal) peoples, as well as arts and cultural organizations. Canada Post is evaluating our proposal for a series of astronomy-themed stamps, and IYACC adhering organizations are evaluating a long list of suggested activities as an essential step towards a fund raising strategy.

Astronomy and Astrophysics in the Czech Republic

B. Jungwiert, P. Suchan, P. Pravec

We give an overview of Astronomy and Astrophysics in the Czech Republic, including research and teaching institutions, network of public observatories and planetaria, astronomical societies and associations. We provide a summary of recent and ongoing popularization activities and plans for the International Year of Astronomy 2009.

Outreach Activities in Japan and Possible East Asian Cooperation

Norio Kaifu

Toward the 2009 IYA we Japanese astronomers and amateurs are starting the discussion and organization for possible activities in Japan including the areas of research, education and outreach. In the field of outreach Japanese citizens enjoy quite wide variety of activities through the institute level to the local governments and individuals level. Nearly 150 public observatories and 300 planetariums are serving for public daily and nightly. Also the middle- and high-school students are very active to study astronomy in their classes and clubs. We plan to organize those activities to cooperate and combine in various ways in this very good occasion for astronomy, IYA.

I introduce those activities in Japan, mainly in the area of outreach. My talk will include the Four-dimensional Digital Universe Project of NAOJ, the "Traditional TANABATA: stars rendezvous ceremony" activities, "Junior Astronomers Session" in the Astronomical Society of Japan, etc.

We are also starting the cooperation in East Asian regions for the IYA. The "7th Symposium of EAMA (East Asian Astronomers Meeting)" titled as "East Asian Network of Astronomy: Research, Education, and Outreach" will be held in Japan in coming October. We aim to build network of astronomy not only in research but also in education and outreach in the occasion of IYA.

IYA 2009 Plan in Korea

Young-Soo Kim, Young Sook Ahn, DongJoo Lee, Young-Woon Kang, & Seok Jae Park

IYA 2009 is a great opportunity for Korean Astronomy too. KASI (Korea Astronomy & Space Science), KAS (Korea Astronomy Society), and KSSS (Korea Space Science Society) would lead the year and making plans. One is an Astro-fest, which will be opened for a week. During the feast, star gazing by using telescopes, lectures, concerts, and others. There are many other events considered for the IYA 2009, such as international conferences, looking at stars in a city by turning all the lights off, marathon on the track of solar system, and solar eclipse cruise. Some of the events are hoped to be expanded to international events.

IYA in France, Progress and Possible International Cooperation

A.C. Levasseur-Regourd, F. Combes, J.E. Arlot

Preliminary organization of the IYA 2009 in France will be presented, together with the activities that are already planned for education and outreach in various regions of the country. They include a wide series of conferences and exhibitions in all regions. Besides, a call for projects will be proposed, towards groups volunteering to develop such actions for a large public.

As far as international cooperation is concerned, we would be eager to put in common the resources available in French language. We would also like to propose easy-to-make observations, which could make use of our worldwide network of observatories, equipped with mid-sized telescopes and opened to the public for observations and conferences.

Raising Public Awareness of Light Pollution within the IYA2009

Max Lippitsch

Astronomical activities of almost any kind - be it observations for research purposes, be it guided tours in public observatories - are to an increasing degree affected by light pollution. Hence, both professional and amateur astronomers are very concerned about this phenomenon, a phenomenon which makes it more and more difficult to appreciate the wonders of the starry sky and the universe, which in turn may lead to a generally decreasing interest in astronomy among young people on the long run. In my talk, I give a brief review of research on light pollution (i.e. measurements of the artificial sky brightness) and especially of activities which have taken place in Austria (and elsewhere) to raise public awareness of light pollution. Furthermore, potential campaigns within the International Year of Astronomy related to light pollution are presented.

Towards a UN IYA 2009 Resolution

Claus Madsen

The talk will describe the political process that may lead to a positive UN resolution in 2007, provide a status overview of the current situation and make suggestions for supporting actions by the IYA SPoCs.

Celebrating the Fourth Centenery of the Birth of Physical Astronomy

T.J. Mahoney

A scientific event of major importance occurred in 1609 with the publication of Johannes Kepler's Astronomia Nova, which contained the first and second of Kepler's renowned laws of planetary motion. Although Kepler's explanation was erroneous, his appeal to magnetism as the force determining how the planets moved marks the birth of physical astronomy.

I suggest that the local authorities of all the cities in which Kepler took residence be contacted with suggestions as to how Kepler's life might be celebrated in 2009.

IYA 2009 - A Status Report from Finland, February 2007

Tapio Markkanen, Markku Sarimaa and Walter Rydman

In Finland, a working group has been appointed for the IYA 2007 preparations. All astronomical research institutions, public authorities of research and education, high tech industries, organizations of science and public communication and national and regional amateur societies are involved. The home base for the IYA 2009 mission is the astronomical association Ursa with long experience and good reputation in communicating astronomy to the public. The activities include school projects, lecture series, TV and radio programmes, articles in journals and books, travelling exhibitions and special events, like a scaled model of the Solar System on the Helsinki metro-line created by young artists. Among international activities, projects are prepared by an international virtual doctoral school on ICT aided science education. Partner universities are in Finland, in South Africa and Tanzania.

Astronomy 2009 - First Steps in Hungary

Katalin Olah

I would like to present the composition andgeographical distribution of the Hungarian National Node, which involves representatives of professional astronomers, University faculties and of science popularization societies. Crucial is the participation of the Hungarian Astronomical Association, which is widespread all around the country. The plans consist of scientific meetings as well as series of public events and competitons. I will show a few excerpts from these plans.

Initiatives in Denmark

Kristian Pedersen

Ideas for initiatives during IYA09 in Denmark will be presented. Activities will be based on strong interaction between professional astronomers and existing planetariums, science centers, teachers, and amateur astronomers.

Portuguese Activities in Preparation

Antonio Pedrosa

The Portuguese Astronomical Community is committed to have an active role in the celebration of the IYA 2009. To start preparing for the event, the Portuguese Astronomical Society gathered a group of people, most involved in the popularization of Astronomy, to start preparing the organization and activities to be held during 2009. Several of those activities have been put forward, from a national to a local level, including a conference that will try to gather all the community, in order to discuss and start presenting the event. It is in this framework that we will like to present the plans for the IYA2009 in Portugal.

National Schools Competition in Astronomy

Michael Redfern, NUI Galway, Robert Hill, Space Connections

As part of the Irish node activity for IYA2009, we are organising a competition for schools groups in the whole of the island of Ireland, to undertake research projects using the Faulkes Telescopes. Projects will be mentored by locally based researchers - mostly postgraduate students. The final phase of the competition will be by presentation of posters at the Galway Science & Technology Festival in November 2009. Finalists will be invited to attend.

This competition will have the advantages of (a) involving talented school groups in real research - thus giving them an experience of the excitement, and the commitment needed for a career in science research, and (b) giving them, as a role model, an exciting and talented young person.

The competition is expected to be sponsored by Irish Government agencies and by sponsorship from industry. An important aspect of our proposal is its cross-border nature.

Astronomy and IYA2009 in Chile

Andreas Reisenegger

The Chilean astronomy community has been growing quickly over the last 10 years, not least because of the presence and privileged access to large, international astronomical facilities. Now, astronomy research is done in 7 Chilean universities in 6 different cities, in addition to the international observatories, and particularly the student population has grown dramatically. Astronomers from nearly all universities, outreach specialists, and amateur astronomers have recently joined in a national working group for IYA 2009. Ideas have been collected, specific actions are still to be decided.

Progress from the United Kingdom

Ian Robson

Progress update of the work underway in the UK regarding IYA2009.

Europlanet and the International Year of Astronomy

Russo, P. (MPS, DE), Lebreton, J.P. (ESTEC/ESA, NL), Zarnecki, J. (Open University, UK) and N4 Europlanet Team

Launched on January 1st 2005, the European Union-funded project "European Planetology Network" (EuroPlaNet) coordinates activities in Planetary Sciences in orde to achieve a long-term integration of this discipline in Europe. During four years, EuroPlaNet is strengthening the networking of the European Planetary Sciences community by promoting the exchanges between its different partners and providing a support to the planetary exploration missions. Is also improving European scientific competitiveness, develop and spread expertise in this research area. For achieving this long term goals, we need an improvement of the public understanding of planetary environments and stimulating the use of planetary sciences for the promotion of scientific education and culture at large. In 2009 we celebrate Galileos discoveries. Galileo did not only start the Scientific Revolution; he was also the father of Planetary Sciences. His discoveries were of extremely importance for our understanding of the Solar System. Euoplanet wants to play a role in this celebration and is already preparing some outreach activities for the following years. In 2007 we celebrate two important achievements in Astronomy and Space Exploration: the 40 years of Sputnik and 10 years of NASA/ESA Cassini-Huygens launch. Several activities to celebrate these endeavors across Europe are in preparation.

Aware of the Multilanguage Europe public, Europlanet have been working in different outreach products in several languages like the Huygens descent movie, the Europlanet presentation, "Titan a Place like Home?" and NASA's Ring World 2.

Planetary Sciences have a big impact in the public understanding of astronomy, Europlanet wants to take advantage of this privileged position the European Planetary Sciences community and motivate them for an active participation in the International Year of Astronomy 2009 European activities.

IAU Commission 46 - An Important Partner in IYA 2009 Preparations

Magda Stavinschi

IYA is a remarkable event in the life of all astronomers, which evokes the four centuries of scientific discoveries which followed Galilei, but first and foremost a special occasion for drawing the entire world's attention to the way in which our planet, the place which we hold in the universe, can be protected and the way in which we can use what we find in the universe for us, Earth inhabitants.

Or, the main information means are the children. The people who will take care of our planet tomorrow are the young generations of today. The future of Earth, even that of the cosmos, at least of the one close to us will depend on the way in which the latter ones are trained. IAU Commission 46 has already several proposals for IYA 2009 and Romania, the country I represent, has the privilege of associating these preparations with those it already has for the Romanian astronomy centenary of 2008.

Essential Contact, an Itinerant Exhibition for the IYA2009

Guillermo Tenorio-Tagle, Enrique Perez & Francisco Sanchez

Essential Contact is an ambitious initiative of public outreach with the purpose of carrying out an important campaign of information and public awareness. This is based on the dissemination of established scientific results about the relationship of our species with the Universe, the World and Society.

Essential Contact is hereby presented as the itinerant exhibition to be used for the celebration of the International Year of the Planet Earth (2007-2009) and the International Year of Astronomy (2009).

Plans for Activities in Mexico

Silvia Torres-Peimbert

At our institution (IA-UNAM) we have established a working group to start planning possible activities. Our strategy is to set up a platform of professional astronomers throughout the country and from there to try to engage friends of astronomy at all levels, from museums and planetaria professionals to amateur astronomers as well as science teachers and students to participate in this endeavor.

We have the recent experience of the International Year of Physics 2005, which gave us a basic model to further develop. To this effect we already have a website where we will install the basic introductory information. This website will grow with details about activities in Mexico City and other locations as well as links to international sites of interest.

Among the proposed activities are:
- a program of public lectures
- a set of popularization texts
- a travelling exhibit
- an array of radio spots and interviews
- a set of TV programs

In our forthcoming National Astronomical Meeting in mid-March we will try to extend the working group, and further develop our plans.

IYA09 in Spain

Montse Villar

Brief description of the current stage of the organization of IYA09 in Spain.

IYA Experience in Unesco

Barbara Villone

No abstract submitted.

Recent Astronomy Popularization in Mainland China

Jin Zhu

Astronomy popularization and education should be the most important topics for IYA 2009. In this presentation, some recent activities and future considerations of the Popularization Working Committee of Chinese Astronomical Society (Nanjing) are introduced, including preliminary IYA2009-related ideas.