01/2009 International Year Of Astronomy 2009 With The NIAAS Print

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As you may know the year 2009 has been designated as the International Year Of Astronomy.

So what is the International Year Of Astronomy?

What has your local club planned?

So what is the International Year Of Astronomy?
The International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009) will be a global celebration of astronomy and its contributions to society and culture. It is intended to stimulate worldwide interest not only in astronomy, but in science in general, with a particular slant towards young people. IYA2009 will mark the monumental leap forward that followed Galileo Galilei’s first use of the telescope for astronomical observations. It will portray astronomy as a peaceful global scientific endeavour that unites astronomers in an international, multicultural family of scientists working together to find answers to some of the most fundamental questions that humankind has ever asked.

IYA2009 is, first and foremost, an activity for the citizens of Planet Earth. It aims to convey the excitement of  personal discovery, the pleasure of sharing fundamental knowledge about the Universe and our place in it and the value of the scientific culture.

What has your local club planned?
We at the EAAS/NIAAS are planning to be fully involved in IYA2009, as well as our usual high standards of meetings and observing nights throughout the year we are also hoping to run the following events throughout 2009:

  • March 6- 8 Saturn at opposition. Public observing event at local mall/leisure centre.
  • Mar 28-Apr 5 IYA Spring Moonwatch event. Public observing events at local mall/leisure centres.
  • April 22 Lyrid meteor shower (3 days before new moon). Public observing event.
  • July 25th IYA Telescope 400 event, celebrating the first observations of the Moon through a telescope by Thomas Harriot in 1609. We will be having a public observing event at a local mall/leisure centre.
  • August 12 (wed) Perseid meteor shower. Public observing event.
  • Oct 21 (wed) Orionid meteor shower. Public observing event.
  • Oct 24 -Nov 1 IYA Autumn Moonwatch event. Public observing events at local mall/leisure centres.
  • Nov 17 (tues) Leonid meteor shower (new moon 16) Public observing event.
  • Dec 13 (sun) Geminid meteor shower (new moon 16) Public observing event.
  • Dec 31 (thurs) Partial lunar eclipse Public observing event.

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The venues for public events are still to be announced pending negotiations with the public bodies in control, but we are hoping to have them in local shopping areas and leisure centres with a high throughput of the public, and repeat the success of our public event at the Total Lunar Eclipse in 2007.
In addition, we have been liaising with local scouting troops, and will be expanding this in the coming year, having been asked to repeat some talks with them, introducing them to observing, and helping with their Astronomy badge.

As our membership voted, from January 1st 2009 the EAAS (East Antrim Astronomical Society) will be changing its name to the NIAAS (Northern Ireland Amateur Astronomy Society).
This is to better reflect our membership, which now comes from over much of Northern Ireland, rather than East Antrim.

So as you can see, 2009 will be a very exciting year to be interested in astronomy and to be a member of the EAAS/NIAAS!

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact Eamonn Keyes.
More details about IYA2009 can be found at their website here.
 

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