2009 is officially the International Year of Astronomy, a global effort to celebrate the history of astronomy and educate people about astronomy in over 130 nations. The IYA began here in the United States on January 10, 2009 with a ceremony held at Long Beach, CA during the American Astronautical Society winter conference.
For those of us who live in the Northern Hempisphere, TGWWSC asks that we observe the Constellation Cynus, the Swan, better known to us as the Northern Cross. Below is the simple instruction box for this activity which is a great way for your friends and families to enjoy some stargazing and celebrate the fall season. Please click on the links and check out the website!
Five Simple Steps to Star Count:
1. Determine which constellation to observe
2. Find that constellation at night an hour after sunset (about 7-9pm local time)
3. Match your nighttime sky with one of our magnitude charts
4. Report what you see online
5. View results of this international event
(For complete steps download the Activity Guide)
On 22-24 October 2009, the International Year of Astronomy 2009 Cornerstone Project, Galilean Nights, will see amateur and professional astronomers, enthusiasts and the public taking to the streets all around the globe, pointing their telescopes to the wonders that Italian astronomer Galileo observed 400 years ago.
Spread over three nights, astronomers will share their knowledge and enthusiasm for space by encouraging as many people as possible to look through a telescope at our planetary neighbours. The focus for Galilean Nights is the objects that Galileo observed, including Jupiter and the Moon, which will be well-positioned in the night sky for observing.
You can check the website to see if there is a party or event for Galilean Nights already in your local area or you can host your own observing party and register the event online. I hope many of you Kossacks will take the time to look up at the night sky this month and join in the worldwide IYA activities. Cheers!