Four hundred years ago in 1608, based on a telescope invented in Netherland, Galileo made his own telescope. Later on, the telescope made by Galileo is also known as the terrestrial telescope. A year later, on August 1609 Galileo turned one of his telescopes to the night sky. In 1610 he used his telescope for an astronomical observation and made outstanding discoveries that changed all mankind conception. His observation on Venus proved that it revolves the sun and support heliocentric theory. Then controversy began, but as the time goes by many discoveries has been done and proved heliocentric theory.
Now, 400 years later, astronomy evolves, many discoveries have been made, the telescopes on the ground and in the space explore the Universe for 24 hours a day, across all wavelengths of light. World changes, science revolves, and humankind needs to know more about universe. It is the time for them to take part in excitement of exploring the universe. It is the time for you, no matter who you are and where you are, universe is yours to discover.
The Universe, Yours To Discover also a theme of International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009). It is a world wide celebration of the first astronomical used of the telescope by Galileo Galilei. IYA2009 proclaimed in Paris by the United Nations (UN) 62nd General Assembly.
IYA2009 will be a global celebration of astronomy and its contributions to society and culture, stimulating worldwide interest not only in astronomy, but also science in general, with a particular slant towards young people. The IYA2009 is deemed to mark the monumental leap forward that followed Galileo’s first use of the telescope for astronomical observations, and 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.
IYA 2009 will reach globally, regionally, and locally and this is the time for all professional astronomer, amateur astronomer to work together to build awareness on astronomy among public. All astronomy enthusiasts will get their chance to experience the life of astronomer and feel the excitement of the night sky. So far there are 122 nations and 26 organizations already participated in IYA 2009. Each nation will have their own planning to celebrate IYA. But it is not only for celebration, but also to improve education and empowering the developed countries.
In IYA 2009 there are 11 cornerstones projects which emphasize on popularization, education, astronomy developing and gender issues. The cornerstones are:
The 100 Hours of Astronomy (100HA) is a round-the-clock, worldwide event with 100 continuous hours of a wide range of public outreach activities including live webcasts, observing events and more.
The Cosmic Diary aims to put a human face on astronomy. Professional astronomers will blog in text and images about their life, families, friends, hobbies and interests, as well as their work, their latest research findings and the challenges they face in their research.
The Portal to the Universe (PTTU) seeks to provide a global, one-stop portal for online astronomy content, serving as an index, an aggregator and a social networking site for astronomy content providers, laypeople, press, educators, decision-makers and scientists.
She is an Astronomer, will promote gender equality in astronomy (and in science in general) and tackle gender bias issues by providing a web platform where neutral information and links about gender balance and other related useful resources are collected.
Dark Skies Awareness, program to preserve and protect dark night skies in places such as urban cultural landscapes, national parks and sites connected with astronomical observations, as well as to support the goals of UNESCO’s thematic initiative, Astronomy and World Heritage, to preserve sites of astronomical importance for posterity.
Astronomy and world heritage is to establish a link between science and culture on the basis of research aimed at acknowledging the cultural and scientific values of properties connected with astronomy.
Galileo Teacher Training Projects provides an excellent opportunity to engage the formal education community in the excitement of astronomical discovery as a vehicle for improving the teaching of science in classrooms around the world.
Universe Awareness (UNAWE) is an international program that exposes very young children in under – privileged environments to the scale and beauty of the Universe.
The “From Earth to the Universe” project is an exhibition arranged by the IYA2009 that will bring these images to a wider audience in non-traditional venues such as public parks and gardens, art museums, shopping malls and metro stations.
Developing Astronomy Globally (DAG), A cornerstone project that responds to the acknowledgement that astronomy needs to be developed professionally (universities, research), publicly (communication, media, amateur groups) and educationally (schools) in various countries that do not have strong astronomy communities.
In 2009, astronomer, hobby astronomer and public will join together to celebrate a year which will see the universe brought down to earth. It is one earth, one sky, the universe, yours to discover.
published in the 2nd IOAA Newsletter