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Beyond IYA2009 - astronomy news and updates

Greetings all
Some news and updates from the astronomy education and outreach community:

1.  Astronomy Phone and Table Apps (Many Free)
An annotated overview of 98 astronomy applications for smart phones and tablets has been published in the on-line journal "Astronomy Education Review." Compiled by Andrew Fraknoi (Foothill College), the list features a brief description and a direct URL for each app. It may be especially useful for everyone who got a phone or tablet for the holidays and is looking for something fun or educational to do with it. You can access the article free of charge at:
(The link to the full text is right under the author's name). The listing includes a variety of apps for displaying and explaining the sky above you (some using the GPS function in your device); a series of astronomical clocks, calculators, and calendars; sky catalogs and observing planners; planet atlases and globes; citizens science tools and image displays; a directory of astronomy clubs in the U.S.; and even a graphic simulator for making galaxies collide. A number of the apps are free, and others cost just a dollar or two. A brief list of articles featuring astronomy app reviews is also included.

2. International Astronomical Union General Assembly:
The IAU General Assembly takes place every 3 years. This year the 28th General Assembly will take place in Beijing, China. Special sessions include SpS14 (Communicating Astronomy) and SpS11 (Strategic Plan and OAD) as well as many other exciting developments in Astronomy. Early registration and deadline for abstracts are both 17th March 2012. Please have a look at

3. Universe Awareness:
- Become a Student Ambassador for UNAWE:

- Celebrating the Transit of Venus 2012 in Timor-Leste:

- Space Scoop (astronomy news service for kids) now available in 14 different languages: http://www.unawe.org/kids/unawe1213/

4. Global Astronomy Month:
Global Astronomy Month 2012
merely a month away, AWB has organized three exciting events in March to do the warm-ups!
Spread the word and join in.
Event -- "Hello Red Planet"
Date -- 3-5 March 2012
URL --
Event -- "Conjunction of Glory"
Date -- 13 - 15 March 2012
URL --

Event -- "March Equinox 2012"
Date -- 20 March 2012

If you have any news or updates you would like to send out, please send them to me and I will compile them approximately every 2 weeks.


Evo friškog maila na gornju temu:


Greetings all
News and events below
Thanks to Thilina and Avivah, anyone can view the past news mailings at http://beyondiya2009.blogspot.com/
Send me your items for the next issue...

1. Share your GAM2012 Event Reports:

Did you organize an event for Global Astronomy Month 2012 in April? Share your event with others around the world! Just log in to your account on the AWB web site, click on the Blog tab on your profile page and start posting. Be sure to tag the post with the "GAM2012 Report" tag.

More info: http://www.astronomerswithoutborders.org/gam2012-events/submit-event-report.html Check all the reports around the world:http://www.astronomerswithoutborders.org/community/member-blogs/tags/GAM2012-Report

2. Reach for the Stars - Afghanistan:

Reach for the Stars - Afghanistan is an Astronomers Without Borders project in collaboration with the Astronomical Association of Afghanistan. The primary goal is to establish Afghanistan's first astronomy curriculum for young children set in the context of Afghan culture, Islamic astronomical heritage and modern science. Educational resources will be delivered to schools, orphanages and refugee camps in the Kabul area, and establish training and educational programs based on those materials.

Once established in Kabul, Reach for the Stars - Afghanistan will expand to the rest of Afghanistan, and then beyond across Asia, the Middle East and Africa. A documentary film will be produced to tell the story of this project to a broader audience, raising awareness and support.

More info at: http://www.astronomerswithoutborders.org/projects/reach-for-the-stars-afghanistan.html

Reach for the Stars relies on donations to suceed, top donate visit our website: www.indiegogo.com/reachforthestars

3. First meeting of South East Asian Young Astronomer Collaboration:

The South East Asian Young Astronomer Collaboration (SEAYAC) will have the 1st Southeast Asian Young Astronomers Meeting on November 5-9, 2012 at Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, Philippines. The aim of the meeting is to gather young astronomers (undergraduate, graduate and early post-docs) from Southeast Asia and nearby regions who are conducting research in astronomy, astrophysics, space science and related field and present their current researches. In addition, senior astronomers will also conduct lectures on specific topics during the meeting. The Meeting will be a venue to meet fellow young astronomers and get to know each other on both professional and personal level. Participants are requested to submit a 500-word abstract about their current research on or before July 31, 2012. Limited funding is available for presenters of accepted papers. For further information, please visit the SEAYAC website, http://www.seayac.org or contact Dr. Rogel Mari Sese (SOC and SEAYAC Chair) at rmdsese@gmail.com. Limited funding is available for students of Southeast Asian countries AND currently based in Southeast Asia.

4. International Meteor Conference 2012:

The International Meteor Organization (IMO) will hold the 31st annual International Meteor Conference (IMC) in La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain, from 20 till 23 September, 2012. The conference will be organized by the Astro Travels agency in collaboration with the Cabildo of La Palma island authority which will sponsor this event.
This conference deals with all aspects of meteor observation as well as the underlying physics and is aimed at both amateurs and professionals.
The IMC 2012 will include an excursion to the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (ORM) with a visit of three of its largest telescopes, among which the Gran Telescopio de Canarias (GTC) currently the largest optical telescope worldwide (10.4m diam). Given the beauty of La Isla Bonita, the organizers will offer up to seven optional extra days before the IMC to include some optional excursions in order to visit the most extraordinary places of La Palma.

More information: http://www.imo.net/imc2012/

5. GTTP session at COSPAR 2012:

There will be a special GTTP session during the next COSPAR (COMMITTEE ON SPACE RESEARCH) Assembly that will take place in Mysore from 15th to 22nd of July.  This session is integrated in the scope of the COSPAR Panel of education sessions PE-1 and PE-2. The training session will take place in the framework of session PE-2.

More information and application forms at: http://www.site.galileoteachers.org/gttp-sessions/202-gttp-during-cospar-2012

6. GTTP session at EWSS 2012:

A GTTP training session will be held in Rome, on Friday, 6th of July 2012, at the Pontificia Università Lateranense during European Week of Astronomy and Space Science (EWASS).
The training session intend to introduce modern tools for science education such as: Planetaria Software, Image processing software, hands-on activities with readily available material, etc. Participants will have the opportunity to get in touch with the “Discover the Cosmos” tools and learn how they can be involved with this (EC FP7 funded project) that brings real research into classroom.

More information at: http://www.site.galileoteachers.org/gttp-sessions/204-gttp-at-ewass-2012

7. Safe Solar Viewers for the Venus Transit and Solar Eclipses:
Support Astronomers Without Borders global astronomy programs by purchasing safe solar viewers for the Venus transit and solar eclipses. Branded with the Astronomers Without Borders name, logo and motto, One People, One Sky. The backside is printed with safety information (English only). Volume discounts for 25 or more.  Worldwide shipping.

8. Free VenusTransit Phone App:
Owners of Apple and Android mobile devices can take part in the largest effort ever to reproduce the experiments of the 18th and 19th century to measure the scale of the solar system using the Venus transit. The free app was developed by Steven van Roode of the Transit of Venus Project in conjunction with Astronomers Without Borders.

9. Live webcast of the Venus Transit from Mount Wilson Observatory:
Astronomers Without Borders will webcast the Venus Transit live from Mount Wilson Observatory on June 5/6. The webcast will include interviews with experts and authors, vintage telescopes, and more.  More details to come. http://www.astronomerswithoutborders.org/projects/transit-of-venus.html

10. Behnoosh Meskoob from Iran is looking for collaborators for the Venus Transit. Details:
Behnoosh Meskoob
Student of Electrical Engineering, Dr Shariaty Technical University
Organizing Committee of "Venus Transit 2012 Project"- International Relations
National Point of Contact - I.R.Iran

11. Office of Astronomy for Development: Task Forces established!
The International Astronomical Union (IAU), through its Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD), has established the three Task Forces which will drive global activities using astronomy as a tool to stimulate development. These Task Forces are: (i) Astronomy for Universities and Research; (ii) Astronomy for Children and Schools; and (iii) Astronomy for the Public. The Task Forces are made of groups of experts in their field who give their time voluntarily to advise on and coordinate projects in the respective targeted areas of development. They are selected, as far as possible, on the basis of their skills, prior knowledge, experience, geographic locations and cultural diversity. After a lengthy nomination and selection process, approved by the Development Oversight Committee of the IAU, we are pleased to announce the names of the members of the three Task Forces. These individuals, together with the many passionate volunteers they will work with, will contribute to the vision of "Astronomy for a Better World!"

 Kevin Govender
IAU Office of Astronomy for Development

Aktivnosti u lipnju - upravo stiglo mailon:

Greetings all
The Transit of Venus is almost upon us. Please spread the word widely
and enjoy your viewing with the useful resources and contacts
mentioned below.
Send me your events and I'll distribute...

1. From Niruj Mohan (NCRA)
Venus will come exactly between the Earth and the Sun on June 6th 2012
- this rare event will not occur for another 105 years. To help
mobilise people to watch this event, NCRA has published a graphic
novel to describe the history and science behind Venus Transits, and
also how best to see it next month. This is aimed primarily at high
school and college students.
This illustrated novel is available in English, Spanish, Hindi and
Marathi - and will be available in Bengali, Tamil, Kannada, Gujarati,
Persian, French, Italian and more, by this weekend. This work is
available at no cost, and is licensed under Creative Commons, and
hence we encourage you to distribute, email, print, photocopy, post
and host these files ! Currently, files are hosted at
http://mutha.ncra.tifr.res.in/ncra/for-public/transit-of-venus and
http://transitofvenusncra.wordpress.com/ and http://astrocast.org/
I will put up notices as and when other language issues are ready,
mainly on facebook. If you would like an email about a particular
release, let me know. Or better still, join
https://www.facebook.com/groups/400912229952196/. Do also pass on this
message to anyone else who maybe interested.

2. From Jackie Faherty (NSF International Postdoctoral researcher)
On June 5th/6th Venus will make its rare appearance as a small dot
across the face of the Sun.  To celebrate the event a number of
Astronomers from mainland Chile are flying to the remote Easter Island
to view the event and make a measurement of first contact with local
students.  We are hoping to link these students with others around the
globe to make a measurement of the distance to the Sun. Most
importantly we are looking to inspire our next generation of
scientists by demonstrating the power and accessibility of scientific
measurements from astronomical phenomenon while linking together
school aged students from different countries, cultures, political
histories etc.  If you or someone you know will be viewing the transit
with students, please see our webpage for details on how to join our
global group. http://www.das.uchile.cl/~drodrigu/easter/index_en.html

3. From Rosa Doran (GTTP):
Two opportunities that should be of interest to you
GHOU2012 in Morroco . https://sites.google.com/site/ghou2012/home
EPSC2012 in Madrid
Make sure you don’t miss the deadlines and come share with us these
important times for public outreach and education.

PS. I must apologise for the error - the last email was supposed to be
#5, not another #4 - oops!
Kevin Govender
IAU Office of Astronomy for Development

Prosljeđujem najnovije obavijesti:

Hi all
This email being sent slightly earlier due to the big transit of Venus event coming up - and in fact every item below is about that event...

1. The now very popular Transit of Venus resource that's been doing the rounds is available in English, Marathi, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Bengali, Gujarati, French, Spanish, Italian, Persian.
Coming soon - Urdu, German, Dutch, Telugu. Download the material and distribute freely: http://transitofvenusncra.wordpress.com/

2. Lech Mankiewicz
For many people on the planet, June 5th/6th, 2012 will be the only chance to see a transit of Venus. What story do
we want to tell to our descendants who will see the next transit in 105 years? The GLORIA project would like
people to document this 'once in a lifetime' event by turning their cameras back to Earth to capture photos of
special places, everyday life, memorable events, themselves and their loved ones, on the days of June 5th and 6th
2012 and submitting them to the 'Transit of Venus - Message to the Future' group on Flickr.com. The photo
collection could be used, for example, by school children, to make a time capsule based on photos taken in their
locality, or to make a photographic exhibition or book, printed on archival paper. For all the details on how to
participate, please go to www.gloria-project.eu/get-involved

3.  Steinar Thorvaldsen:
Here are the Norwegian Venus sites:
Tromso (midnight sun abd best view of Europe): http://site.uit.no/venus2012/
webcast: http://astro.viten.no/english.htm

4. Mary Stewart Adams
We are hosting a viewing event for the public at the Headlands International Dark Sky Park in NW Lower Michigan.
Follow this link for details: http://www.emmetcounty.org/transit-of-venus-2012-583/

5.  From Fremont, Michigan, USA
The Dark Sky Astronomers will open the Stephen F. Wessling Observatory Tuesday, June 5th to view Venus transit the sun from 3:00pm to sunset. We will have several telescopes with solar filters available for the public to view the transit, including a PST to view the transit in hydrogen alpha. Visit our website for map, www.sfwobservatory.org

6.  Kathryn Law:
The planet Venus will transit, or move across the face of the Sun on Tuesday,
June 5, 2012.This is a rare occurrence that will not happen again until 2117.
The public is invited to witness this event safely through a large telescope with
special solar filters provided by Living Desert State Park volunteer Jerry Krause.
Weather permitting, the telescope will be set up from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m. in the
parking lot of Living Desert State Park. In case of clouds or rain, we will have a
computer to view the transit via live feed. There is no fee for this program.
For more information, call Kathryn at 575-887-5516
Contact person:  Kathryn law, Interpretive Ranger (575) 887-5516

7. Mike White:
The Los Angeles Astronomical Society along with the Burbank Sidewalk Astronomers will be hosting a Venus Transit Star Party at the Griffith Park Observatory located in Los Angeles, CA. U.S.A. Starting at 12:00 PM. 1900 UTC.
This second link is to my Clubs Night Sky Network of the event.

8. Jason Kendall:
The Amateur Astronomers Association of New York will host the premier New York City viewing session for this once-in-a-lifetime event. The planet Venus will pass in front of the Sun, in an event that won't happen again for 105 years.   In New York City, we'll see only a couple of hours of the event as the Sun sets in the West. But we'll see the first contact, and we'll have solar viewing telescopes, pinhole cameras and projection equipment to help show the public a view of this amazing event. After the Sun sets, we'll hold a public starparty to watch the Moon, Mars and Saturn as they go across the sky. The event is free and open to the public.  It is suitable for people of all ages.
Official Website: http://www.aaa.org/transitofvenus2012
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/293377017417389/
Our location is at Riverside Park South out on the pier next to Pier I Cafe:

9. Amanul Islam:
Venus Transit Observation in Bangladesh
For this event science organization Anushandhitshu Chokro arranges a National Venus Transit 2012 Observation Camp in front field of Motijheel Government Boys High School, Dhaka. The camp starts form 7 am and ends on at 11 am. An 8-inch Meade Cassegrain telescope, a Coronado solarscope and solar filters will be available to observe this phenomenon. The observation camp will be open for all. The emphasis of the camp will be on scientific literacy. Links:

10. In Bonn / Germany a public observation of the VT June 6th  is planned, starting 5:15 MESZ (shortly before sunrise) at the "Alter Zoll" near the river Rhine with a good view to the NE. We'll meet naturally only if sky conditons are ok. More infos will soon be posted on the website of Bonns Public Observatory, see

11. From Astronomers Without Borders:
VenusTransit Phone App ( http://www.astronomerswithoutborders.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1060&catid=13&Itemid=491 )
VenusTransit Web App ( http://www.astronomerswithoutborders.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1060&catid=13&Itemid=491 )
Live Webcast of the Transit of Venus from Mount Wilson Observatory (
http://www.astronomerswithoutborders.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1196&catid=13&Itemid=541 )

Enjoy the event!

Kevin Govender
IAU Office of Astronomy for Development

Evo još upravo pristiglih informacija koje mogu biti od koristi namjernicima promatranja ili fotografiranja tranzita Venere:


Greetings all
The event is upon us - hence this out-of-the-ordinary email:

Due to the many activities in preparation all over the world and several requests for a collection of records and experiences from this Transit-of-Venus, the International Astronomical Union's Office of Astronomy for Development (IAU OAD) will attempt to collect and consolidate as many of your stories as possible.

To make it as easy as possible for you to record your event, we ask that you simply send an email to tov2012@astro4dev.org with a short summary, including pictures and/or links. Also, if you know of any other such consolidation efforts to record this transit, please send us those links as well so that we have as widespread a record as possible regarding this rare astronomical event.

Some suggested information that you could consider including in your summary:
1. Location
2. Individual/Organisation in charge of the event
3. Estimated number of people attending your event/viewing your live feed/using your resource
4. Images/videos of the actual transit
5. Images/videos of the people observing the transit (or doing whatever else they may be doing if its cloudy)
6. Your summary of the event
7. Some quotes/summaries of experiences from people attending your event
8. Any relevant links to your websites
9. Any relevant contact details you would like to include
10. Anything else - resources, multimedia, suggestions, advice, etc.

Enjoy the event, be inspired, and afterwards please send a record of your event/experience to tov2012@astro4dev.org so that we may preserve a small part of this historic occasion. All records received will be consolidated and publicised.

Below are even more events and resources for the transit:

1.  Sydney Observatory is broadcasting the transit via nineMSN

Our website is rich in content and education material
There is a popular Transit of Venus blog
from both Sydney Observatory and Lord Howe Island.

2.  Tucson Transit of Venus Celebration events?  We have a city-wide collaborative effort to include free events (telescopes, activities, speakers) at multiple locations, most starting near 3pm and going until dusk:
Locations are: University of Arizona Flandrau Science Center, Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, Tumamoc Hill, and Biosphere 2. There are additional events (ticketed) at UA's Mount Lemmon SkyCenter and Kitt Peak National Observatory.
Event partners are: University of Arizona College of Science, UA College of Education, Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association, Kitt Peak National Observatory, UA's Mount Lemmon SkyCenter, and UA's Biosphere 2.

3. Where:  Gravity Discovery Centre and Gingin Observatory
              1098 Military Road, Gingin West 6503
 What:    Solar Viewing and astronomy event inaugurated by the Governor of Western Australia, His      Excellency Malcolm McCusker.
 Guests:   Hon Grant Woodhams, Chief Scientist Lyn Beazley, Vice Chancellor of UWA Prof Paul Johnson.
· See the transit of Venus using solar telescopes
· Live web cast on the big screen
· Solar viewing activities in a safe environment supervised by our astronomers
· Guest speakers and question time
· Entry to the GDC and Gingin Observatory
The Gravity Discovery Centre and the Gingin Obseravtory will give members of the public the opportunity to follow this event live through telescopes.
The Gravity Discovery Centre and the Gingin Observatory would like to invite you to share the historic Transit of Venus with us. The event will be inaugurated by the Governor of Western Australia, His Excellency Malcolm McCusker.
Web: www.ginginobservatory.com

4. For the observers of the Transit of Venus,
IMCCE provides web pages at

with information for observers:

a map to explain where the transit is observable:

a page allowing to calculate what you will see for anywhere in the world: http://www.imcce.fr/fr/ephemerides/phenomenes/passages/html/calcul_venus_2012_eng.php

a web page to enter your observations and calculate the Astronomical Unit from your observation: http://www.imcce.fr/fr/ephemerides/phenomenes/passages/html/venus_calcul_2012_eng.php

a page with many resources: http://www.imcce.fr/vt2004/en/ressources_eng.html

and a page with technical sheets for observation and calculations:

5. ParsSky Astronomical website is determined to broadcast live the Transit of Venus of 6 Jun 2012 from  Kish Island  in Persian Gulf  Iran. Live Page  :  http://live.parssky.com

6. From Greece, I want to inform you for the Transit dedicated website from Friends of Astronomy Club of Thessaloniki, Greece. Its location is  http://transitofvenus2012.blogspot.gr/

7. Sydney Observatory is broadcasting the transit via nineMSN

Our website is rich in content and education material

There is a popular Transit of Venus blog
from both Sydney Observatory and Lord Howe Island.

8. On behalf of Sabitri Debi Institute of Technology we are going to arrange a workshop on TOV in institute premises on 02 06 2012. Students and common people are registered their names for this workshop.In this program our experts will demonstrate telescopic observation method, how to use solar filter, making pinhole camera etc.This workshop covers theoretical and practical knowledge on TOV. On 6th June, camp will be open for all.
Somenath Chatterjee

9. It was really great to hear about so many collaborations from around the world for the ToV and we, a group from the astronomical society of the University will also be traveling to the East coast of the island and will be live streaming the webcast via our website (http://uocmas.info). Threfore I thought of sharing with everyone what we're doing from Sri Lanka for this last ToV in this century.

10. NCRA has published a comic on the Transit of Venus, in 14 languages! These are through a Creative Commons License, so please distribute it, email to friends, host it on your site, print it, photocopy it, paste it on walls, etc!

Kevin Govender
IAU Office of Astronomy for Development


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