Welcome to the SkyNews International Year of Astronomy blog! My name is Terry Bridges, and I'll be hosting this blog.
This blog is one of the ways that we at SkyNews are sharing the exciting events happening in Canada for the International Year of Astronomy, or IYA for short. In the new IYA section of the SkyNews website, you’ll also find: the IYA Photo Gallery, where you can send in your IYA pictures; an IYA Calendar of Events; IYA links and media coverage; and Your Stories, where you can send in reports of your IYA events. There’s a prize of a 4.5” Celestron telescope for the best IYA event of the year! So send us your pictures and reports …
In this blog I want to keep you up to date with Canadian IYA events, and I also want to highlight interesting IYA activities that are happening in Canada. In this first blog, I thought I’d tell you a bit about what the IYA is all about. The IYA is truly international, with 135 countries taking part, including Canada. See astronomy.org for more details. There are several big “Cornerstone Projects”, including 100 Hours of Astronomy, Cosmic Diary, and She is an Astronomer. A consortium of professional and amateur astronomers is coordinating Canadian IYA activities.
Equally important, however, are the hundreds of volunteers who are organizing events all across Canada, including many of you reading this blog. According to the Canadian IYA website, there were 183 Canadian IYA Kick Off events in January! The Canadian IYA site is the best place to search for local events, and IYA partners (RASC Centres, FAAQ Clubs, university groups, science centres, and CASCA liaisons) can order great resources including AstroCards, Star Finders, astronomy books, and posters.
2009 is going to be a very exciting year for astronomy in Canada, and around the world. SkyNews and Canadian IYA organizers hope that this year many Canadians will experience a “Galileo Moment”— an engaging astronomical experience. Galileo Moments could include looking through a telescope or binoculars, daytime solar viewing, visiting a planetarium or science centre, attending an astronomy talk or lecture, going to a concert, art exhibit or public astronomy display … there are many ways to get connected with astronomy.
Here’s to clear skies and great IYA events in 2009!