Some IYA2009 updates

Beyond the International Year of Astronomy, 2009 has a few updates published earlier.

Naming X, a global competition to honour the eightieth anniversary of the naming of Pluto by an eleven year old in 1930 has announced its winners.

A Spanish language book containing oral presentation transcripts from the Apollo 11 celebrations in Puerto Rico has been published. Also available to read is ‘6 ways to help an astronomer’, concentrating on some citizen science projects. If you’d rather watch than read, a 3D atlas of the Universe talk is also online to view.

Two continuing IYA2009 associated projects have produced reports, the first being the book drive that intends to drop off a library of astronomy books in places where they may be a little hard to come by. The second being the World at Night photography collection of different places in the world seen at night. New photos, features and other things are included.

There’s a meeting or three about. The first is the 13th Global Hands-on Universe Meeting, taking place on the 1st-7th of August, including teacher training for the first few days, a tour of nearby facilities in Munich, Germany and then the conference itself. The next one is the 7th small and portable planetarium meeting at the Planetarium Kallioplanetaario in Jyväskylä, Finland on the 17th-20th of August. Finally, there is the 9th “Oxford” International Symposium on Archaeoastronomy, taking place in Lima, Peru on the 5th-9th of January, 2011.

And finally, Jean Lilensten has been honoured with Europlanet’s first Prize for Excellence in Public Engagement for the development of Planeterrella. These are based on the terrella experiments carried out by Kristian Birkeland during the early part of the twentieth century in an attempt to replicate processes occurring in the Earth’s aurorae. In the case of planeterrella, various phenomena from the aurorae of Earth, Uranus and Neptune to radiation belts and the magnetic environment of certain types of stars are replicated for public entertainment. Some images of this can be seen here. Hopefully, this will shut up my supervisor who refuses to believe the terrella (now restored) ever worked…

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