International Year of Astronomy

International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009) is an exciting global celebration of astronomy and its contributions to society and culture. Coinciding with the 400th anniversary of Galileo's first glimpses through a telescope and the birth of modern astronomy, it gives people all over the world the chance to get involved in this fascinating science and experience the wonders of the night time sky. With the participation of 140 countries worldwide, and with events taking place nationally, regionally and globally throughout the year, IYA2009 is not only allowing people to observe first hand some of the amazing celestial bodies that make up our Universe, but is providing a wide variety of events and projects, from touring astronomy exhibitions to virtual blog interactions with practicing astronomers. Projects like “She is an Astronomer” provide positive role models for students considering a future in science, while projects like the “Universe Awareness” focus on sharing the wonders of astronomy with young disadvantaged children.

Space Connections is providing support for many of the national projects in 2009 including the 'From Earth to the Universe' outdoor astronomy exhibition, the UK Dark Sky Discovery project and the 1000 schools for telescopes program. Together with regional stakeholders in the Yorkshire region and the Northern Ireland Space Office and Armagh Planetarium, Space Connections will host many activities relating to astronomy and space in formal and non formal educational venues and public events for all ages and abilities.

For further information contact Paul Spencer on 08456 522406.