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IYA: Yours to Discover! January 2, 2009

Posted by Sarah in science.
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iya_logoThe International Year of Astronomy is here, yay! Check out the website to find out about the activities taking place in 2009, and follow the links to your country’s IYA webpages to see what’s happening near you. Here’s some of the projects I like:

  • The Cosmic Diary – astronomers round the world keep a diary so people can see what our lives and jobs are like. Extra points for a snazzy website!
  • 365 Days of Astronomy – an astronomy podcast, every day of the year. Follow 365 days on Twitter.
  • She is an Astronomer – “will promote gender equality in astronomy (and science in general), tackling bias issues by providing a web platform where information and links about gender balance and related resources are collected”. I’m not really sure what that means yet but I look forward to hearing more.

In the Netherlands, a country very active in astronomy both at a professional and amateur level, an official launch for the IYA will take place on 21 January and many events are to follow. An unusual item of news is the  recent composition of a work for quatre-mains piano by Estonian composer Urmas Sisak, dedicated to Dutch astronomer Peter Barthel and the Groningen-based Grieg piano duo, inspired by the Sombrero galaxy. The duo will perform a world premiere of the work in June 2009. Sisask’s music is frequently inspired by astronomy – see a video of the man himself performing his work “Kassiopeia”.

From 13 February to 7 June 2009 an exhibition will run at the excellent Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam entitled “Van Gogh and the colours of the night”. It’s advertised in the Dutch IYA’s online calendar of events although I don’t see any mention of IYA on the museum’s event information. If there was no collaboration then I’m sure the museum won’t mind an extra plug for their exhibit from the astronomy community! The exhibition should be superb so visit it if you’re in town while it’s running.

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