Ring of Hot Blue Stars Pinwheels Around Yellow Nucleus of Hoag's Object Galaxy  
NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
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Welcome to IYA!

The US IYA Visitor/Science Centers, Observatories and Planetaria Working Group will coordinate, promote and facilitate educational activities in support of IYA 2009 among and between the many diverse institutions that conduct public outreach related to astronomy and space science.

Vision: To engage every relevant US public outreach institution in IYA programming and deliver promotional assistance to help reach all potential audiences for those institutions.

Methods: The following products and actions are being developed in order to realize this vision.

  1. Production of radio/TV public service announcements (with space for localization), and a related piece for museum/public space kiosks.
  2. Newspaper “tabloid” template for localization and adaptation for IYA program promotion in local markets.
  3. Participation in the 2008/2009 meetings of the International Planetarium Society (IPS), the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) and the American Astronomical Society (AAS) to promote IYA engagement by science education centers/institutions.
  4. Mailing to all IPS/ASTC members (in North America) to increase awareness and involvement in IYA programs.
  5. Promoting cross-branding with the IYA name/logo for appropriate new and existing programming in 2009 at science education centers/institutions and their Web sites.
  6. Engaging science education centers/institutions to participate in other IYA programs/resources such as “100 Hours of Astronomy,” dark-skies awareness, planetarium programs, etc.
  7. Facilitate communication via IYA Web pages, science education centers/institution Web sites and other media, as appropriate.

Exploring Arp’s Atlas in Oregan

The Schneider Museum of Art at Southern Oregon University is presenting a variety of interesting activities that show one concept for using IYA2009 to help reach and inspire the public.First, the museum is presenting 30 full-color images of some of the most unusual galaxies known, along with astronomical-themed works from some of the country’s leading artists, inspired by the book The Arps Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies: A Chronicle and Observer’s Guide.  Complementing the science side of the show are fifteen American artists who also look to the heaven for inspiration and insight.

On January 30, Jeff Kanipe and Dennis Webb, co-authors of “The Arp Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies,” were interviewed on JPR public radio for an hour, and gave a lecture followed by a reception and viewing of the photo exhibition.  More than 200 people attended. This program was co-sponsored with the College of Arts and Sciences “Friday Seminar” series.

February 5, local author and newspaper reporter Richard Moeschl presented a workshop titled “A Gathering of Earthlings,” that helped lead visitors in grappling with the question of “What is our role in the universe?”  Fifty community members and students participated in a rousing examination.

On March 5, California poet D.R. Wagner will read from his latest book of poems “Where the Stars are Kept,” followed by performance of electronic music ensemble “Sonoluminescence.”  7pm PST.

Upcoming and to be announced will be “Music of the Spheres” featuring faculty, staff, students and community orchestra players in a concert played on ancient and historic instruments from the “Jack Shuman Collection” housed on campus.  Day and time tba.

Attendance and cross-disciplinary interest has been very good, according to organizers, with visits by amateur astronomers, science-trained community members, college and K-12 classes, and more.

For more, see SMAASH’s website.






International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA)