A Perfect Storm of Turbulent Gases in the Omega/Swan Nebula (M17)  
NASA, ESA and J. Hester (ASU)
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Welcome to IYA!

The International Year of Astronomy New Media Task Group seeks to:

  • provide online astronomy experiences in the places that people work, play and learn
  • create content that will expose people to astronomy, provide them regular content, and create special opportunities for learning
  • distribute content for active (“pull”) and passive (“push”) channels and through guerrilla marketing techniques.
  • use a diverse suite of technologies to reach people on multiple platforms and in diverse online settings

The International Year of Astronomy New Media Working Group (IYA NMWG) plans to flood the Internet with ways to learn about astronomy and increase interaction among professionals, amateurs, and laypeople. Our primary audience is you! Are you an amateur astronomer, astronomy and space enthusiast, or image lover? Are you into science fiction, online gaming, and debunking psuedo science? We have content to help you learn astronomy to help you with your hobby. We aim to build lasting programs and partnerships that will continue beyond 2009. Our weapon of choice is New Media. New Media differs from traditional media (such as television, radio, and print) in their informality. Many forms of New Media start as user-provided content (that means you and I can both bring content to IYA!). New Media content-building infrastructures answer the content provider’s creative whims (want something silly - we’ll bring you silly!), and New Media content can be commented upon (hey! Check out the Forums!), shared, borrowed, adopted, edited, and re-posted (please link to us!) by a broad audience.

Classic examples of New Media include blogs and podcasts - and we’ll be producing both. This media is typically distributed through content-specific websites and RSS feeds, which allow individual Internet users to select preferred streams of media (including text, audio, and video) to be delivered to them automatically. If you look up in your address bar, you may see a little RSS orange symbol. If you click on this, it will take you to this pages RSS Feed, and you can subscribe to this feed in popular clients like Google Reader. This way, any changes or updates we make will be brought straight to you, where you’re reading, when you want them.

Weekend of Hands-on Astronomy Workshops 5/31, 6/1 in St Louis Are Filling Up

Several of the hands-on workshops designed to help everyone prepare for the International Year of Astronomy in 2009 are close to selling out and we urge educators who are interested in attending to reserve a place very soon.

The United Nations has declared 2009 the International Year of Astronomy (IYA), to celebrate
the 400th anniversary of Galileo turning his telescope to the heavens and changing forever humanity’s view of itself.  Events and programs will be offered throughout the U.S. and the world.

To prepare for IYA, the American Astronomical Society (AAS) and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) are sponsoring a weekend of workshops on how to present astronomy activities and ideas to audiences in schools, museums, nature centers, community groups, and everywhere people gather. No background in astronomy is required to participate.

The program will be held before the meeting of the AAS, which this year includes an ASP symposium on the International Year of Astronomy, in the St. Louis (Missouri) Convention Center. Each day, there will be 3 or 4 workshops to choose from, addressing different topics and audiences.

The full schedule and more information can be found here.

Registration for the workshops is only $25 per day.

Among invited to attend are:
1) K-12 teachers
2) museum, planetarium, and nature center educators
3) college astronomy instructors who do outreach
beyond their own classrooms
4) amateur astronomers actively engaged in outreach
5) NASA science program educational ambassadors.

Space for the workshops is limited to preserve the hands-on cooperative environment, and registration is open on a first-come, first-served basis only until the space is gone.

International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA)