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The International Year of Astronomy 2009 in Belgium. Dr. Rodrigo Alvarez Royal Observatory of Belgium, Planetarium SPoC from Belgium. Belgium: only 10 millions inhabitants… … but rich astronomical offer: 7 public observatories 6 planetaria More than 80 amateur astronomical clubs (VVS).

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The International Year

of Astronomy 2009

in Belgium

Dr. Rodrigo Alvarez

Royal Observatory of Belgium, Planetarium

SPoC from Belgium


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Astronomy in Belgium

Beisbroek public observatory


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Astronomy in Belgium

Technopolis science center


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Astronomy in Belgium

Euro Space Center


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  • Besides this large panel of activities … astronomy aficionados as well as simply curious people

  • … a series of regular events promoting science (astronomy):

    • Star gazing events:

      • Sterrenkijkdagen

      • De Nachten

      • Nuit des étoiles

Regular events

Nuit des étoiles


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  • Besides this large panel of activities … astronomy aficionados as well as simply curious people

  • … a series of regular events promoting science (astronomy):

    • Science festivals:

      • Wetenschapsfeest

      • Printemps des Sciences

      • Expo-Sciences

      • Ruimtevaartdagen

Regular events

Wetenschapsfeest


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  • Besides this large panel of activities … astronomy aficionados as well as simply curious people

  • … a series of regular events promoting science (astronomy):

    • Open doors:

      • Kinderuniversiteit (KULeuven)

      • Royal Observatory of Belgium

      • Experimentarium (ULB)

Regular events

Open doors at ROB


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  • Besides this large panel of activities … astronomy aficionados as well as simply curious people

  • … a series of regular events promoting science (astronomy):

    • International events:

      • Researchers’ Night (European Union)

      • Science on Stage

      • IY Physics, Heliophysical, Polar, Earth

Regular events

Researchers’ Night


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  • Periodic events allow to punctually attract the media interest and the general public’s attention to astronomy

  • …but all « cultural » fields have their events calendar as well!

  • Quite large offer of events, especially in a country as Belgium (« Brussels, the heart of Europe »)

Competition between events


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  • Periodic events allow to punctually attract the media interest and the general public’s attention to astronomy

  • …but all « cultural » fields have their events calendar as well!

  • Quite large offer of events, especially in a country as Belgium (« Brussels, the heart of Europe »)

Competition between events


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Competition between events


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  • IYA2009 specificities interest and the general public’s attention to :

    • Unique and limited in time (2009)

    • Supported by prestigious institutions (IAU, UNESCO, UNO?)

    • International scale

  • Attract media and general public’s attention

  • Help triggering passion for astronomy

Add-value of the IYA2009


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  • Belgian IYA2009 steering committee interest and the general public’s attention to :

    • Major stakeholders promoting astronomy

    • At the amateur and at the professional level

    • 41 persons involved

  • Define and bring to a successful conclusion a series of actions

  • Make alive the IYA2009 in Belgium

The IYA2009 in Belgium


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  • Galileo Galilei theatre drama interest and the general public’s attention to

  • Foucault pendulum

  • Astronomy olympiad

  • TV broadcast of « Tous sur orbite » (5 min daily)

  • Special stamp edition

  • 3 national dates for star gazing events (instead of 1+1+1 per region/association)

Investigated possibilities


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  • Night of darkness interest and the general public’s attention to

  • Astronomical city tour

  • Special edition of « Science Connection » magazine

  • Astronomy kits for schools

  • Conference

  • Travelling exhibition

  • Weekly astronomical files

Investigated possibilities


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Conclusions interest and the general public’s attention to

  • Possibly many actions that will benefit from the support of all the main actors in astronomy in Belgium

  • Given the hard competition between events, the IYA2009 is the perfect opportunity to help Belgian people to really focus on astronomy and its achievements

  • www.astronomy2009.be


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Thank you for your attention. interest and the general public’s attention to


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  • As far as astronomy public outreach is concerned, many planetaria, public observatories, amateur astronomical societies, science centers and world-leading astronomical institutes are present and active in Belgium. However, as in many countries offering a rich panel of cultural activities as well as numerous opportunities for sightseeing and many entertainment parks, people willing to promote astronomy have to draw the media attention continuously in order to keep attracting people. The International Year of Astronomy 2009 is the perfect opportunity to help Belgian people to really focus on astronomy and its achievements during a full year. 

Abstract


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