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WELCOME TO IYA 2009. Catherine Cesarsky ESO President of IAU. International year of Astronomy 2009. 400 years since first observation with Galileo telescope Launched by IAU at the General Assembly in Sydney (President: Franco Pacini)

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welcome to iya 2009


Catherine Cesarsky


President of IAU

international year of astronomy 2009
International year of Astronomy 2009
  • 400 years since first observation with Galileo telescope
  • Launched by IAU at the General Assembly in Sydney (President: Franco Pacini)
  • Following presentation by the Italian delegation, IYA was endorsed by UNESCO, who is now a co-organizer with IAU
  • Italian delegation at United Nations intending to submit a resolution to vote in early December 2007. Support of many countries has been secured.

Global celebration of astronomy:

The Universe yours to discover

(see brochure)

In unison with UN millennium development goals



For whom?

People of all ages (but particularly young people), all continents, all paths of life


By whom?


Professional astronomers (+ physicists, historians…)

Science writers, journalists

Planetariums, science museums

Amateur astronomers

School teachers


In 2009, we would like that:

Everybody on earth thinks, at least once, about the wonders of the sky,

shares the human wish to reach to the stars and to comprehend them,

feels part of the universe.

As many people as possible get to gaze through a telescope, be it a cheap Galileoscope aimed at the moon

hear/read about

astronomy’s contribution to culture,

the history of astronomy

recent successes of astronomy, future prospects




24 hours of astronomy

The Galileoscope

Cosmic diary

The portal to the universe

She is an astronomer


Dark skies awareness

IAU/UNESCO Astronomy and World heritage

Galileo teacher training Programme

Universe awareness

The Universe from the Earth, an exhibit of astronomical images

additional activities
Additional activities?

eg. Make a complete census of telescopes (optical, radio) to which public can have access.

legacy of iya 2009
Legacy of IYA 2009
  • World Heritage
  • Dark skies protection
  • Teacher training
  • International network of professional and amateur astronomers
global events
Global events
  • Coordinated national events, January 1st? (e.g. fireworks, particularly in Sydney)
  • Opening event in UNESCO, Paris, mid-January (content tbd)
  • IAU General Assembly in Rio de Janeiro, August
  • 24 hours of astronomy, dark skies event
  • Closing event in Italy (Padova) tbc
this meeting cap 2007
This meeting :CAP 2007

Full of relevant talks and material, e.g.

  • Humanizing astronomy
  • Bringing the universe back to earth
  • Inspiring a community
  • Visualizing the invisible, etc etc

The presentation by Pedro Russo (IYA 2009 coordinator) and Lars Lindberg Christensen (IAU PR) of the coordination activities

  • And presentations by various SPoCs of the activities in preparation in their countries

Shall we do all of the activities described in the brochure, everywhere?

Shall we do even more?

We need your opinion, and, even more, your participation!

This meeting gives an exceptional chance to all of you to:

Accept or criticize current plans

Join in one or many of these activities at a local, national or global level

Take active participation in a Task force

Propose other activities


We, the IYA2009 Working Group, hope that after this meeting the national activities will rapidly take shape and that our global organization will be set on a stronger basis: