Jul 14

NameExoWorlds - Help decide the names of planets orbiting other stars

Image Credit: IAU / M. Kornmesser / N. Risinger (skysurvey.org)

The International Astronomical Union has unveiled a worldwide contest, NameExoWorlds, which gives the public a role in naming planets and their host stars beyond the solar system. This contest is creating some controversy. Nonetheless, it is an interesting contest for teachers to work with their students. (learn more)

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Mar 14

Concerns and Considerations with the Naming of Mars Craters

Source: IAU-iau1402-News Release


Recently initiatives that capitalise on the public’s interest in space and astronomy have proliferated, some putting a price tag on naming space objects and their features, such as Mars craters. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) would like to emphasise that such initiatives go against the spirit of free and equal access to space, as well as against internationally recognised standards. Hence no purchased names can ever be used on official maps and globes. The IAU encourages the public to become involved in the naming process of space objects and their features by following the officially recognised (and free) methods.(read more)

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Sep 11

IAU Global OAD_Call for Volunteers

Source: IAU



The OAD is compiling list of potential volunteers willing to contribute to the IAU capacity building activities described in the IAU Strategic Plan. Astronomy for the Developing World 2010 – 2020: Building from IYA 2009.

It aims to use astronomy as a tool to stimulate development at all levels including primary, secondary and tertiary education, science research and the public understanding of science.

Present and planned activities include:
• Building Research Capacity and university education
# Schools for university students
# Long-term visits to institutes in developing countries
# Long-term institute twinning
# Inspirational lectures to students on astronomy and related technologies.
• Astronomy for Schools
# Teacher training courses
# Development and translation of educational material for children.
• Astronomy for the Public
# Inspirational semi-popular lectures on astronomy or related technologies
# Activities building on IYA2009 including stargazing and engagement with amateur groups

In addition to participation in the delivery or helping with the organization of activities there are several general areas in which volunteer assistance would be valuable, e.g. translation of the OAD website into several languages.

We are particularly interested in contacting expatriates who are prepared to help carry out development activities in their countries of origin.
Note that the strategic plan spans a ten-year period. Assessing the number of potential volunteers, will help us gauge the scale of possible activities, develop an effective organizational structure to run them and provide information for fund raising campaigns. We shall gradually increase the number of volunteers and expand the programmes in line with funding possibilities.

We would therefore be grateful if you would complete the questionnaire for potential volunteers at http://www.astronomyfordevelopment.org/index.php/volunteers.You can also reach us at info@astro4dev.org specifying as subject: “Call for Volunteers” or contact us personally.

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Feb 11

Educational Astronomy Project Awarded Grant of 1.9 Million Euros

Source: UAU 1101-News Release

The European Union (EU) has granted 1.9 million euros to support the 6-country educational programme EUNAWE, based on Universe Awareness (UNAWE). UNAWE is, an IAU-endorsed programme that uses the beauty and grandeur of the Universe to encourage young children, particularly those from an underprivileged background, to have an interest in science and technology and foster their sense of global citizenship from the earliest age. Although UNAWE was only founded five years ago, it is already active in 40 countries and comprises a global network of almost 500 astronomers, teachers and other educators. (read more)

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