January 18, 2009

2009: International Year of Astronomy

400 years ago, Galileo Galilei made the first recorded observations of the sky with a telescope. Also in 1609, Johannes Kepler published Astronomia Nova, containing ten years of his work on the fundamental laws of planetary motion. So to celebrate, 2009 has been declared the International Year of Astronomy (IYA209), 400 years after these monumental events in astronomy.

The marking of this has been laid out by the International Astronomical Union, and is also endorsed by the United Nations (specifically UNESCO, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). The opening ceremony for IYA2009 took place just recently, January 15-16, in Paris, kicking off this great year.

The goal of IYA2009 is to promote astronomy, and science in general worldwide. Astronomy and Space is going to do its part by providing updates about astronomy regularly. Additionally 136 countries are currently participating, with some organizations such as NASA, ESA, and ISRO helping promote the event.

Image: IYA2009

Astronomy and Space celebrates International Year of Astronomy 2009.


  1. Ive heard that the NASA's program for handing over control to users was part of the International Year of Astronomy celebrations.
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  2. Do you mean this?