Welcome to The International Year of Astronomy!

By Phil Plait | January 1, 2009 10:04 am

Happy New Year!

IYA 2009 logo

And what a year it will be: it’s the International Year of Astronomy, a 365-day long celebration of the coolest science there is. The idea is simple: promote astronomy, and increase everyone’s awareness of the Universe around them. A noble effort, and one I support wholeheartedly.

There are a lot of ways you can participate. First things first: go to the IYA2009 website, and spend some time poking around there. That is the central hub of the effort, with a huge amount of information on how you can participate.

My personal suggestion is to throw a star party. Invite your neighbors to see the planets or the Moon through a telescope (if you don’t have one, find someone in your area who does). Joining or just contacting an astronomy club would help. I have links to find one near you on the old site.

A star party might take a while to set up, but there are things you can do right now. There are so many online activities! There are three I particularly like:

Cosmic Diary: "The Cosmic Dairy aims to put a human face on astronomy: professional scientists will blog in text and images about their lives, families, friends, hobbies and interests, as well as their work, their latest research findings and the challenges that face them." There are several posts up already.

365 Days of Astronomy Podcast: "a project that will publish one podcast per day, for all 365 days of 2009. The podcast episodes are written, recorded and produced by people around the world." And by people, they mean you. This is a participatory effort, where anyone who wants to can submit an entry. Head over there, pick a day, pick a topic, and record your cosmic thought! And the first one is already up. I love the intro music; it’s by skeptic and science junkie George Hrab.

Social Networks: IYA 2009 is on Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. Join us there, and that way you’ll get updates and be sure to keep up with the latest news.

If you’re a regular reader here, you know how much I love astronomy, and how much I love to share that love. So join me, and join all my friends, colleagues, and fellow sky-lovers. Share astronomy with someone!

Artist drawing of the planet and its star

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Cool stuff, IYA

Comments (18)

  1. Cosmic Diary: “The Cosmic Dairy

    BA, not to MILK the typo, or to BUTTER you up, but this is still one of the CREAM of the blogs I read.

    YOGURT, Phil!


  2. In my case, I will do some activities on my own, on my time and with the people I have “near” specifically children that attend at the school with my daughter, I’m going to have some talks (hopefully twice a month) to teach the children about the basic of astronomy

    I mean, even if I don’t have time to go and join some astronomy club, I still can do something by my own, and on my time… I’m just a regular person with no special background or profesional studies of astronomy… but I think that if I can do a little bit to contribute with IYA2009 then EVERYBODY can do it too!!

    Happy New Year!!

  3. hhEb09'1

    Weirdly enough, the “dairy” typo comes from The Cosmic Diary’s own website–click on About the Cosmic Diary, it’s in the second paragraph.

  4. I’m sure to check http://tinyurl.com/ub6y8 whenever I’m going to be outside with friends at night. It’s really cool to show people the ISS fly by. It was a big hit at a large bonfire party I went to in October.

  5. I’d forgotten about the IYA!

    By the by, where is that gorgeous picture from? It looks like an artist’s rendering.

  6. Monkey


    roll the mouse over the image – artists drawing of “the” planet and its star!

  7. Monkey

    It’d be cool if we, someone, they, …, developed a 52 weeks of astronomy as a once a week update on astronomy for schools. i try to do this with my classes and teachers, but it would be cool as a more developed program to get the kiddies thinking astronomical thoughts constantly….if I get to rendering cool ideas into useable lessons ill post them. My grade 11’s, 10’s, and even 9’s were SO into the LHC and the astro babbles that we got into surrounding that, and they were mightily interested in random N D Tyson youtube clips, the BA’s (since put to rest) weekly astro clips….the kids love astronomy. Lets give it to them!

  8. I’m still viciously hoping for the huge concert to celebrate the International Year of Astronomy that is being organized in collaboration with my favorite artist Jean Michel Jarre as well as Brian May from Queen. Supposedly it is going to take place among the ESO telescopes on La Palma in the Canary Islands. See for example the following press release by the Institute de Astrofisica de Canarias: http://www.iac.es/divulgacion.php?op1=16&id=535&lang=en

    Things have gotten a bit complicated financial wise because of the global economic crisis. I’m keeping my fingers crossed… :)

  9. quasidog

    Awesome. I am going to make an effort to use my 10″ reflector more this year. It’s heavy so it often gets neglected …. and dusty.

    There are plenty of kids in my area so I guess if I took it to the local park .. which is one house away… I might get a few interested in it. It’s how I got into astronomy after all.

  10. I’m with ya bruh! Here’s my list of IYA activities so far:
    – Made 2 podcasts for 365. Delivered them already. Both Al Wootten on ALMA.
    – Jan 23, Cub Scout Pack 174 at McCormick Observatory, I do presentation.
    – Will do presentations monthly or more at McCormick, BTW…
    – Am going to do star parties for Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts etc. Short notice events.
    – Will take a couple Girl Scout Troops (569 & 418) through the “Sky Search” badge requirements.
    – Will work with Boy Scout Troop 27 to get them the Astronomy Badge.
    – Mar 13, Cub Scout Pack 114 at McCormick, I do presentation.
    – April 17 & 18, I take scopes to Boy Scout Camporee at Montpelier.
    – April 24, Fan Mountain Open House, Phil’s old home week? B there or B []
    – April 25, might have a CAS astronomy float in the Dogwood Parade… Thinking ’bout it!
    – Will do Halloween outreach again this year. (For last year’s event click on my name.)

  11. I tried to add the MySpace profile you linked to, but it asks for the “person’s” last name or email address. Help?

  12. Holy crap, I have so got to organise a star party!!! The kids will freak! What a fantastic idea.

    Drag out the telescope, a honking great rocket shaped cake, star shaped cookies, ‘milky way milk shakes’, some Vangelis or Jean Michele Jarre belting out.

    This is going to be great!

    I’m off to find some more ideas for organising star parties. That is once I finish working out how to print the IYA logo on black T-Shirts. Ooooh! I know, silk screen it on in glow in the dark fabric paint, and have everybody wear them at the star party….

    Argh! See what you’ve done?

  13. Jessie

    I tried to drag my friends to the Robinson Observatory in November. No luck. I’m going to try again for IYA sometime. 😀

  14. joe nahhas

    Einstein’s Nemesis: DI Her Eclipsing Binary Stars Solution
    The problem that the 100,000 PHD Physicists could not solve

    This is the solution to the “Quarter of a century” Smithsonian-NASA Posted motion puzzle that Einstein and the 100,000 space-time physicists including 109 years of Nobel prize winner physics and physicists and 400 years of astronomy and Astrophysicists could not solve and solved here and dedicated to Drs Edward Guinan and Frank Maloney
    Of Villanova University Pennsylvania who posted this motion puzzle and started the search collections of stars with motion that can not be explained by any published physics
    For 350 years Physicists Astrophysicists and Mathematicians and all others including Newton and Kepler themselves missed the time-dependent Newton’s equation and time dependent Kepler’s equation that accounts for Quantum – relativistic effects and it explains these effects as visual effects. Here it is

    Universal- Mechanics

    All there is in the Universe is objects of mass m moving in space (x, y, z) at a location
    r = r (x, y, z). The state of any object in the Universe can be expressed as the product

    S = m r; State = mass x location

    P = d S/d t = m (d r/dt) + (dm/dt) r = Total moment

    = change of location + change of mass

    = m v + m’ r; v = velocity = d r/d t; m’ = mass change rate

    F = d P/d t = d²S/dt² = Force = m (d²r/dt²) +2(dm/d t) (d r/d t) + (d²m/dt²) r

    = m γ + 2m’v +m”r; γ = acceleration; m” = mass acceleration rate

    In polar coordinates system

    r = r r(1) ;v = r’ r(1) + r θ’ θ(1) ; γ = (r” – rθ’²)r(1) + (2r’θ’ + rθ”)θ(1)

    F = m[(r”-rθ’²)r(1) + (2r’θ’ + rθ”)θ(1)] + 2m'[r’r(1) + rθ’θ(1)] + (m”r) r(1)

    F = [d²(m r)/dt² – (m r)θ’²]r(1) + (1/mr)[d(m²r²θ’)/d t]θ(1) = [-GmM/r²]r(1)

    d² (m r)/dt² – (m r) θ’² = -GmM/r²; d (m²r²θ’)/d t = 0

    Let m =constant: M=constant

    d²r/dt² – r θ’²=-GM/r² —— I

    d(r²θ’)/d t = 0 —————–II

    r²θ’=h = constant ————– II
    r = 1/u; r’ = -u’/u² = – r²u’ = – r²θ'(d u/d θ) = -h (d u/d θ)
    d (r²θ’)/d t = 2rr’θ’ + r²θ” = 0 r” = – h d/d t (du/d θ) = – h θ'(d²u/d θ²) = – (h²/r²)(d²u/dθ²)
    [- (h²/r²) (d²u/dθ²)] – r [(h/r²)²] = -GM/r²
    2(r’/r) = – (θ”/θ’) = 2[λ + ỉ ω (t)] – h²u² (d²u/dθ²) – h²u³ = -GMu²
    d²u/dθ² + u = GM/h²
    r(θ, t) = r (θ, 0) Exp [λ + ỉ ω (t)] u(θ,0) = GM/h² + Acosθ; r (θ, 0) = 1/(GM/h² + Acosθ)
    r ( θ, 0) = h²/GM/[1 + (Ah²/Gm)cosθ]
    r(θ,0) = a(1-ε²)/(1+εcosθ) ; h²/GM = a(1-ε²); ε = Ah²/GM

    r(0,t)= Exp[λ(r) + ỉ ω (r)]t; Exp = Exponential

    r = r(θ , t)=r(θ,0)r(0,t)=[a(1-ε²)/(1+εcosθ)]{Exp[λ(r) + ì ω(r)]t} Nahhas’ Solution

    If λ(r) ≈ 0; then:

    r (θ, t) = [(1-ε²)/(1+εcosθ)]{Exp[ỉ ω(r)t]

    θ'(r, t) = θ'[r(θ,0), 0] Exp{-2ỉ[ω(r)t]}

    h = 2π a b/T; b=a√ (1-ε²); a = mean distance value; ε = eccentricity
    h = 2πa²√ (1-ε²); r (0, 0) = a (1-ε)

    θ’ (0,0) = h/r²(0,0) = 2π[√(1-ε²)]/T(1-ε)²
    θ’ (0,t) = θ'(0,0)Exp(-2ỉwt)={2π[√(1-ε²)]/T(1-ε)²} Exp (-2iwt)

    θ'(0,t) = θ'(0,0) [cosine 2(wt) – ỉ sine 2(wt)] = θ'(0,0) [1- 2sine² (wt) – ỉ sin 2(wt)]
    θ'(0,t) = θ'(0,t)(x) + θ'(0,t)(y); θ'(0,t)(x) = θ'(0,0)[ 1- 2sine² (wt)]
    θ'(0,t)(x) – θ'(0,0) = – 2θ'(0,0)sine²(wt) = – 2θ'(0,0)(v/c)² v/c=sine wt; c=light speed

    Δ θ’ = [θ'(0, t) – θ'(0, 0)] = -4π {[√ (1-ε) ²]/T (1-ε) ²} (v/c) ²} radians/second
    {(180/π=degrees) x (36526=century)

    Δ θ’ = [-720×36526/ T (days)] {[√ (1-ε) ²]/ (1-ε) ²}(v/c) = 1.04°/century

    This is the T-Rex equation that is going to demolished Einstein’s space-jail of time

    The circumference of an ellipse: 2πa (1 – ε²/4 + 3/16(ε²)²—) ≈ 2πa (1-ε²/4); R =a (1-ε²/4)
    v (m) = √ [GM²/ (m + M) a (1-ε²/4)] ≈ √ [GM/a (1-ε²/4)]; m<<M; Solar system

    v = v (center of mass); v is the sum of orbital/rotational velocities = v(cm) for DI Her
    Let m = mass of primary; M = mass of secondary

    v (m) = primary speed; v(M) = secondary speed = √[Gm²/(m+M)a(1-ε²/4)]
    v (cm) = [m v(m) + M v(M)]/(m + M) All rights reserved. joenahhas1958@yahoo.com

  15. SKG

    Is there a site that’s working with 3D modeling of the universe?


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