Informal Science Education Resources
International Year of Astronomy
November, 2009 Events
In November 2009, IYA unveiling events were hosted at 152 science centers, museums, libraries and schools, in large cities and small towns across the U.S. Based on feedback from the participating institutions, over 23,000 people attended these events.
Many of the events created or strengthened partnerships, often between libraries and local K-12 schools, but also between universities, science centers, planetariums, NASA, and others. A number of the institutions expressed a great appreciation for the new collaborations they had forged, and expect to continue those in the future. Some institutions reported that the attendance figures were much higher than expected, often at capacity, indicating a strong community interest in the event. Several schools have already used the IYA images during Space and Earth Science classes. Other involvement in the community, such as participation by local businesses, scheduling the unveiling during a town-wide event (such as an “art walk”), or including the unveiling in non-traditional, creative programming (such as a blues concert) increased science awareness in the community.
See photos of the events here.
Note: See the list of participating institutions here.
If your organization was not selected, or did not submit an application, see answer to FAQ "If my institution is not selected, can we make our own prints?" below.
Celebrate the Culmination of the International Year of Astronomy with More Spectacular Images from NASA’s Great Observatories!
In recognition of the 400th anniversary of Galileo Galilei’s first celestial observations, 2009 was designated the International Year of Astronomy. To celebrate, NASA’s Great Observatories – the Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope, and Chandra X-Ray Observatory – again collaborated to produce another spectacular multiwavelength view of our universe.
Four Hundred Years of Discovery!
We invited U.S.-based science centers, museums, planetariums, nature centers and other informal education venues to apply for selection as a site for a national unveiling and display of a new multiwavelength image in November 2009. We were looking for enthusiastic partners to hold an image unveiling event between November 10 and November 30, 2009, to help members of their local communities discover the universe for themselves, and that would display the image prints for an extended period.
The new image, and a summary of the public events held during its unveiling, was presented at the AAS (American Astronomical Society) meeting in January 2010 in Washington, D.C.
Selected institutions received at no cost:
Note: The application deadline was 5pm EST on August 5, 2009. Applications are no longer being accepted.
Prints will be available to 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organizations located in the United States, including all states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. We anticipate selecting partner institutions from eligible applications received by July 31, 2009, on a first-come, first-served basis. The Great Observatories Image Unveiling team is committed to bringing the wonders of the universe to learners of all ages and backgrounds during 2009, in support of U.S. and NASA goals for the International Year of Astronomy. The team will therefore consider application submission date, geographic location and potential for reaching diverse audiences in selecting partners. Potential for reaching diverse audiences will be determined from data on population size and income, as obtained from the U.S. census.
All institutions agreed to:
We encouraged events that provided opportunities for youth and adults to make their own observations of the universe, and that engaged populations or communities that are traditionally underserved by or underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics learning opportunities.
February 2009 Unveiling
See photos from select institutions that participated in the February 2009 Unveiling event.
Application deadline: August 5, 2009 PAST
Notification of selected partners: On or about August 14, 2009 PAST
Orientation (general) Teleconference briefing: Sept. 22, 2:00 EDT PAST
Science (content) Teleconference briefing: October 6, 2:00 EDT PAST
Anticipated delivery date for prints: On or about October 23, 2009 PAST
Partner events: November 10 - 30, 2009 PAST
Description of partner events due: December 7, 2009 PAST
American Astronomical Society meeting: January 3 - 7, 2010 PAST
Frequently Asked Questions:
The International Year of Astronomy Great Observatories Image Unveiling is made possible by special funding from NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. The project is a collaboration between the Space Telescope Science Institute, the Spitzer Science Center, and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
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