Happy new year! Today also marks the beginning of the International Year of Astronomy! Now commonly called IYA2009, this celebration of astronomy is a year long campaign to bring the night sky to everyone! The celebration will look both to the past and into the future of astronomy.
According to the IYA2009 website,
"The International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) will be a global celebration of astronomy and its contributions to society and culture, highlighted by the 400th anniversary of the first use of an astronomical telescope by Galileo Galilei. The aim of the Year is to stimulate worldwide interest, especially among young people, in astronomy and science..."
The IYA2009 will be a great opportunity to bring astronomy and science into schools and communities in a practical way that can get noticed. Each nation has its own national node, which coordinates efforts between professional and amateur astronomers. The goals of IYA2009 are as follows:
These goals, however, depend on your help! Get out into your communities and promote the IYA 2009! Also, you can help the IYA2009 in their cause by donating! For more information on donating and helping with the IYA2009, visit their Make It Happen page!