International Astronomical Union’s 100 Year Anniversary

Join the Celebration of A Hundred Years under One Sky

In 2019, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) is celebrating its 100th anniversary (IAU100) and the astronomical breakthroughs that have shaped science, technology and culture throughout the last century. The year-long celebrations also aim to highlight the importance of astronomy as a tool for education, development and diplomacy. CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory are honoured to serve as Ireland’s National Outreach Coordinator for these celebrations.

With 100 established IAU100 National Committees and more than 700 activities already registered in 72 different countries, the IAU is preparing for a year full of events. In Ireland, this anniversary will be marked by a program of year-long celebrations, including Dark Sky events, science festivals, amateur astronomy events and much, much, more.

The celebrations start with the truly global starparty 100 Hours of Astronomy, which is taking place from 10 to 13 January 2019. Spread over four days and three nights, amateur and professional astronomers, astronomy enthusiasts and the public are all invited to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for astronomy. Currently, there are more than 250 events registered in 50 different countries. Communities around the globe can participate in this joint effort to bring astronomy to the general public.

The global astronomy community comes together to celebrate the foundation of the IAU with a flagship event: the International Astronomical Union 1919-2019: 100 Years Under One Sky meeting that will be held on 11–12 April 2019 at the Palace of the Academies in Brussels, Belgium. A ceremony on 11 April will gather together hundreds of participants, among them eminent scientists, high-level officials, members of industry, decision-makers and prominent young researchers. It will include the participation of the Nobel Prize Laureate Ben Feringa and Brian Schmidt, the astronauts Chiaki Mukai (JAXA) and John Grunsfeld (NASA), Director General of the European Commission’s DG Research & Innovation Jean-Eric Paquet and literary and cultural critic Maria Popova.

The activities set in train for 2019 comprise a diverse collection of events that will inspire everyone with their celebrations and will help implement the IAU100 Themes. Global Projects, such as the Above and Beyond Exhibition, will allow venues around the world to tailor their content to their budgetary needs. In Einstein Schools (under the IAU Theme 100 Years of General Relativity: Eclipse) or Open Astronomy Schools (under Astronomy for Education), teachers will find creative supportive structures to bring their students to the next level of engagement. Other programs, such as Inspiring Stars (Inclusive Astronomy) or Dark Skies for All (Astronomy Natural and Cultural Heritage), will encourage audiences around the world to participate in a wide range of initiatives that in 2019 will bring the international astronomy community together “Under One Sky”.

In addition, the IAU has supported 21 IAU100 Special projects that are national and local initiatives around the world that follow the goals of the celebrations. The collection of IAU100 projects comprises: actions that focus on gender equity (Mozambique); dark skies awareness (Ireland and the Netherlands); an astronomy rock concert (Spain); outreach actions in both urban (Argentina) and remote (Brazil, India, Mongolia, Sri Lanka and Zambia) areas; teacher trainings (Croatia, Hungary, Malaysia, Palestine, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine); outreach activities with elderly people (Mexico); a conference in France; star parties (Mongolia); educational activities for refugee communities (refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria); giving visually impaired people access to solar eclipses  (Chile and Argentina); and an astrophotography competition (Iran).

With inclusion at its core, the IAU will continue contributing to a world without barriers. The celebrations will highlight equality and diversity with a set of special projects, such as the Women and Girls in Astronomy Day to be celebrated around 11 February and Inspiring Stars, an IAU-driven initiative to encourage equality of participation in astronomy at research, outreach and educational level.

Clair McSweeney, Centre Manager of CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory who coordinate the IAU100 activities nationally, commented, “2019 is going to be a big year for us and we are incredibly excited to centre our IAU celebrations in a year where we are also marking the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landings, and our 10th year running Space Week Ireland. We are especially proud to be awarded funding for an IAU 100 Special Project that will allow us to promote and celebrate Ireland’s rich Dark Sky Heritage. It has been our great privilege to use astronomy to empower communities throughout Ireland since our inception, and we are thrilled to have an opportunity to scale-up that mission during this globally significant anniversary”.

The IAU centennial celebrations in 2019 will stimulate worldwide interest in astronomy and science and will reach out to the global astronomical community, from professional and amateur astronomers and policy-makers to teachers and students, families and the public. Plan ahead for an exciting year and find out how you can get involved and make the most of this global celebration of astronomy.

More information

The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together more than 13 500 professional astronomers from more than 100 countries worldwide. Its mission is to promote and safeguard astronomy in all its aspects, including research, communication, education and development, through international cooperation. The IAU also serves as the internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and the surface features on them. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world’s largest professional body for astronomers.

Links
IAU100 Ireland

IAU100 Official Website

Above and Beyond Exhibition

IAU100 Girls and Women in Astronomy

Einstein Schools

Dark Skies for All

Inspiring Stars

 

 

Contacts

 

Clair McSweeney
IAU National Outreach Coordinator / IAU100 National Committee, Ireland
Phone: 021 432 6124
Email: clair.mcsweeney@bco.ie

Jorge Rivero González
IAU100 Coordinator
rivero@strw.leidenuniv.nl

 

Lars Lindberg Christensen
IAU Press Officer
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 320 06 761
Cell: +49 173 38 72 621
Email: lars@eso.org