The official Opening Ceremony for the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009) began today.
It is taking place at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Headquarters, and features not only government representatives, diplomats, scientists from around the globe, young astronomy undergraduate students from more than 100 countries, but also astronauts, industrialists, diplomats, artists etc. They are all in attendance to mark the first 400 years of modern astronomy, an era that started with Galileo's observations of the heavens with the telescope in 1609.
"After years of preparation, the time has come to launch this year, during which the citizens of the world will rediscover their place in the Universe, and hear of the wondrous discoveries in the making. The opening ceremony, at UNESCO Headquarters, is representative of the of the commitment of 136 countries to partake in the celebration of astronomy" says Catherine Cesarsky, President of the International Astronomical Union, who introduced the vision and goals of IYA2009 at the event.
The two-day ceremony hosts a wide range of activities including presentations by Nobel Prize winners Bob Wilson and Baruch Blumberg, talks about the latest astronomical discoveries, discussions on the role of astronomy in culture and public engagement, real-time astronomical observations and a closing performance by the Grammy award winners, the Kronos Quartet.
The Opening Ceremony launches the start of a year which will put astronomy firmly into the public eye, with the theme "The Universe, Yours to Discover". Hundreds, if not thousands, of events on global, national and regional levels started up in the first weeks of the Year to celebrate astronomy and its contributions to culture and society, highlighting its importance as a globally uniting endeavour, attempting to answer some of life's fundamental questions.
The proceedings were opened by Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, who said, "People have always looked to the sky for answers to the questions ‘How did we get here?' and ‘Why are we here?' The sky belongs to everybody. Astronomy is an instrument to promote peace and understanding among nations and as such is at the heart of UNESCO's mission."
Matsuura added "We will encourage citizens of the world, especially young people, to learn more about the Universe in which we live and to explore the links that astronomy provides between the scientific and cultural spheres."
The official Opening Ceremony will take place over two days, with almost 1000 people in attendance. Events are accessible to all via a live webcast, currently broadcasting from www.astronomy2009.org/webcast, and a live blog available from www.cosmicdiary.org/lee_pullen
Lars Christensen | alfa
SF State astronomer searches for signs of life on Wolf 1061 exoplanet
20.01.2017 | San Francisco State University
Molecule flash mob
19.01.2017 | Technische Universität Wien
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences