- Press Release
- Oct 5, 2022
The International Year of Astronomy 2009 welcomes the 100th participating state
17-January-2008, Paris: The organisers of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009), the International Astronomical Union and UNESCO, welcomed this week the 100th participating state to the growing ranks of participating states and organisations for this worldwide astronomy project. This milestone is reached only four weeks after the official Proclamation of IYA2009 by the United Nations.
The latest state to join the International Year of Astronomy 2009 initiative is the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. This is a particularly welcome addition to the growing worldwide project since one of its aims is to promote astronomy and develop astronomical networks in developing countries.
Mr. F. R. Sarker the General Secretary of the Bangladesh Astronomical Society is the Chair of the Bangladesh IYA2009 National Node and explains why he and his country are participating in the International Year of Astronomy 2009: “The IYA2009 is a historic event which will offer unique opportunities for the people of Bangladesh to learn more about the incredible developments in the field of astronomy.”
The International Year of Astronomy 2009 projects and activities aim to help millions of people worldwide to rediscover their place in the Universe through the day and night time sky, and thereby engage a personal sense of wonder and discovery. The International Year of Astronomy 2009 represents the largest coordinated effort of professional and non-professional astronomers in history for popularising astronomy. The President of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Catherine Cesarsky says: “We are delighted that the International Year of Astronomy 2009 gives a chance to the astronomers from the IAU member countries to reach out to the rest of the world and share the new knowledge and excitement of today’s astronomy”
Mr. F. R. Sarker adds: “Although being a developing country, Bangladesh has a large number of space enthusiasts, perhaps more than anywhere else in the world. The Bangladesh Astronomical Society aims to let 200,000 people observing the night sky through telescopes during 2009. On 22 July, 2009 a total solar eclipse will be visible on northern part of Bangladesh, this will be one of the most memorable celestial events in the history of the country. Our hope is that IYA2009 will enable Bangladesh to establish a large optical observatory in Chittagong to explore the mysteries of the Universe.”
The International Year of Astronomy 2009 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. In addition to the 100 states already involved in the IYA2009, 14 organisations are involved. Well over 140 states and many organisations are expected to participate in the initiative in 2009.
For more information about the International Year of Astronomy 2009 please visit the website at http://www.astronomy2009.org/
Notes for editors: The vision of the IYA2009 is to help the citizens of the world rediscover their place in the Universe through the day and night time sky – and thereby engage a personal sense of wonder and discovery. All humans should realize the impact of astronomy and basic sciences on our daily lives, and understand better how scientific knowledge can contribute to a more equitable and peaceful society.
The aim of the IYA2009 is to stimulate worldwide interest, especially among young people, in astronomy and science under the central theme “The Universe, Yours to Discover”. IYA2009 events and activities will promote a greater appreciation of the inspirational aspects of astronomy that embody an invaluable shared resource for all countries.
The IYA2009 activities will take place at the global and regional levels, and especially at the national and local levels. National Nodes in each state have been formed to prepare activities for 2009. These Nodes establish collaborations between professional and amateur astronomers, science centres, educators and science communicators in preparing activities for 2009. The International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) was proclaimed by the United Nations on 20 December 2007.
The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together almost 10,000 distinguished astronomers from all nations of the world. Its mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects 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.
For more information, please contact:
IYA2009 National Node Chair for the People’s Republic of Bangladesh F. R. Sarker
Bangladesh Astronomical Society
Tel: +880-2-8014310, 8011335
IAU President, Chair of the IAU Executive Committee IYA2009 Working Group Catherine Cesarsky
IAU General Secretary
Karel A. van der Hucht
International Astronomical Union
98bis bd Arago, F-75014 Paris, France
SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research
Sorbonnelaan 2, NL-3584CA UTRECHT, the Netherlands
IYA 2009 Secretariat
IAU & ESA/Hubble, Garching, Germany
Cell: +49-176-61100211 / +351-962854775
Space Education Programme Coordinator
UNESCO HQ, Paris
IAU Press Officer/Secretary of IAU IYA2009 Executive Committee Working Group
Lars Lindberg Christensen
ESA/Hubble & IAU, Garching, Germany