Sunday, January 4, 2009

International Year of Astronomy 2009



This year marks the 400th. anniversary Galileo first used a telescope to view the heavens. To celebrate this occasion professional and amateur astronomers alike have set aside this year to educate the general population about the celestial wonders our Universe provides, to give the guy/gal on the street a Galileo moment.

Double Star Cluster in Perseus.

What is a Galileo moment you may ask, it is sharing any astronomical experience, from viewing various celestial objects in the night sky with a telescope/binoculars, the Double Star Cluster above being my favorite, a real show stopper, to pointing out a conjunction or even a constellation, point being to show and teach somebody something they may not already know about our cosmos, kind of what I try to do here, and the main reason I started this blog. Side note here, did you know that the average person stops learning about the science of astronomy at age 10? Think of how much more you know after reading this blog for any length of time then the average person.

To find out what's going on in your area visit the International Year of Astronomy 2009 website and go to your county or as they call them National Nodes, 135 all together, you will receive a "single point of contact" call them up and chat, going to the Canadian node you learn that on January 10 the Ontario Science Center is having a full day of demonstrations and presentations, very cool.

I am having printers do up a poster for me which I downloaded from here, letting passersby know that there is a celestial tour going on in my backyard, my own little tour of the cosmos. An open invitation to any readers who want to hang out in my pod and tour the cosmos with my scope, can't pay for your flight out but to the first 463 people a free pair of Hanna Montanna/Miley Cyrus 3D glasses, hey, while you're down we can do lunch.

There are a lot of regular readers here that are totally qualified to share a Galileo moment, step out of your comfort zone to pass on what you have learned here to the average non astronomical person on the street. I won't leave you hanging, if you feel so inclined to do such an astronomical event, email me, I will give you some good dates in your area and what to point out. You'll be hooked after the looks on people's faces and the appreciation they'll show you with the spark in their eyes.

Moon and the Pleiades meet June 30 2008.

Some upcoming events to watch out for. This Wednesday look to the East at Sunset for the Moon and Pleiades conjunction. On the 12th another conjunction, the Moon meets the Beehive Star Cluster in the constellation Cancer, image below shows what the cluster would look like in binoculars, it is an image I took of the Mars /Beehive conjunction I took last May, look to the East once again around 8:30 pm EST.

Mars and the Beehive Conjunction May 22 2008

A few more events happening throughout the year you may want to consider for your Galileo moment. February 4, March 2, and August 14 all Moon and Pleiades conjunctions. February 27 a beautiful early morning conjunction of Venus and the crescent Moon, look to the east just after Sunrise. Another conjunction to watch out for, April 26 just after Sunset, look to the west to see the Moon/Mercury conjunction with the Pleiades close by. June 19 just before the Sunrise around 4:30am look to the east to see the Moon/Mars/Venus gathering, very pretty. October 8-16 watch the Mercury/Venus/Saturn conjunctions, on October 16 the Moon joins the party, lots more going on, these are just a sampling of what's in the works, again great Galileo moments.

I'll leave you now with one of my Milky Way Galaxy shots twirled in Photoshop.

Milky Way

39 comments:

Mike said...

Hi Bob. When I first got the Internet in 1996, one of the first things I did was look for astronomy web sites. I sent a lot of links to people I knew online over the years. Hope I got some interested. I love looking at the photos.

Swubird said...

Bob:

What a great idea. I've done my two cents worth. I've told about thirty people about your site. That should be an education. I don't know if they've dropped by yet, but who knows? You know what they say, you can lead a horse to water but...etc.

Happy stargazing Bob. Let's hope that 2009 is the best ever.

Stephanie Barr said...

Ultra coolness. I'll be lookin' to learn a few things.

Marilyn said...

That's a neat idea. I'll share your link and see what I can do to help.

Bob Johnson said...

Way to go Mike, there is a lot of good info on the net, more everyday.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks swubird, I've seen a lot of your people, it's all about spreading the news about astronomy this year, and raising awareness.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Stephanie, you probably already know lots but there is a lot out there to still learn from other organizations and sites, hopefully the IYA 2009 will increase peoples knowledge.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Marilyn, that would be great, thanks for dropping by.\m/\m/

Max said...

Hi Bob!

Here we are in 2009!!

This post is fantastic! It is so positive, so educational, so engaging...so New Year! :D

You are still handing out those 3D glasses?

Galileo was incredible and gutsy! We all owe him a lot!! I am glad he bestowed upon us the Galileo moment :)!

Lord of the Astropics: Here's to another Stargazing year!!

Wishing you a great week...

Cheers

Susanne49 said...

Your last picture is just phenomenal, Bob!Great post and Galileo was right about the earth is not a plate ;)

Sue's Daily Photography

Ivanhoe said...

Too bad you live so far up north. Otherwise I would be knocking on your door tomorrow ;o)
At least I can enjoy your awesome pics here on your blog.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks max, and look what Galileo got for his troubles,lol.Yes another year has come and gone, 2009, the International Year Of Astronomy, lots of stuff to look forward too, hope you can manage to capture a Galileo moment sometime this year, have a great week too max.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks so much Susanne, I like the twirl effect too. Yes Galileo was right about a lot of things, too bad they didn't give him the credit he deserved.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Ivanhoe, too bad you can't make it, I'll try to keep the pics coming for you, have a great week.\m/\m/

Will said...

400 years? Wow! Seems like just yesterday. And Bob you must have about 10,000 Galileo moments to your credit by now. That PDF poster sure is cool. Be sure to take a photo to show us after you put your stuff on it.

Stephanie Barr said...

I just tagged you with a non-obligatory twist on someone else's meme cause I LOVE to learn. :)

Roger said...

Happy Birthday to Galileo telescope! I wonder what brand it was?

L. Venkata Subramaniam said...

I heard the moon, Jupiter and Neptune? together made a smiley over India recently? Is that true?

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, yes it does Will. I have had lots of Galileo moments for sure. The poster just came back from the printers and it is awesome, and I will take pictures.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Stephanie, I don't usually do memes, but this one I'm interested in, gives me a chance to blog about stuff I wouldn't have, might be to fringy.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Well L. Venkata almost, it was the Moon, Venus and Jupiter. Link below.

http://blackholesandastrostuff.blogspot.com/2008/12/smiley-face-and-tool-kit-conjunction.html

Bob Johnson said...

Lol Roger I think it was a Galileo special, lol. Really though it was a refractor type.\m/\m/

Argi said...

Hello from Greece !!!
Nice to meet you

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

A Galileo Moment...what a PERFECT thought and time to have. :D Great post. I'll spread the news and look to the night skies on Wednesday. I can remember that far ahead. :D I'll have to start writing these events on my calendar.

A beautiful post and photos. The swirling Milky Way caught my eye first. Loooove it!!!

Beautiful, lovely, magnificent, AWESOME!!!


Have you visited:
http://sadiapaintings.blogspot.com/ yet?

Sadia has an affinity for space in her paintings and I know you would love viewing her work.

Hugs, JJ

Sherer said...

Bob,


A noble post indeed. I have a Galileo moment everytime I visit your website. I am going to start using that! Great picture of the double star cluster as well.

Jesse

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Argi from Greece, nice to meet you too, thanks for dropping by.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks JJ. I love the link you gave me, I went over and asked her about purchasing a print, excellent prices.

The Milky Way twirl is pretty cool if I do say so myself,lol.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks so much Jesse. The Double Cluster was taken from my back yard, make note of it, I am going to do the same from a dark site when it warms up to show the evil effects light pollution has on this hobby of Astrophotography, going to do a before and after light pollution comparison. You could do such a great job of a Galileo moment, with your telescope and all.\m/\m/

√ėyvind said...

Hi! I was so happy to finally find a new astro blog, your work is great! I faved your blog immidiately and look forward to follow it.

I haven't "performed" my astronomy hobby for a long while but now I got the urge again. :) I have a small 114mm Jupiter telescope and hope to hook up a camera to it again. The old camera died on me.

Best wishes from Bergen in Norway

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks so much 0yvind, good luck with getting back into the hobby, need any help don't hesitate to email me.\m/\m/

Final_Transit said...

o cool, jan 10 is tomorrow, I'll try to go to the OSC. The only trouble is that the place is brimming with kids and its hard to do anything.... he he he :P

Anna said...

Bob too bad you live far away, but I live close to Science Centre...last time I been there was for BodyWorld.

Excellent post, and I admire you for your hard work here...Anna :)

kRiZ cPEc said...

beautiful milky way...

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Priyank, good luck with the Full Moon, try to get some pics of it.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Anna, hey if you happen to go to the Science Centre, take some pics, I will post them.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks kRiZ cPEc.\m/\m/

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