IAU100 event Celebrates the first IAU Amateur Astronomy Day Event in Brussels
28 March 2019
Attendees of the IAU100 Amateur Astronomers Day look through a telescope developed by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. Credit: Luís Calçada
On Saturday 13 April 2019 at the Palace of the Academies in Brussels, Belgium, the International Astronomical Union organised its first event for amateur astronomers. The event followed the IAU100 Under One Sky Flagship Event on 11-12 April.
This inspirational full-day event included various topics of discussion. NASA astronaut John Grunsfeld shared the story of the Hubble Space Telescope and renowned scientists presented talks on hot topics in astronomy, including black holes, planet formation, public engagement and more. The programme also featured dedicated presentations from the amateur astronomical community, including sessions about the contributions of amateur astronomers to solar system and occulations research.
“The activities organised by amateur astronomers have an integral role in reaching out to the general public to engage them with the wonders of the Universe during the IAU anniversary celebrations. The IAU wants to highlight their valuable work and contributions in 2019,” said Ewine van Dishoeck, IAU President and Professor at Leiden University
With this event, the IAU aimed to further build the relationship between amateur astronomers, their organizations and the IAU. The programme and its speakers emphasised the importance of international collaboration in astronomy and of the scientific value of amateur, professional and citizen science in astronomy. In closing the event, Ewine van Dishoeck encouraged the attendees to “use the momentum of this event to move forward together”.
Amateur astronomers are encouraged to explore the variety of global projects taking place for IAU100 to learn how they can become more involved in the IAU100 centenary celebrations, including the upcoming celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
This amateur astronomy event also featured the acclaimed Above and Beyond exhibition, which has been commissioned by the IAU to showcase some of the most significant and surprising astronomical breakthroughs that have shaped science, technology and culture over the last century.
Jorge Rivero González