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IAU100 Special Projects Announced

19 December 2018


Outreach Astronomy activities in schools in Peru during the International Year of Astronomy 2009. Credit: GalileoMobile

21 diverse and innovative projects from around the world have been selected to receive financial support to conduct astronomy activities throughout 2019 in the framework of the IAU100 celebrations.


In March 2018, the IAU100 Task Force issued a call for proposals for Special projects in support of the IAU100 goals at a local or national level. Following a review of more than 150 applications from 65 countries, the task force has selected 21 diverse projects that will be financially supported with micro-grants to implement their astronomy initiatives under one or more of the IAU100 100 Themes.


The following unique and innovative 21 projects have been selected to receive financial support from the IAU100 and will be implemented throughout 2019:


  • The Arthur S. Eddington: From Physics to Philosophy and Back Again Conference 27-29 May 2019 (France) will bring together astronomers, historians, philosophers and the general public to discuss the many facets of Arthur Eddington's contributions. It will take place in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of Eddington’s solar eclipse expedition that provided the crucial evidence for theory of general relativity.

  • The Agora project (Argentina) will surprise unexpected audiences in Argentina and beyond with astronomy outreach initiatives in unexpected locations, including public parks, streets, transport stations, and more.

  • Amanar: Under the Same Sky (Saharawi refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria and Spain) will use astronomy as a cultural bridge between Sahrawi refugees children from camps of Tindouf, Algeria, and the residents of the nearby Canary Islands (Spain).

  • Ambassadors for Astronomy (Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine) aims to provide public astronomy centres with educational resources and ongoing support from astronomers who are active researchers and international astronomical facilities.

  • The ArAS Astronomy Teacher Training Program (Palestine) will provide a workshop for secondary and high school Palestinian science teachers to develop training in modern astronomy teaching techniques.

  • Astronomical Fridays 2019 (Peru) will consist of weekly astronomy public talks and stargazing events addressed to a wide range of audiences at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos.

  • The Astronomy Roadshow-Trans Zambia project (Zambia) aims to inspire and educate youth and to train science educators to teach astronomy through the organisation of a workshop and star parties.

  • The Dark Skies Ireland project (Ireland) will be supported to increase public awareness of Ireland’s Dark Sky and archao-astronomical sites, and a greater understanding of the importance of the preservation and restoration of Irish night-skies through a series of coordinated events.

  • The Dumbara Sky - Taking Astronomy to Sri Lankan Village (Sri Lanka) will encourage science awareness and inspire interest in various STEM fields for students of remote regions of Sri Lanka with series of star parties and outreach events. The project also aims to raise the awareness of the public in preserving dark skies by utilizing sustainable methods to light the roads, homes and other locations.

  • Exploring the Wonders of the Heavens, through astronomy and science clubs in schools (Ghana) intends to inspire and educate teachers and students in astronomy through the establishment of astronomy clubs in schools.

  • Grandpas and Astronomy (Mexico) aims to bring fun, company and culture to the elderly by sharing astronomical knowledge and observations in Mexico City.

  • Heritage of the Sky (Iran) will invite astrophotographers to participate in a photography contest consisting of two components: Photography of the Astronomical Cultural Heritage and Nightscape Photography of the Astronomical Natural Heritage.

  • The Hooked on the shadow-ASEAN Astronomy Workshop for Teachers (Malaysia) is a regional workshop in Malaysia for teachers from South-East Asian countries that is designed to promote astronomy teaching for primary and secondary school science teachers.

  • The IAU100 Dark Sky Symposium (The Netherlands) aims to raise awareness for the preservation and protection of the world’s cultural and natural heritage of dark and quiet skies. The symposium and star party welcomes amateur astronomers, policy makers, dark sky-experts, astrophotographers, and dark sky-lovers.

  • Let me be Part of the Universe (Mozambique) aims to promote gender equality in underprivileged areas of Mozambique through astronomy by prioritising the education of girls and families and highlighting the role of women in astronomy.

  • LightSound – A Tool Designed to Aid the Blind/Visual Impaired During a Solar Eclipse (Argentina, Chile, United States of America) will build and distribute 20 devices to visually -impaired communities throughout Argentina and Chile to help them experience the variation of light intensity through sound during a solar eclipse in real-time the solar eclipse on 2 July 2019.

  • Local Astro Guide: Astronomer On Foot programme (India) will facilitate telescope-on-demand activities in western India by training ‘barefoot astronomers’ to inspire and educate their communities.

  • Mobile Planetarium in the Pampa (Brazil) will utilise the Unipampa’s Planetarium fixed and mobile domes to inspire and educate the public, students and teachers through education courses and open sessions in 18 cities of the Pampa region.

  • NARIT One Decade of Excellence and IAU 100 for Capacity Building and Knowledge Transfer (Thailand) will organise various activities that highlight the IAU100 Goals and Flagship Themes as part of NARIT’s 10 Year Anniversary,.

  • Rock'n'Astronomy Under the Dish (Spain) will broadcast a live rock concert at night, that features famous musicians and themes of astronomy,  space science and the IAU100.

  • Star parties for Basic understanding of the Universe for school herders kids (Mongolia) will organise educational star parties for youth in the nomadic areas of Mongolia to encourage interest in science and astronomy, while also encouraging higher education.


To learn more about the selected projects, please see here.


Jorge Rivero González

IAU100 Coordinator

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