Activities Worldwide Celebrate the Earth and the Conclusion of IAU100 on the Occasion of the Pale Blue Dot
26 February 2020
Pale Blue Dot event in Madagascar, where trees were planted at the ASTRO Andoharanofotsy Observatory to encourage global citizenship and environmental stewardship. Credit: Haikintana Astronomy Association
As a special and final IAU100 global project, the Pale Blue Dot initiative collectively united people from all cultures and backgrounds on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Pale Blue Dot image. Over 500 activities were conducted in 52 countries worldwide that celebrated the Earth, global citizenship, and astronomy during and around 13-20 February 2020.
To instill a final message of peace and hope, the conclusion of IAU100 activities was marked with the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Pale Blue Dot image by how Earth shows us the place of our home planet in the universe and can help us address global challenges.
Many activities involved art projects in school, such as those in Romania, in which children artistically represented the Earth. Other initiatives sought to highlight the issue of climate change and environmental awareness, such as the reforestations events held by the Haikintana Astronomy Association in Madagascar and FOKALIS JATIM & Pasuruan Space and Atmospheric Observatory in East Java, Indonesia. Other events used astronomy as a tool to instill sentiments of global citizenship and our place in the universe, such as the Mercury transit observation event held at the University of Alicante in Spain. Many events included talks about the Pale Blue Dot image, the Voyager Golden Records, and other astronomy topics. Event participants and organizers also shared updates and photos of their activities on social media using #IAU100 and #PaleBlueDot.
In recognition of the 30th anniversary of the now iconic photo, NASA also revealed an updated version of the Pale Blue Dot. The new image was developed using modern image processing techniques to highlight Planet Earth as a single, bright blue pixel in the vastness of space.
Throughout the IAU100 celebrations, over 5000 astronomy outreach activities have been conducted in more than 130 countries globally. The complete events list can be explored here.