International Year of Astronomy 2009

2009 marks the 400th anniversary of Galileo Galilei's firstastronomical observation through a telescope. It will be a year of worldwide celebration, promoting astronomy and its contribution tosociety and culture.

The International Year of Astronomy 2009 is a global effort initiated by the International Astronomical Union and UNESCO 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.

Everyone should realise the impact of astronomy and other fundamental sciences on our daily lives, and understand how scientific knowledge can contribute to a more equitable and peaceful society. IYA2009 activities will take place locally, nationally, regionally and internationally. National Nodes have been formed in each country to prepare activities for 2009. These nodes will establish collaborations between professional and amateur astronomers, science centres and science communicators to prepare activities for 2009. Already now, 135 countries are involved and well over 140 are expected to participate eventually.
To help coordinate this huge global programme and to provide an important resource for the participating countries, the IAU has established a central Secretariat and an IYA2009 website ( as the principal IYA2009 resource for public, professionals and media alike.



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