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Paper: Looking Through a Telescope During the International Year of Astronomy 2009
Volume: 400, Preparing for the 2009 International Year of Astronomy: A Hands-on Symposium
Page: 146
Authors: Fienberg, R.T.
Abstract: The main goal of the U.S. IYA2009 effort, led by the American Astronomical Society and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, is to offer an engaging astronomy experience to every person in the country. Since the IYA2009 is motivated by the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s introduction of the telescope to astronomy, the key engaging experience we will offer is the opportunity to look through a telescope, especially at the celestial targets Galileo himself looked at. We plan to offer a page on the U.S. IYA2009 website where people can log their impressions of what they saw through a telescope and what it meant to them—how it changed their perspective on the universe and/or their attitude toward astronomy and science. Another goal of the U.S. IYA2009 effort is to cultivate sustainable partnerships. In addition to their own programs, local amateur astronomers will set up their scopes at events held by professional organizations, including NASA, universities, observatories, planetariums, and museums of science. The relationships forged during this large-scale collaboration for education and public outreach in astronomy will continue beyond 2009. Our “telescope amnesty” program will invite people to bring their little-used telescopes to IYA2009 events, where astronomers will teach them how to use them and offer advice on repairs, improvements, and/or replacements, encouraging more people to stay involved in the hobby.
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