The International Year of Astronomy: Signature Programs at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Imagine an opportunity to support science education that was 400 years in the making! Consider the power of an entire year devoted to raising the public awareness of astronomy and scientific literacy -- for teachers and students, for community groups, for the media, and for the public at large. This was the essence of the International Year of Astronomy (IYA).
Having been in the forefront of sharing the excitement of the exploration of the universe for 120 years, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) played a key role in this exciting enterprise starting in 2009 and continuing into the future. With your direct support, we can continue to help millions of people (particularly young people) to discover the fascination of astronomy, the wonders of the universe, and the importance of science education and science literacy.
In 1609, Galileo first turned his telescope to the heavens, and revolutionized humanity's understanding of its place in the cosmos. Over the last 400 years, new telescopes and other instruments have allowed us to expand Galileo's work and learn more about the universe, its geography, and its destiny than Galileo could ever have dreamed.
Endorsed by the United Nations, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the International Astronomical Union, IYA was a global celebration of progress in astronomy and its contributions to society and culture over the past four centuries, with the aim of helping people rediscover their place in the universe through connection to the sky. The astronomy and education communities of countries throughout the world continue to be mobilized for the effort.