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UN Declares 2009 as the International Year of Astronomy

December 20, 2007

U.S. statements regarding today's United Nations 62nd General Assembly declaration of 2009 as the International Year of Astronomy

J. Craig Wheeler, president of the American Astronomical Society, said, "I am thrilled that we have received official United Nations designation for the International Year of Astronomy 2009. The American Astronomical Society has been a vigorous and leading supporter of this initiative. We have developed exciting plans both nationally and internationally to engage the public in the glories revealed by astronomy, and we will hold a joint symposium with the Astronomical Society of the Pacific during our June 2008 summer meeting in St. Louis to prepare the planet and ourselves for this "

Douglas Isbell, co-chair of the U.S. program committee for IYA 2009 under the AAS, said, "We are developing an exciting set of programs and events built around seven themes, from looking through telescopes to activities for classrooms and families to new media such as social networking Web sites, all toward the goal of offering an engaging experience to every person in the country and fostering partnerships "

Jim Manning, executive director of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, said, "The Astronomical Society of the Pacific is extremely pleased by the United Nations endorsement of the International Year of Astronomy. The sky belongs to everyone, and this global expression of support will provide a critical impetus to our international efforts and those of other organizations to use the appeal of astronomy to improve science literacy in general, and to promote greater appreciation and understanding of our place in the "

For more information U.S. plans, see the United States IYA 2009 Web site at www.astronomy2009.us

A press release from the International Astronomical Union describing the UN declaration is available at www.iau.org/iau0702.486.0.html