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International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009)
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Absolute ZeroThe International Year of Astronomy 2009 is a global effort initiated by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) 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. In keeping with the IYA theme — The Universe, Yours to Discover — the Society of Physics Students has chosen A Universe of Wonder for its theme in 2009.

To help coordinate this huge global program 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.


Everyone should realize 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 centers and science communicators to prepare activities for 2009. Already now, 129 countries are involved and well over 140 are expected to participate eventually.

IYA2009 in the United States

American Astronomical SocietyWorking with the IAU and other astronomy partners, the American Astronomical Society (AAS) will help organize and carry out a dynamic program of activities for the International Year of Astronomy. Students can join the AAS as Junior Members and get two years for the price of one.

SPS Statement on the International Year of Astronomy 2009

Absolute ZeroThe Society of Physics Students (SPS) is pleased to partner with and offer its unqualified support for the International Year of Astronomy in 2009. The SPS is proud to be a part of the effort in the IYA 2009 to raise awareness of astronomy. In keeping with the IYA theme – “The Universe, Yours to Discover” the Society of Physics Students has chosen “A Universe of Wonder” for its theme in 2009. We believe this theme compliments that of the IYA and offers the SPS an opportunity to help advance not only astronomy and cosmology but also such diverse areas of physics such as quantum gravity, particle physics and string theory. These areas – and others – are playing a vital role in contributing to our understanding of the universe. The Society of Physics Students is proud to lend its support to the efforts of all the individuals who are working to make the IYA 2009 a reality.

While physics and astronomy are related yet distinct, the fields share many of the same goals – none greater than educating the public about science and science policy issues. An informed electorate is a vital part of any democratic society and it is the duty of all scientists to help advance the dialog between citizens and their government whenever possible. The IYA 2009 offers us all the opportunity to lend our voices to the discussions of issues which impact us all and the SPS can help by lending its voice to the chorus of others.

The events and activities that are planned for the IYA are meant to showcase astronomy and related issues for the general public. The numerous national and local events planned for the IYA 2009 share many of the same attributes as SPS activities. By involving SPS chapters around the country during IYA 2009 activities, we draw on the strengths of various members of the SPS that can help make the IYA 2009 successful in reaching a larger audience.   

All too often we pass up the opportunity to participate in events that enrich us in many ways. Bound by the constraints of our daily lives, we miss participating in events that can truly change our world. Let us not pass up the challenge to be involved in the IYA 2009 activities that will enrich us all.

-by the SPS National Council

In this spirit, SPS also recognizes the 2009 Year of Science, led by the Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS), and the 2007-09 Year of Planet Earth, a joint initiative by UNESCO and the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS).

Astronomical images used with permission of "From Earth to the Universe," a Cornerstone Project of the International Year of Astronomy 2009.

What makes YOU wonder?
More 2009 Celebrations

Year of Science 2009 (YOS09)
The Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS) and its participants lead the way in the celebration of the Year of Science 2009 (YoS09)—a national, year-long celebration of science to engage the public and improve public understanding about how science works, why it matters, and who scientists are. July's theme is Astronomy!

Year of Science 2009

International Year of Planet Earth (IYPO)
The International Year of Planet Earth aims to capture people’s imagination with the exciting knowledge we possess about our planet, and to see that knowledge used to make the Earth a safer, healthier and wealthier place for our children and grandchildren International Year of Planet Earth 2007-2009

Year of Science 2009

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