Internationales Astronimiejahr 2009

2009: International Year of Astronomy

The Universe, Yours to Discover

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) launched 2009 as the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) under the theme, The Universe, Yours to Discover. IYA2009 marks the 400th anniversary of the first astronomical observation through a telescope by Galileo Galilei. It will be a global celebration of astronomy and its contributions to society and culture, with a strong emphasis on education, public engagement and the involvement of young people, with events at national, regional and global levels throughout the whole of 2009. UNESCO has endorsed the IYA2009 and the United Nations proclaimed the year 2009 as the International Year of Astronomy on 20 December 2007.

MPE/MPA press release International Year of Astronomy 2009 (in German)

MPE and other institutes of the Garching campus participate in the activities for IYA 2009 and have initiated own projects.

Cosmology Exhibition "Evolution of the Universe" in the Deutsche Museum
MPE and MPA Videos
Series of Articles in "Sterne und Weltraum"
Open House 2009
Girls' Day 2009
Opening Ceremony in Berlin on January 20, 2009



Series of Articles in "Sterne und Weltraum"

During a meeting of the public relations officers of all astronomical Max Planck Institutes at the MPE in May 2008 a joint series of articles in the periodical "Sterne und Weltraum" was decided on for the Year of Astronomy. The Max Planck Institutes for extraterrestrial Physics, Astrophysics, Astronomy, Gravitational Physics, Radio Astronomy and Solar System Research each contribute one article to the series, which afterwards is supplemented with didactic materials and used by the institutes for their public outreach work in schools.
Meanwhile the first contributions and teaching materials have been published on the platform "Wissenschaft in die Schulen!" ("Science into the schools!") for free download by interested teachers:

Project "Wissenschaft in die Schulen" (in German language)
articles on astronomy in the project (in German language)
Das Schwarze Loch im Zentrum der Milchstraße (in German language)
Gravitation, Potentialtrichter und Schwarze Löcher (in German language)

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Open House 2009

On October 24, 2009 from 11 a.m. to 18 p.m.
the MPE opened its doors for the public and gave the opportunity to experience research "live". A tour through the institute lead to 14 stations where visitors could gain insight into our work. A program for kids and teenagers was offered, where cosmonautics and astronomy were imparted in a playful way.

More than 3000 persons visited the MPE!

[ Pictures and more ]

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Girls' Day 2009

The MPE participated in the 2009 joint MPA/MPE Girls' Day (23/04/2009) with the objective of interesting young women in astrophysics and extraterrestrial physics and of encouraging them to decide for this male-dominated career.

This event is part of an initiative on a national level which aims at giving girls insight into occupational fields which are very rarely chosen by women.

At the MPE the girls conducted an experiment with plasma crystals, studied the light with spectrographs, constructed a mechanical device, and went on a guided tour to see a lab where some of the instruments that make our exciting science possible are built.

  Announcement (in German language)

  Girls' Day in Germany

Picture taken during the Girls' Day 2009 at MPE
more pictures

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Opening Ceremony in Berlin on January 20, 2009

The MPE was joint organiser of the grand opening of the Year of Astronomy 2009 in the Museum of Communication in Berlin and showed a model of the X-ray telescope  eRosita and information leaflets on the institute.

In addition the model of the satellite will be part of a following longer-term exhibition organised by ESO at the same museum. The eROSITA model will also play a major role in the "Science Express" organised by the MPG, an exhibition on wheels which will travel through more than 60 German cities in 2009.

report on the event (in German)

eRosita model

Ms Vongehr from MPE
in discussion with visitors

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