Tuesday, October 31, 2006

2009 named International Year of Astronomy

An International Year of Astronomy will unfold in 2009, marking the fourth centenary of discoveries by Galileo that changed perceptions of the cosmos, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has said.

National and local events involving professional astronomers will take place throughout 2009 at planetariums and public observatories, the IAU said in a press release received here Monday.

There will also be "sidewalk astronomy" events by amateur astronomers aimed at stirring interest in sky-gazing.

In 1609, Galileo Galilei, believed to be one of the first to use a telescope to observe the night sky, identified stars that had been invisible to the naked eye, as well as mountains and craters on the Moon and Jupiter's main satellites.

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