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Canadian Launch of International Year of Astronomy 2009

The Canada Science and Technology Museum is pleased to host the Canadian launch of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009), a global celebration of astronomy and its contributions to society and culture.

Under the theme The Universe, Yours to Discover, IYA2009 marks the 400th anniversary of the first astronomical observations, made through a telescope, by Galileo Galilei.

In Canada, a wide variety of IYA2009 programs have been developed for communities nationwide by the partnership between the Canadian Astronomical Society, the Fédération des astronomes amateurs du Québec, and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

“During 2009 we are partnering with music and cultural organizations, parks, educational organizations, First Nations, science centres and many more to offer opportunities for every Canadian to engage in an enjoyable astronomy experience,” says Jim Hesser, Chair of the Canadian IYA2009 Executive Committee.

“We encourage all Canadians to have their own Galileo Moment of personal wonder and discovery of the Universe,” Hesser continues. “Those who register their Galileo Moment experience on the IYA2009 website (www.astronomy2009.ca) will have their name launched by the Canadian Space Agency aboard NEOSSat (the world’s first satellite dedicated to hunting for asteroids and space debris) in 2010.”

“During the International Year of Astronomy, we celebrate the important contributions Canadians have made and continue to make in astronomy, contributions that enrich our understanding of the universe.” says Claude Faubert, Director General of the Canada Science and Technology Museum.

  • The observations of the sky by Canada’s Aboriginal peoples are connected through story and ceremony with events occurring on Mother Earth.
  • The refracting telescope from the Dominion Observatory, the centerpiece of Canada’s astronomical studies for six decades, is now located in the Helen Sawyer Hogg Observatory on the museum grounds, allowing new generations of Canadians to enjoy their first close-up view of the night sky.
  • The Canadian tradition of innovation continues: last year, a Université de Montréal-led international team discovered three planets around a nearby star.

To celebrate Canadian discoveries and to share knowledge about astronomy, the Canada Science and Technology Museum offers astronomy mini-courses, stargazing evenings, and family astronomy and space workshops. For information click here.

General information: Call 613 991-3044.

What: Canadian launch of the International Year of Astronomy 2009

When: Thursday, January 8 at 10:30 a.m.

Where: Canada Science and Technology Museum. 1867 St. Laurent Blvd, Ottawa
Canada in Space exhibition

Media Contact: Kelly Ray
613 949-5732