2009 has been proclaimed International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) by the United Nations. In the Netherlands, a national working group has been set up to coordinate activities celebrating IYA2009 for the general public, schools and educational institutions. Under the theme “The Universe – Yours to discover” the national working group is striving to reach as many people as possible to make them aware of the scale and beauty of the universe and our place within it.
More than 120 countries have joined the efforts to make the IYA2009 a global success. The celebrations are centred around 11 cornerstone projects. These are global education and awareness-raising programmes that range from the large-scale distribution of telescopes to schools to the preservation of dark skies at night. The cornerstone projects will reach millions of people worldwide.
The Astronomical Society Omega Centauri – division Groene Hart is contributing to this global effort in all its capacity. The Society communicates achievements of modern astronomy and has chosen to emphasise the “From Earth to the Universe” cornerstone project. Astronomers from the American space organisation NASA and form Harvard University in Cambridge responsible for numerous telescopes such as the Hubble Space Telescope and the Chandra X-ray telescope have developed this exhibition of astronomical images for the IYA2009 and called on every participating country to join. We are one of the organisations that wish to set up this project in the Netherlands.
The outdoor exhibition “From Earth to the Universe” consists of large, awe-inspiring astronomical images printed on large weather-resistant panels developed specifically for that purpose. The images from deep space, distant galaxies, nebulae and planets in our own Milky Way were captured by the most advanced observatories such as the Hubble Space Telescope and ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile. The images are very high-resolution and 1100 – 3800 MB in size. In other words, each image could cover the surface of a football field!
With the support of the town council of Ronde Venen we have obtained authorisation to set up this exhibition. The council has made 13 places available to exhibit 1x2metre boards for a period of 2 weeks. The boards are not yet printed: we do not yet have the financial means to commission their production. Therefore we are asking you to help us realise this project. You can support us by sponsoring at least one board. For more information and contact go to http://www.omegacentauri.nl/Fettu.html