Celebrating the International Year of Astronomy
The International Year of Astronomy (IYA) is a global celebration of astronomy and its contributions to society and culture, and commemorates the 400th anniversary of the first use of an astronomical telescope by Galileo Galilei. The aim of IYA is to stimulate worldwide interest, especially among youth, in astronomy and science.
In observance of the IYA, the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum is devoting its 2009 Exploring Space Lecture Series to IYA themes. These include a search for other worlds like Earth; a celebration of the night sky; trying to understand the nature of the universe; and getting to know and appreciate the Sun.
Each of the four award-winning lecturers will provide personal and historical preambles, reflecting on how their own particular set of questions was treated in Galileo’s time and later in the "telescopic age." Other IYA topics will appear in elements of one or more of the lectures: the preservation of dark skies as an environmental initiative, the relevance of astronomy to daily life, and what astronomy tells us about ourselves and our place in the Universe.
Each lecture is preceded by educational activities and public programs. Please click on the lecture title below for more information and to reserve tickets.
The Exploring Space Lectures are made possible by the generous support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Aerojet.