People are uniting this April for Global Astronomy Month 2012, a planetwide celebration of astronomy designed to bring people together through star parties, music and artistic performances, web observing events, and more. Global Astronomy Month 2012 (GAM 2012) in April is the world’s largest global celebration of astronomy since the unprecedented International Year of Astronomy 2009. GAM 2012 brings new ideas and new opportunities, and again brings enthusiasts together worldwide, celebrating One People, One Sky.
This third edition of the annual Astronomers Without Borders event has over 30 programs scheduled with something for just about everybody: public skywatching parties with telescopes large and small, their proud owners showing the Moon and planet to crowds at night; Sun-viewing gatherings around filtered telescopes during the day; public talks about astronomy; hands-on telescope demonstrations; and much more.
Here are 10 ways to get involved in GAM 2012:
1. Kick off GAM2012 with both the Sun and the Moon. SunDay (April 1) and Lunar Week (April 1-7) both return this year, just as the month-long celebration begins. Hold a solar event during the day and continue with our closest neighbor in space after dark.
2. Take part with an event of your own. Register your event on the GAM website so others near you can join in, and others around the world can share in your plans. If you are part of an astronomy club, planetarium or public observatory, bring your local community into this international program.
3. Explore the Universe from home. GAM offers two ways to enjoy remote online observing. Follow along as an astronomer navigates the skies for you live, or try your hand at controlling a telescope yourself.
4. If you’re a teacher, get your students involved. Learn and teach the importance of dark, starry skies. Inspire their creativity in the Astropoetry Contest. Students are fascinated by the wonders of the night sky. Be sure to pay attention so you can answer their questions!
5. Plan a family night out for Lyrid Watch (April 21/22) marking the return of this annual meteor shower. Bundle up on your own porch or drive to darker skies to watch as space wanderers drop in on Earth, burning up in our atmosphere as “shooting stars.”
6. See stars of the celestial kind at the world’s biggest star party – the Global Star Party on April 28. Find an event near you, or organize your own and invite the neighbors. Meet the stars: Saturn, the Moon, and more.
7. Keep in touch. Follow the GAM blog, with a different astronomy blogger every day throughout April. Join the conversation on Twitter using #GAM2012, share your pictures on Flickr or be our friend on Facebook. Follow the GAM website for news and updates.
8. If you’re a journalist or blogger, tell your readers how they can join the GAM celebration with events near them and online throughout April.
9. Sponsor this international outreach and peace-building campaign. Sponsorships opportunities are available for the month and for select, targeted programs. Download the GAM 2012 Sponsorship Package or contact AWB President Mike Simmons.
10. Astronomy is for everyone and so is GAM. Browse our resources for People with Disabilities, a new and growing movement in astronomy highlighted in GAM.
There are GAM programs for everyone. Star parties, solar observing, remote observing sessions, cosmic concerts, programs for planetariums and people with disabilities, competitions, art events and more.
Join the celebration in April 2012 as Global Astronomy Month brings together thousands of people and hundreds of organizations worldwide to share their passion for astronomy in innovative new ways, connecting people by sharing the Universe!
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