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Emily LakdawallaNovember 24, 2008

Enjoy your 10 minutes of fame by contributing to 365 Days of Astronomy

I haven't mentioned the International Year of Astronomy yet because I spent months procrastinating from putting together pages on it for our website, but I have finally defeated my procrastinatory urges and posted a whole new section to our website on the project. In a nutshell, 2009 will be the International Year of Astronomy (it is so decreed by the International Astronomical Union and the United Nations), and there are worldwide events and projects being developed to raise public awareness of, and improve public education about, our skies and everything in them, from planets to pulsars. One of the neat (I think) sub-pages on this site gives an overview of all of the planetary missions that will be active in 2009; it's quite a long list. The Planetary Society is proud to be a sponsor of the International Year of Astronomy.

365 Days of Astronomy Podcast

365 Days of Astronomy Podcast
There are myriad public education and involvement projects being developed. I'm serving on the organizational committee for one of them, a daily podcast called 365 Days of Astronomy. We're asking individuals to contribute five- to eight-minute podcasts on the space topics of their choice, and we have a lot of interesting shows on the calendar already. But we need more! Speaking now from my own point of view, I think we don't have enough people lined up to talk about the planets and moons and other interesting places in our solar system, or the missions that are exploring them.

So, dear readers, do any of you want to contribute? We will handle all the post-production, hosting, and so on -- all you need is an idea, a microphone, and the ability to talk for eight minutes about some space topic. If you have an idea but no microphone, think about contributing a script that we can get someone else (maybe me) to read; eight minutes is about four double-spaced pages of text. We've got lots of shows already scheduled on stars, galaxies, radio astronomy, backyard astronomy -- anyone want to talk about your favorite space mission or asteroid or ring system? And I know there are a lot of scientists and engineers reading this -- here's a chance to try to get the public excited about what you do. If you have any questions, please email me at the address at the top of the blog page; here's a page with more information on the project, and here's the 365 Days of Astronomy home page, which has a calendar of the shows that are already scheduled. We are especially interested in filling the remaining dates in January and February that are still open. The January dates currently available are the 13th, 18th, 19th, 29th, and 31st...

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Emily Lakdawalla

Solar System Specialist for The Planetary Society
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