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DLR's contributions to the International Year of Astronomy 2009

2009 is the International Year of Astronomy, or IYA for short. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt) is participating in the IYA celebrations. DLR experts will be answering the 'Astronomy Question of the Week' on the IYA minisite. If you have a question about astronomy, please submit it to us using the contact form below. The answers to the latest questions will then be published on this IYA minisite every week.
Astronomy Question of the Week

How old is the Universe?

Week 52
The International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA) is coming to an end. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) celebrated IYA with exhibition 'Out of this World – Wonders of the Solar System' in the Gasometer Oberhausen and the 'Astronomy Question of the Week'. Once a week, DLR experts answered a question. Many interested parties took the opportunity to use the special IYA website to ask questions. The final Astronomy Question of the Week is: "How old is the universe?"
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Why is it dark at night?

Week 51
Just like being in a large forest, where in every direction and in our entire field of vision we can see trees that are either somewhat closer or further away, in a Universe that is infinite and filled evenly with stars or galaxies, we would have to see a star in every direction, sooner or later. The night sky should actually gleam as brightly as the surface of the Sun. But why doesn't this happen?
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Where are the nearest islands of stars?

Week 50
Earth's home galaxy, the Milky Way, consists of more than 100 billion stars and its spiral arms extend across 100,000 light-years. As if these were not already virtually inconceivable numbers for humans, the Milky Way is only one galaxy among billions that can be seen in the visible Universe using modern telescopes.
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Week 49 How is a black hole discovered?
Week 48 Is there a photograph of the universe?
Week 47 What happens on the Moon during a lunar eclipse?

Exhibition "Out of this World"

From Thursday, 2 April 2009 the new exhibition 'Out of this World - Wonders of the Solar System' will be open to visitors at the Oberhausen Gasometer. It shows our Solar System as a huge process of growth and decay and takes visitors on a journey into the cosmos. Spectacular reproductions of our planetary system, fascinating images of alien worlds, precious historical instruments and modern space research technology all form part of this multifaceted exhibition. The 'largest moon on Earth' can be seen under the Gasometer's 100-metre high roof.
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