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 the IYA minisite every week.
Hours of the Stars
The DLR exhibition 'Hours of the Stars - Wonders of the Solar System' in the Oberhausen Gasometer is another DLR contribution to the International Year of Astronomy. The exhibition, open to visitors from 1 April 2009 until 10 January 2010, offers spectacular reproductions of our planetary system and fascinating images of strange worlds.
The exhibition is jointly organised by DLR and Gasometer Oberhausen GmbH. On three levels of the Gasometer, unique exhibits provided by DLR, as well as items on loan from space technology companies and museums of technology, cultural history, and art, give a vivid and artistic overview of the birth and development of our solar system.
In the 'circus ring' of the Gasometer, visitors can marvel at the world’s largest realistic replica of the Moon, which has a diameter of 25 metres. In almost complete darkness, the sculpture is presented with the correct illumination by an elaborate lighting system, showing all lunar phases from new Moon to full Moon.
The International Year of Astronomy 2009
When the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei pointed his telescope toward the sky about four hundred years ago, he made a series of important discoveries. Over the past 400 years, telescopes have helped humanity to gain an undreamt-of insight into far-flung and exciting reaches of the universe.
In 1609, Johannes Kepler published his 'Astronomia nova', a groundbreaking work about our solar system. Kepler was the first person to correctly describe planetary orbits. For this reason, the United Nations has declared 2009 to be the International Year of Astronomy. The initiative for the IYA was taken by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).
The grand opening ceremony of the global International Year of Astronomy 2009 will be held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris on 15 and 16 January 2009. For Germany, the IYA will be launched on 20 January 2009 at the Communication Museum (Museum für Kommunikation) in Berlin. The Department of International Cooperation (Abteilung Internationale Zusammenarbeit) is in charge of coordinating IYA activities on behalf of DLR. DLR and UNESCO are jointly organising the exhibition 'World Heritage Sites from the Sky' (26 March to 7 May 2009). The opening ceremony of this exhibition will be held in Paris on 2 April.