Sooner stargazers celebrate International Year of Astronomy
Amy Frost, The Oklahoma Daily
OU is joining hands with communities around the world for an international celebration of the stars. OU is one of many international organizations celebrating International Year of Astronomy 2009.
IYA2009 observes the 400th anniversary of modern astronomy, which began when Galilei recorded his first observations of space, the celebration’s Web site, astronomy2009.org, states. Approximately 900 astronomers gathered on Jan. 15 in Paris, France for the official opening of the celebration.
The goal of IYA2009 is to celebrate the achievements and discoveries made by astronomers, and organizers hope to promote the contributions astronomy has made to society, the Web site states. IYA2009 can also be seen as a way to unify the world, bringing together astronomers to celebrate their common passions, said Richard Henry, astronomy professor.
Henry said he thinks it’s important to recognize astronomy globally in order to raise awareness of the subject and to help people to recognize their place in the universe.
OU is celebrating the historical year with a series of astronomy lectures at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. There will also be telescopes for public viewing after the lectures.
Henry said he thinks it’s important for students to participate in the events to learn about the topics discussed, and then apply what they learn by using the telescopes.
The History of Science Collections in Bizzell Memorial Library contains translated copies of Galileo’s first and second books, “The Compass”, and “The Defense.” These copies include his personal written notes and corrections.
The first lecture in the series was Wednesday night with Kerry Magruder, history of science professor.