Monday, April 4, 2011

April Showers


There are so many amazing things going on this April! And I do mean all month long... when it rains, it pours!

Astronomers Without Borders has declared "Global Astronomy Month" in April 2011, and is hosting a worldwide celebration of star-gazing in their global effort to "reconnect humanity to the sky", having been inspired by all the events and enthusiasm of the International Year of Astronomy (2009).

Global Astronomy Month
Their cornerstone project is 100 Hours of Astronomy, where teachers & schools, astronomy clubs, science museums, observatories, and planetariums all participate in public outreach and group observing activities (many of which will also be available for participation online in various areas).

The month just kicked off with the Lord of the Rings (Saturn watch, of course) this past weekend, and the next major events throughout April will all be dedicated to solidarity of cultures through sharing the sky, fighting light pollution, and the overall cultural history of how humanity has recorded events in the heavens.

April 9th will see the Global Star Party sweep around Earth. April 10-16th is Lunar Week. On April 17th, the astronomy teams take a break from the darkness and celebrate SunDay to appreciate our nearest stellar friend. The final mass event will be April 21st-22nd with the Lyrids meteor shower watch, those caused by the debris in the trail of Comet Thatcher.

Lastly, though certainly not leastly (I know it's not a word, don't email me en masse!!), April is an exciting month historically for many space firsts, and we have some huge anniversaries this year!

April 1, 1960TIROS-1, the first Imaging weather satellite was launched by NASA.

April 3, 1966 – The Soviets' LUNA 10 craft was the very first to orbit the Moon.

April 12, 1961
– On Vostok 1, Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space.

April 23, 1971Salyut 1 became the first human-crewed space station to launch

Yuri Gagarin
Pretty amazing stuff! More to come on Yuri, of course, as the month progresses. Who's going to Yuri's Night parties in their area??