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Thank You!

By AJG, December 1, 2011

Thank you to everyone who made the IYA2009 presence in Second Life a success! Our island left Second Life in Nov 2011 due to increased fees and the elimination of the “educator discount”. We hope to add more photo albums and imagery of the virtual exhibits in this archived site.

Our latest AAS poster from the 2010 winter meeting:
(PDF) The Virtual World Presence of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (Gauthier, Huber, Gay, New Media Task Group)

The Galactic Plane in Second Life!

By AJG, October 19, 2010

Ourania Fizgig standing in front of the galactic center.

Join us on ‘Astronomy 2009′ island as we open the GLIMPSE/MIPSGAL Galactic Plane Mural with the fine folks from Spitzer Science Center!

Mingle with Dr. Robert Hurt and Dr. Carolyn Brinkworth of Spitzer Science Center as you tour the mural.  We’ll be giving away limited edition texture packs of the mural and other artwork/apparel inspired by this gorgeous imagery.

We’ll have 2 talks/tours scheduled – 9am SLT & 10am SLT.

Where: ‘Astronomy 2009′ island in Second Life,

When: Wednesday October 27, 2010

Time: 9:00am  SLT & 10:00am SLT

9:00am SLT TOUR 1: Listen to Dr. Robert Hurt and Dr. Carolyn Brinkworth talk about the GLIMPSE/MIPSGAL imagery before heading out on a tour!  Followed by an opportunity to ask questions.

10:00am SLT TOUR 2: Listen to Dr. Robert Hurt and Dr. Carolyn Brinkworth talk about the GLIMPSE/MIPSGAL imagery before heading out on a tour!  Followed by an opportunity to ask questions.

Learn more about the GLIMPSE/MIPSGAL galactic plane survey here:

“More than 800,000 frames from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope were stitched together to create this infrared portrait of dust and stars radiating in the inner Milky Way.

As inhabitants of a flat galactic disk, Earth and its solar system have an edge-on view of their host galaxy, like looking at a glass dish from its edge. From our perspective, most of the galaxy is condensed into a blurry narrow band of light that stretches completely around the sky, also known as the galactic plane.”

“How it Ends” Talk by astronomer and author Chris Impey

By AJG, June 28, 2010

Impey avatar & book coverJoin us on Astronomy 2009 island for a talk by astronomer and author Chris Impey on his new book “How it Ends”. He’ll be giving away a signed copy of his book at the end of talk (mailing address will be required).

Date: Thu July 1, 2010
Time: 7:00pm SLT
Where: Astronomy 2009 Amphitheater

SL Calendar and Teleport Link

* Event will be optimized for Viewer 2 with Shared Media (w/ URL links provided for Viewer 1 attendees)

* Event will use Voice and Local Chat for questions/comments

“How It Ends”
The fascinating science behind the eventual end to everything from you to the universe.

Although we may try to keep it tucked at the back of our minds, most of us are at least vaguely aware of our own mortality.  But few among us know what science, with the help of insights yielded from groundbreaking new research, has to say about death on a large scale.  Enter astronomer Chris Impey who chronicles for us the death of the whole shebang: the individual, species, biosphere, Earth, Sun, Milky Way and, finally, the entire universe.  With a healthy dose of humor, How it Ends illuminates everything from the death-defying ambition of human life extension and the evolutionary arms race between microbes and men to the inescapable dimming of the sun and the ultimate big rip, giving us a rare glimpse into a universe without us.

Published by W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. (USA):


W.W. Norton & Company, Ltd. (UK):

Chris Impey is the award-winning chair of the Astronomy program at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He has written popular pieces on astronomy as well as a widely reviewed book, The Living Cosmos.

John Gleason Hydrogen-Alpha Astrophotography Open!

By AJG, April 16, 2010

Check out our newest astrophotography exhibit!  We welcome John Gleason (website) and his unique hydrogen-alpha astrophotography.  Come view our gorgeous universe and learn what h-alpha tells us!

Preview here at Peek 360!

Author Talk Event: “Observatories of the Southwest” (Doug Isbell)

By AJG, March 5, 2010
Book Cover

Find "Observatories of the Southwest" on Click for link.

Join us on Astronomy 2009 island for a talk and Q&A session with Doug Isbell, author “Observatories of the Southwest: A Guide for Curious Skywatchers” co-authored with Stephen Strom and published by University of Arizona Press.

Date:  Thursday March 11, 2010

Time: 7:00pm SLT (Pacific)

Place: Astronomy 2009 island Amphitheater (Click for Teleport)

Type of Event: Voice

We’ll be giving away a natural life copy of “Observatories of the Southwest: A Guide for Curious Skywatchers” during the talk!

The target audience for “Observatories of the Southwest” includes students, young people, teachers, the scientifically interested public, people traveling to the US Southwest, and anyone interested in the state of our understanding of the Universe.  For eight major observatories, this book covers their history, scientific achievements, what visitors can do, resources for educators, and the personal recollections of seven esteemed scientists and administrators.  Able to be enjoyed in sections or as a whole, this popular-level guidebook offers an overview of the biggest scientific challenges facing astronomers today and what is being done to investigate them every clear night and day in the dry desert southwest.  It aims to inspire people to realize that these are wonderful places to visit, to sit in awe and wonder of their achievements and the physical beauty of the surrounding land.

Doug IsbellDoug Isbell is the U.S. national single-point-of-contact for the United Nations-endorsed International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009), a task that includes major projects in dark-skies awareness, public exhibits of large astronomical images, and the development of a new, inexpensive, high-quality telescope kit with more than 100,000 units in production.

Previously, he was a public information officer and outreach programs director for the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (National Science Foundation) and NASA. He is a former aerospace journalist who earned degrees in astronautical engineering and journalism from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

‘Astronomy 2009′ Acknowledged for Galilean Nights as Exemplary Event!

By AJG, March 5, 2010

Galilean Nights was a global star party event from Oct 22-24, 2009. Educators, amateur astronomers, science museums, scientists and many others took telescopes out into the open to show off the king of our fall skies – Jupiter!  In Second Life, we joined in the global celebration by having special limited time exhibits on Jupiter. During this time, we had roughly 165 unique visitors who enjoyed learning about Jupiter, playing with a simulation of Jupiter and the Galilean Moons, watched the Let There Be Night planetarium show on Galileo, and viewed hourly updates of the view of Jupiter through our IYA2009 telescopes!

On March 4, 2010 our project made it into the Event Awards as “Highly Commended”  in the Most Innovative Event category!  Congratulations to us! And a large thank you to those that donated exhibits (Rob Knop a.k.a. Prospero Frobozz in SL and also Inthe Telling and the Let There Be Night project!).

See the IYA2009 press release here:

See our event summary page here:

Solar Dynamics Observatory Launch and Tweetup!

By AJG, January 22, 2010

Launch party recap posted HERE

LAUNCH DELAYED, NEW SCHEDULE: February 10, 2010 7:30am SLT (our event begins at 7am SLT, launch window from 7:36amSLT-8:36am SLT)
NEW LAUNCH SCHEDULE! Launch was scrubbed this morning (Feb 10th) due to wind conditions.

Please join us on Feb 11th at 7am SLT (launch window 7:23am SLT-8:23am SLT)!

Join us on Astronomy 2009 island to watch the launch of the Solar Dynamics Observatory! We’ll take part in the SDO-Tweetup with questions going out to SDO scientists at Goddard Spaceflight Center via our Twitter account Astronomy2009SL.

Learn about SDO and the “Living With a Star” program while we watch the launch live via a live NASA stream.

Stay tuned here for updates on changes in launch and Tweetup times.

Tweetup Info:

SDO Website:

Living With a Star project:

SDO Event Area Ready and Waiting!

SDO Event Area Ready and Waiting!

First Anniversary Celebration!

By AJG, January 1, 2010

Join us on ‘Astronomy 2009′ island during our 1 year anniversary week! On January 6, 2009 our island opened to celebrate the International Year of Astronomy 2009. We’ll continue to engage and inspire residents of Second Life in astronomy through 2010 as we are also celebrating our generous sponsors!

We’ll be streaming in live talks from the 215th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society happening in Washington, DC. All times for events are listed in SLT (Second Life Time).  You will need audio capabilities as we will be streaming the feed through Voice and running a copy the presenter’s slides/media locally on the island.


Mon Jan 4, 2009 1:30-2:30pm SLT
Location: (Blue-domed Amphitheater)
LeRoy Doggett Prize:
Seventeen Key Developments in the History of the Extraterrestrial Life Debate
Michael J. Crowe, University of Notre Dame

Michael J. CroweThe extraterrestrial life debate, rather than beginning in the twentieth century, was already underway in classical antiquity and has continued almost without interruption until the present. This historical presentation, based on the presenter’s many years of historical research including visits to over forty research libraries, will survey seventeen of the most significant, exciting, and/or controversial turning points in this debate, involving those associated with such figures as Aristotle, Epicurus, Cusa, Copernicus, Bruno, Kepler, Fontenelle, Huygens, Herschel, Paine, Locke, Whewell, Proctor, Schiaparelli, Lowell, Maunder, Antoniadi, Wallace, Hubble, Brock, and the discoverers of the exoplanets. The discussion will include both astronomical and cultural issues and challenge various historical interpretations that appear in the literature. It will also provide some suggestions concerning the role that non-scientific issues, including metaphysical and religious issues, have at times played in the debate. Among the theses proposed in this talk are: (1) this debate has centered on one of the great questions humanity faces, (2) some of the effects that are predicted to follow if astronomers detect extraterrestrial intelligent beings have already occurred, and (3) not only has astronomy affected the debate, but the debate has had significant impacts on astronomy.

Mon Jan 4, 2009 3:30pm-5:00pm SLT
Location: (Blue-domed Amphitheater)
Germant Prize:
Science as Performance: Communicating and Educating through Theater, Music, and Dance

Brian B. Schwartz, CUNY

Brian B. SchwartzTheater, music, dance, the literary and the visual arts can convey the joys and controversies of science. We describe a program at the Graduate Center entitled Science & the Arts which is designed to communicate to the public the excitement and wonder of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Over the past few years there have been major successes in communicating science to the public through the arts. This is especially evident in theater, film and opera with such recent plays as Copenhagen, the Oscar winning film A Beautiful Mind and the opera Doctor Atomic at the Met. The performance series Science & the Arts has been developed and tested at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) in mid-Manhattan for more than nine years, see . We have established working relationships with actors, playwrights, dancers, choreographers, musicians, composers, artists and scientists who work at the intersection of science and the arts. In this presentation we will illustrate many of our collaborations in theater, dance, music and art. Faculty members, professionals and students from the university, other educational institutions, museums, theaters and government laboratories as well as the public with an interest science and arts programs should find this presentation of particular interest.  Supported in part by the National Science Foundation, NSF PHY-0431660.

Tues Jan 5, 2009 7:30am-8:30am  SLT
Location: (Blue-domed Amphitheater)

Join us for a live NASA Great Observatories image unveiling!  Locally in DC they will be unveiling a new Hubble image as an 18 foot printed mural! Come see our Second Life release of the image and learn why the image is not only visually stunning, but what it is telling us about our universe!

Wed Jan 6, 2009 5:30am-6:20am SLT PENDING GRID STATUS (it’s supposed to be down)
: (Oversize seating arena, east side of island)
Invited Talk: Astronaut and Scientist John Grunsfeld, Shuttle Atlantis

We’ll see you in 2010!

By AJG, December 11, 2009

Astronomy2009_Dec09 Wonderful news this week!  Astronomy 2009 island has found a sponsor in the American Astronomical Society and we will continue to have a “legacy” project in Second Life through 2010!  Look for new exhibits (ones we couldn’t get to in 2009), more live events, and more astronomy!  Exhibits currently under development to debut soon include an astrophotography exhibit by h-alpha specialist John Gleason, the completion of our Dark Skies Awareness exhibit, a MIPSGAL/GLIMPSE walkable image, and a telescope experience like none other in SL!  Look for more collaborations with Adler Planetarium and a newly formed alliance with the Pan-STARRS telescope project.

The island will continue to be sponsored by the University of Arizona Department of Astronomy for project management, design, and building though we’ll be hosted by Astrosphere New Media Association in the weeks to come!  Wonderful news all around!

Happy holidays!

Galilean Nights on Astronomy 2009!

By AJG, October 22, 2009

galilean_nights GalileanNightsSnaps_014JPG

Join us on Astronomy 2009 to celebrate Galilean Nights from Oct 22-24th!  Walk amongst Jupiter and the Galilean Moons!  See current views of Jupiter from Earth updated every hour in our virtual telescopes!  Watch the Let There Be Night planetarium show in our amphitheater and learn about Galileo and the importance of dark skies.

Free admission, you just need a (free) Second Life avatar and (free) Second Life viewer!

Click here:

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