Global Astronomy Month 2011
THIRTY NIGHTS OF STARPEACE is a global project inspired by the idea of sharing the starry-night experience among neighboring astronomy groups across national borders, one segment of the globe at a time, on successive nights during the month of April. It's a way of bringing to focus a spirit of fellowship, communication, and a love for the high and open sky within a specific part of the world every single night.
Here's how 30 Nights of StarPeace works
Using geographical longitude as a reference, we've divided the earth into ten equal segments, each one spanning 36 degrees of longitude. Countries located in each of these 10 segments will have a period of three days to participate in the 30 Nights of StarPeace project.
We will start at 180 degrees longitude (the International Dateline), and proceed eastward in 3-day increments. Thus, countries located between 180 and 144 degrees west longitude will pick a night from April 1-3 for their public night of observation. Countries located between 144 and 108 degrees west will have the April 4-6 time-slot, and so forth. In this way, through the month, the starry-night experience will progress around the globe eastward in ten stages.
Following are the dates assigned for each country, moving eastward from 180 degrees, the International Dateline:
Dates of April and Countries (According to the Official GAM website) :
1,2,3 - Friday to Sunday: Alaska (US)
4,5,6 - Monday to Wednesday: West Canada, West US, West Mexico
7,8,9 - Thursday to Saturday: Central and East Canada, Central and East US, East Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Cuba, Chile, Colombia
10,11,12 - Sunday to Tuesday: East Canada, West Greenland, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina
13,14,15 - Wednesday to Friday: East Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, West Algeria, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Mali, Senegal, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Cote D'Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Togo, St. Helena
16,17,18 - Saturday to Monday: Svalbard, Norway, Sweden, Finland, France, Netherland, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxemburg, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Bosnia- Herzegovina, Yugoslavia, Slovak Rep., Czech Rep., Albania, Macedonia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, RUS., Belarus, Moldova, West Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, Greece, West Turkey, East Algeria, Niger, Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Egypt, Sudan, Gabon, Congo, African Rep., Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Angola, Namibia, South Africa
19,20,21 - Tuesday to Thursday: Russia, East Ukraine, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, West Kazakhstan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Oman, Emirates, West Pakistan, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Madagascar
22,23,24 - Friday to Sunday: Russia, East Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, East Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, West China, West Mongolia, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos
25,26,27 - Monday to Wednesday: Russia, East Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Brunei, Indonesia, Philippines, East China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, West Australia
28,29,30 - Thursday to Saturday: East Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Pacific Islands, Russia
Most essential to achieving the StarPeace goals is for your club to team up for a simultaneous activity with a group in another country within your longitudinal segment (see below under "How to find groups..."). Also, live communication between the two groupstalking via cell phone is probably best, if it can be done - is very important.
All possible efforts should be made to execute the observations according to the simple model and standards used in StarPeace project, downloadable from the StarPeace web site .
Guidelines for your observing nights:
1- You'll need to arrange for a few binoculars and telescopes to be available for the local people for that night.
2- It is better if you choose a dark spot for your observation.
3- Subjects like the moon, the planets and brighter objects are good choices for observation.
4- Make sure a brief description of the subject of observation is available and make an emphasis on the nature of that subject, its size, and its distance from the earth.
5- A phone connection or a live internet connection and exchanging messages, between the two groups on the two sides of the border which are simultaneously observing, is the most beautiful part of this project an experience we want repeated during GAM all over the world. (See the reports from previous StarPeace events on the StarPeace web site )
6- Try to organize local events in conjunction with your star party, such as: public seminars on attractive objects in the night sky with emphasis on the borderless nature of the sky.
How to find groups of colleagues in a neighboring country
When you sign your group up for 30 Nights of StarPeace at the GAM website, your location gets marked on the world map at the website; and by clicking on your group's name, your contact information, the email address and phone number will be displayed to those who may want to contact your group. Similar groups in a neighboring country, or in other countries within your longitudinal segment, will sign up in the same fashion, making their contact information available to you. Therefore you can easily contact each other days in advance of your observing night to arrange for simultaneous observation and exchange of messages.
On the other hand, you can contact the StarPeace core team by firstname.lastname@example.org and ask them to connect you with groups of colleagues in your neighboring countries.
How to begin
Register your group at the AWB/GAM website, under "30 Nights of StarPeace" and also at the StarPeace website as a StarPeace club. Your group information would be available to both StarPeace and AWB websites.
After completing the event
It's essential to inform other groups and our interested audience throughout the world of the news related to this project and its progress. Therefore, please upload all of your group's activities and details of programs undertaken to the reports page of the GAM website in the form of photos, videos, information about the tools. After review, a certificate of participation will be issued to your group.
Toward a peaceful planet in a very large Universe
StarPeace, which began in 2009 as a part of the International Year of Astronomy, revolves around the idea of exploring the immensity of the universe as a reminder to how small Planet Earth is. This idea relates astronomy to peace and makes political borders and wars seem outmoded. Our goal for April 2011 is to send out the call for peace and a song of love for the boundless and borderless sky from some corner of the world each and every evening.