30 Nights of StarPeace
30 Nights of StarPeace project which is occured during Global Astronomy Month, April 2010 is inspired by the idea of and experience acquired by the StarPeace special project and the 100 Hours of Astronomy cornerstone project which took place during the International Year of Astronomy.
30 Nights of StarPeace intends to repeat the success of the two projects, with the aid of astronomical groups all over the world, to promote astronomy and peace amongst the nations of the world and to enhance their effectiveness.
What is 30 Nights of StarPeace?
Please take a look at the 2-diemnsional map of the earth. We'll use the geographical longitude as a reference and divide the earth in ten equal sections. Countries located in each of these 10 sections will have a period of three days to participate in the Thirty Nights of StarPeace project. We will start from one zone and continue to another during one month. So after the end of GAM, we travelled around the world by our StarPeace nights.
As an example, we begin the project at the longitude of 144 degrees east, then countries that are located within the longitudes of 144 to 108 degrees can sign up at the GAM site and pick a night amongst 1st, 2nd and 3rd night of the month of APRIL for their public night of observation. In the same vain, countries located within the longitude of 108 to 72 degrees can pick a night amongst 4th, 5th and 6th of April. In this manner, within the 30 nights of April, all astronomical groups all over the world will be able to take part in the project in a steady way and we all will hear the call for peace due to the beauty of astronomy and a communal effort.
Following are the dates assigned for each segment of longitude, moving westward from 180 degrees, the International Dateline (“E” and “W” refer to the direction from 0 degrees longitude, Greenwich, England):
April 1–3 144–108 degrees E
April 4–6 108–72 degrees E
April 7–9 72–36 degrees E
April 10–12 36–0 degrees E
April 13–15 0–36 degrees W
April 16–18 36– 2 degrees W
April 19–21 72–108 degrees W
April 22–24 108–144 degrees W
April 25–27 144–180 degrees W
April 28–30 180–144 degrees E
An effort must be made to execute the observations according to the simple model and standards used in the StarPeace project, downloadable from this site, which provides maximum security and efficiency in achieving the goals of this project. The most appropriate astronomy groups to take part in Thirty Nights of StarPeace are those which are located near the political borders of their country or those which are capable of travelling to the border areas.
How to participate?
It is easy to be part of this effort and groups which previously participated in the StarPeace or the 100 Hours of Astronomy projects can be effective partners in Thirty Nights of StarPeace.
To execute Thirty Nights of StarPeace around the border areas in order to promote the idea of peace and friendship among the local dwellers, who in the underdeveloped countries tend to have lesser educational facilities, is exactly the mindset of the creators of this project--an effort to bring us all closer to our ultimate goal. Many of our colleagues around the world did just that during the International Year of Astronomy in the StarPeace effort and partnered with the designers of this project in gaining a unique experience.
To execute Thirty Nights of StarPeace:
· You need to arrange for a few binoculars and telescopes to be available for the local people for that night
· It is better if you choose a dark spot for your observation
· Subjects like the moon, the planets or brighter non-planetary objects are good choices for observation
· 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.
· 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. (We recommend that you take a look at some of the reports from StarPeace at this website.)
· Preparing public seminars on attractive objects in the night sky as a topic, emphasis on the borderless nature of the sky and on the desire for harmonious life on the only planet that is fit for life, attractive astronomical slideshows, symbolic gestures such as the simultaneous release of a large number of white doves at the presence of local people signifying the desire for long-lasting peace, flying kites with lanterns adorned with a picture of StarPeace and GAM logo, arranging for astronomical photo exhibits depicting the earth and its size compared to the universe, or any other creative activity to enhance the idea of peace and the love of mankind amongst the people of your country are all highly recommended and endorsed--and all this with keeping the security of the present public in mind!
What if I couldn’t go to the borders?
Despite the measure of effectiveness of observation nights in the border areas in various countries, if you live in a country where there is not enough security in the border areas to perform such a task, or your time or finances do not allow you to make such an adventurous journey, perhaps you can go to the closest urban area near the border (where you feel safe) and participate from there. But remember that in order to participate in Thirty Nights of StarPeace you need to partner with a group near the border in your neighboring country, or at least that group has to be in a country with the same longitude as your own--at the same night. By a neighboring country we mean a country that shares a land or water border with yours.
How do we find groups of colleagues in our 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 (just like it did in the 100 Hours of Astronomy project) and by clicking on your group’s name, your group’s contact information--email address and phone number—will be displayed to those who may want to contact your group. Similar groups in a neighboring country, or countries with the same longitude, will sign up in the same fashion and that makes their contact information available to you. Therefore you can easily contact each other days in advance of your observation night to arrange for simultaneous observation and exchange of messages. If you see a group that fits these conditions, do not hesitate to contact them. For the sake of cooperation and peace, perhaps it is better if you offer your hand first.
If you are already enrolled at the site and there is no group in your neighboring country border area to partner with, but a similar non-neighboring group in a longitude close to yours is available for the same window of time, then you can arrange to do simultaneous observation together with them--despite the many kilometers of land or a body of water which separates you from them.
After executing the event
After 30 Nights of StarPeace is executed, we need to inform other groups and our interested audience throughout the world of the news related to this project and its progress. Therefore all of your group’s activities and details of programs undertaken need to be uploaded to the reports page of the GAM website in the form of photos, videos, information about the tools used and anecdotal or even attractive instances of your observation night (all in the same manner as the 100 Hours of Astronomy project). After reviewing the uploaded reports by a panel a certificate of participation will be issued to your group.
Who organizes this event?
StarPeace which began in 2009, the International Year of Astronomy, revolved around the idea of exploring the enormity of the size of the universe as a reminder to how small the planet earth is. This is the idea which relates astronomy to peace and makes political borders and wars in order to expand them seem outmoded, hence promoting the notion of peace and harmony.
In the form of an international effort we intend to promote astronomy and peace on earth during the nights of the upcoming Global Astronomy Month (GAM) and we'd like to hear the call for peace amongst nations and the song of love for the boundless and borderless sky from a corner of the world every single evening.
Thirty Nights of StarPeace is a project to be executed with the cooperation of the Central Committee of the Global StarPeace project and the international organization of Astronomers without Borders. If you share our goals and notions, then join us now and start scheduling your event.