StarPeace Opening Event for International Year of Astronomy held successfully between Iran and United Arab Emirates with the message of peace and the sky. The whole program included four main activities: joint stargazing nights between Iran and UAE, astronomy and space lectures for public, an astronomy photo exhibition and "Dawn of the IYA" Sun observation campaign. Below you can find a brief explanation about each activity.
Joint stargazing nights between Iran and UAE was held during 31st of December (Iran) and 1st of January (Iran and Emirates). In Iran, in these two nights local inhabitants in Qeshm Island, Persian Gulf, were watching the sky with the help of StarPeace team and at the same time on 1st of January on the other side of Persian Gulf, the StarPeace ambassador in UAE, Hasan Ahmad Alhariri, and his team from Dubai Astronomy Groupwere assisting local inhabitants to observe the sky. Although there was a water border between Iranian and Arab people in Iran and UAE, StarPeace made a bridge by the sky between these two nations and showed that there is no border for science and astronomy and all the people can be connected through astronomy. In Qeshm, StarPeace team held stargazing nights in three areas; one near one of the biggest free markets of Qeshm which is a very crowded place, another one near a conference hall where astronomy lectures were held by StarPeace members and another telescope was by the sea, Persian Gulf. As a whole, around 500 people attended stargazing program in Qeshm. More than 150 people attended the UAE public star party in desert at one night. During these nights StarPeace members showed local inhabitants sky objects such as Moon, Jupiter, Mercury, Venus and Deep Sky Objects such as Orion Nebula by telescopes and naked eye and talked about the beauties of the sky with them.
Photo by: Irene Shivaei
Besides stargazing nights, StarPeace team in Iran organized astronomy and space lectures and speeches for public too. Team members talked about International Year of Astronomy for public and explained them what they can do to celebrate this year and how they can participate in national and international activities during 2009. Moreover, there were lectures about IYA2009 Projects, who invented telescope, light pollution, Dark Skies Awareness and Space (Past, Now and in Future). At the end, Siavash Safarianpour and Amin Jamshidi, two Iranian astro-photographers organize a slide-show of their astronomical photos for people.
Photo by: Dubai Astronomy Group
Moreover, StarPeace exhibited "From Earth To The Universe" (FETTU) astronomy photo gallery in Qeshm, which is one of the International Year of Astronomy Cornerstone Projects. The exhibition held in Geo-park Museum of Qeshm in Qeshm city. Geo-park Museum is near one of the biggest free markets in Qeshm and is a very crowded place. The collection of the best photos from space telescopes and Earth observatories in this gallery brought the beauty and infinity of space among Qeshm people.
Furthermore, during 1st of January StarPeace took part in "Dawn of the International Year of Astronomy 2009" Sun observation campaign. StarPeace team showed the sun to the public by telescopes and talked about our Sun for them. Watching their mother star by naked eyes through sunglasses prepared by StarPeace team brought joy and excitement to Qeshm people.
StarPeace team held successfully its first project as the opening event for International Year of Astronomy. We hope to see more groups joining StarPeace and organizing joint stargazing nights worldwide to show that there is no border for science.
"WHERE I AM, LET IT BE SO, THE SKY IS MINE." (Sohrab Sepehri, Iranian Contemporary Poet)
StarPeace project is organized by Sky Peace non-profit non-governmental organization and Astronomical Society of Iran.