International Year of Astronomy (2009)

The International Year of Astronomy 2009 is a global effort initiated by the International Astronomical Union and UNESCO to help the citizens of the world rediscover their place in the Universe through the day and night-time sky and thereby engage a personal sense of wonder and discovery. This year coincides with the 400th anniversary of Galileo Galilei's first real use of the telescope in 1609 to observe and study the heavens. 2009 will also mark the 40th anniversary of mankind's first landing on the Moon.

Therefore, for families seeking to discover the wonderment of a new activity through interest and wonder can look up to the skies to appreciate, in awe, the wonders of the Universe. This can be done through a small telescope at home or through the access of a computer. Various sites focussing on the wonders of astronomy and the cosmos are out there and are quickly accessible via the net.

Here are a few sites of interest for individual wonderment or to be experienced as a family:

Also check out a site called Sky Charts where an entire Universe can be uploaded on your computer to be enjoyed by the whole family.

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