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Global Star Party Kicks Off Astronomy Month

Worldwide celebrations of astronomy lasts all April. Credit: AWB
You are invited to join the world’s largest celebration of astronomy through April. Credit: AWB

Get up close and personal with the cosmos. The world’s largest event dedicated to sharing the wonders of the universe kicks off an exciting series of events for space geeks throughout April.

This year’s Global Astronomy Month (GAM2014) brings together astronomy enthusiasts and organizations worldwide to share the passion for the night sky with everyone, celebrating the motto of “One People, One Sky.”

Founded and coordinated by the international astronomy advocacy organization Astronomers Without Borders (AWB), this month-long star party is in its fifth year and is better than ever with a jam-packed schedule of out-of-this-world programs.

Here are just some of the highlights:

Global star party. Wondering what the rings of Saturn or a galaxy far, far away looks like through a telescope? Well, here’s your chance. Mark April 5 on your calendar and get set for the ultimate sky-watching event—the Global Star Party, where your local astronomy clubs share their views of the starry skies and their sky-watching expertise. Find out what’s happening in your neck of the woods here.

Virtual telescope tours. Have no telescope of your own or just have bad weather? Then why not join fellow armchair astronomers around the world for a series of exciting virtual tours of the starry heavens, courtesy of online observation sessions provided by the Virtual Telescope in Italy, with a professional astronomer guide by your side.

Each night brings the universe into sharper focus, with stunning views through a large telescope brought straight to your home computer or mobile device. Topics will include a whirlwind tour of tonight’s sky, exploration of the mysterious planet Mars, and a hunt for one of the largest asteroids in the solar system. See Stars For AllThe Night of the Red Planet, and Vesta Watch (Online).

AstroPoetry contest. Maybe a certain classic constellation or stellar pattern has caught your eye? Or perhaps a lunar eclipse or flurry of meteors has set your heart racing? The beauty and romance of the night sky cannot be denied, and it can really set the mind alight. Why not put it into words and enter the GAM2014 AstroPoetry Contest? It’s open to all ages, so come join in on the fun and send us your best poem. Read more here.

These are just some of a broad range of activities AWB has in store in the coming weeks. Check out AWB’s full listing here.

See you all under the stars!

Follow Andrew Fazekas, the Night Sky Guy, on Twitter,  Facebook, and his website.