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Get ready for a
Galilean experience!

Posted: October 21, 2009

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The International Year of Astronomy Cornerstone project Galilean Nights kicks off tomorrow with over 1,000 public observing events scheduled across the world.

Galilean Nights runs from 22-24 October and will see thousands of people look through telescopes across the world.

Hundreds of people are expected to experience their own "Galileo moment" when they look through a telescope for the first time under the guidance of amateur astronomers and local astronomical societies. Over the next few days it won't be unusual to see avid astronomers displaying their telescopes at shopping centres, on busy streets or in parks so that the public can "drop in" and share in the wonder of the objects that Galileo looked at 400 years ago, from Jupiter and its satellites, to the cratered surface of our own Moon.

During Galilean Nights people are encouraged to photograph what they see and share their images through the event's dedicated astrophotography competition, open to all abilities. Up for grabs are Celestron SkyScouts, IPod Touch players with Star Walk software and Sky Atlases – the closing date is 27 October and full details can be found at

Observatories across the world are also making their facilities available over the course of the three days for remote observing sessions – anybody with access to the Internet will be able to take part and capture images of the cosmos from their personal computers.

For more information about Galilean Nights activities near you, see:

The Planets
From tiny Mercury to distant Neptune and Pluto, The Planets profiles each of the Solar System's members in depth, featuring the latest imagery from space missions. The tallest mountains, the deepest canyons, the strongest winds, raging atmospheric storms, terrain studded with craters and vast worlds of ice are just some of the sights you'll see on this 100-page tour of the planets.

Hubble Reborn
Hubble Reborn takes the reader on a journey through the Universe with spectacular full-colour pictures of galaxies, nebulae, planets and stars as seen through Hubble's eyes, along the way telling the dramatic story of the space telescope, including interviews with key scientists and astronauts.

3D Universe
Witness the most awesome sights of the Universe as they were meant to be seen in this 100-page extravaganza of planets, galaxies and star-scapes, all in 3D!


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