TEHRAN Apr. 14 (Mehr News Agency) -- The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has appointed Iran Astronomical Society President Jamshid Ghanbari as the chair of the Iran International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009).
Prof. Ghanbari said the appointment was made during the last session of the IAU General Assembly, in which the IAU unanimously approved a resolution proclaiming 2009 the International Year of Astronomy.
The International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) will be a global celebration of astronomy and its contributions to society and culture, highlighted by the 400th anniversary of the first use of an astronomical telescope by Galileo Galilei.
The aim of IYA2009 is to stimulate worldwide interest, especially among young people, in astronomy and science under the central theme "The Universe, Yours to Discover".
According to Ghanbari, IYA2009 events and activities will promote a greater appreciation of the inspirational aspects of astronomy that embody an invaluable shared resource for all nations.
In light of the IAU's decision to hold this ceremony at the international level and its recommendation that a ceremony be held on a weekend in every country, and in light of the fact that the weekends of Islamic and European countries are different, May 9, 2008 has been named Astronomy Day in Iran, Ghanbari added.
Aiming to convey the excitement of personal discovery, the pleasure of sharing fundamental knowledge about the Universe and our place in it, and the merits of the scientific method, IYA2009 is first and foremost an activity for the citizens of planet Earth, Prof. Ghanbari said, adding that the Iran Astronomical Society intends to provide telescopes to people so they can observe the night sky on that evening.
Interested groups and individuals are invited to participate in the ceremony in order to help familiarize people with astronomy.
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