In the news this month... And Finally
IYA Galilean Nights and Moonwatch CREDIT: IYA / Newbury AS / Megan
October was another busy month of International Year of Astronomy events. On the 22nd to the 24th of October, the IYA Cornerstone Project, Galilean Nights, saw astronomers and enthusiasts taking to the streets all around the globe, pointing their telescopes at the same objects that Italian astronomer Galileo observed 400 years ago. Spread over three nights, the project saw hundreds of registered events take place with many people getting their first look through a telescope at Jupiter and the Moon.
Following on from Galilean Nights came the second MoonWatch event of the year. This UK-based event ran from October 24th to November 1st, encouraging people to go out and observe the Moon. As part of the event, Moonwatch was also held on Twitter on October 26th and 27th, turning it into a global event (see the trailer). Unfortunately, many observers saw nothing but clouds on both nights, but this didn't stop many twitter users joining in, tweeting and re-tweeting images, information and live video from across the world. Astronomy FM hosted a special Moonwatch show that went on for several hours including on the hour updates from Adrian West of Newbury Astronomical Society in the UK, and Elias Jordan, Tavi Greiner and Dr Ian O'Neill in the US. Despite the clouds, this second Moonwatch event was again an astounding success with twitter users from around the world joining in with a virtual star party of epic proportions. The team behind Twitter Moonwatch are already planning their next event, a Meteorwatch which will be held to coincide with the Geminid Meteor shower in December.