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Carnivals...

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I missed on posting about it, but the Carnival of Space keeps on going, and we're getting closer and closer to the 100th edition!

The latest one, #98, is up at Universe Today, and #97 is at Cheap Astronomy. Universe Today also has an archive of all 98 editions so far, so you all can spend a few (or many) hours reading the best of the astrosphere. Enjoy!

Victorian bushfires

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With the events of the last few days in Victoria, this is certainly a time to stop looking up for a while and look around us. There has been an unbelievable level of suffering caused by the loss of life and property, and even those of us not directly affected by the fires feel completely dazed by the magnitude of what happened. In fact, it would seem most Victorians know someone — friend, family, colleague, friend-of-friend etc. — who has been touched by the events.

If you are in any condition to help, Red Cross Australia has set up a fund to assist individuals and communities affected by the fires; you can donate at their website. The RSPCA is coordinating efforts to provide assistance to the animals — both pets and wildlife — affected, including reuniting lost pets with their families; they accept donations (money, supplies or pet food) and also volunteers, so head to their website if you can help. Also, Coles supermarkets will be donating all their proceedings next Friday to the relief efforts; I expect more companies will be announcing similar measures in the near future.

Any help will make a difference.

Carnivalia

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It's been a while since I remembered to link to the Carnival of Space... this week's edition, Carnival of Space #89, is now up at The Moon Society, and it's the special lunar edition! (with plenty of links about other celestial objects as well, including the Earth)

Last week's edition, #88, was at TheSpacewriter's Ramblings, and it's loaded with links — it seems to be a particularly long edition, so make sure you explore it adequately. It even dips into scepticism, with two entries helping fight the waves of woo that continuously hit our shores.

Good reading!

IYA2009 goes for gold

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2009-01-07-onedollar.jpgThe Royal Australian Mint is taking part in the celebrations of the International Year of Astronomy with two commemorative coins issued in 2009: the one dollar coin (pictured) features the Parkes radio telescope (about which I wrote here) and the twenty cent coin is themed around community involvement with astronomy, showing stargazers looking at the starry sky.

I don't think the coins are in circulation yet, but some commemorative sets (such as this) are for sale at the Mint's online store (and in the physical store in Canberra as well, I assume).

(thanks to arthwollipot, who mentioned this in the JREF forums)

The International Year of Astronomy is here!

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iya_logo.jpg2009 has started, and this means that the International Year of Astronomy is finally here! One of the "new media" initiatives related to this year, the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast, is already going strong, and the first two episodes are already available. The first one is a "call to action": if you want to be part of the podcast, act quickly before all days are taken! The second one, by Jeff Setzer, has useful tips for anyone who received their first telescope as a Christmas gift.

What can you do to participate?

We have a long and exciting year ahead of us; let's make it a good one!

Skeptic Astronomy Zone

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The Skeptic Zone is an Australian skeptic podcast, hosted by (among others) Richard Saunders, who is famous for (among other things) his creation of the origami Pigasus. It is published once a week, and ten episodes are out already.

Last week's episode, published on 19 December, was very heavy on astronomy content: it featured an interview with Astronomy Cast's Dr Pamela Gay, plus a review by Tiffany Day, from the Macquarie Skeptics, of Dr Phil Plait's new book, "Death from the Skies". Strongly recommended.

One more carnival

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Searching for something to read over the holidays? Search no more! The 84th edition of the Carnival of Space is here, hosted by Next Big Future.

Enjoy!

Carnival #80 is up

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The Thanksgiving edition of the Carnival of Space is up at Starts With a Bang; this is 80th edition of the carnival already!

As at any good Thanksgiving dinner, this one has touching stories, heated discussions (with several bloggers expressing differing opinions on the past existence of oceans on Mars) and even tips about the upcoming winter (northern hemisphere winter, of course — although, with the snow now falling in the mountains a few hundred km from here, it's feeling like winter in Melbourne as well...). Don't miss it!

365 Days of Astronomy

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As I've already mentioned before, 2009 will be the International Year of Astronomy, and many activities are being scheduled for the whole year — both online and offline. One of this is the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast, a project that will publish one short podcast every day during the whole year.

A "test podcast" was already published, but the feed will actually go live on the 1st of January (for some time zone; it may be on the 31st of December or the 2nd of January depending on where you are...), and the project will depend heavily on contributions from interested listeners/readers — that means you. It doesn't matter that you don't have a podcast, or that you've never produced audio material: you can still participate. Go to the website, read the information that is there and volunteer to help in any way you can. Even if it is by just mentioning the project in your own blog.

2009 will be an interesting year!

Carnival of Space #68

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I'm a bit late in writing about this, but... the 68th edition of the Carnival of Space is now up at Crowlspace. The general theme this week is interstellar travel and the difficulties associated with it — but you can find much more. Enjoy!

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