Jan 9, 2009
IYA 2009 Opening Ceremony: Invitation to the Media
Held at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris (Room I), the official Opening Ceremony is the formal beginning of IYA2009: a year full of astronomy themed initiatives and activities. It is a golden opportunity to get an overview of the the 11 Cornerstone Projects and the most important events occurring during the Year. IYA2009 stakeholders will be present, including heads of national committees and chairs of global and special projects. A live web cast will be available from 15 January at http://www.astronomy2009.org/webcast
A strong media presence is anticipated at the Opening Ceremony, and representatives of the press are encouraged to attend. The Ceremony will feature high profile events, speakers, and, of course, the excitement of astronomy itself. UNESCO Director General, Koïchiro Matsuura will present the opening address, followed by talks by ministers of research from several countries, an IYA2009 overview from the International Astronomical Union President Catherine Cesarsky, talks by Nobel Laureates Bob Wilson and Baruch Blumberg, a presentation by Lord Martin Rees, live video conferences with ESO's Very Large Telescope on Paranal, the South Pole Station and the Very Long Baseline Interferometry array, a film on Gustav Holst, The Planets, from the Adler Planetarium's José Francisco Salgado. In addition, exhibits from well-known science institutions who support IYA2009 will be on display.
A press conference will be held on 15 January 2009, 12:30 p.m., at the UNESCO Headquarters. It will address some of the most vibrant subjects of modern astronomy research and International Year of Astronomy 2009 highlights.
The Opening Ceremony is set to launch IYA2009 on its journey, and the media will have a front-row seat.