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Astronomy in the dock

By Hamish Johnston

Earlier this week our Paris correspondent Belle Dumé was back in her hometown of Liverpool, where she took in an exhibition of astronomy images on display around the city’s famous Albert Dock.

Belle took a selection of photos and reported back to us.


Called “From Earth to the Universe“, the exhibition runs until 29 June 2008. Belle says that it provides a taste of things to come during the International Year of Astronomy celebrations next year.

2009 has been proclaimed the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and UNESCO. Its mission is to bring astronomy into the wider public domain.


Belle tells me that the new exhibition, sponsored by the Science Photo Library and the ASTRONET Symposium, is probably the first real IYA2009 event and consists of 48 stunning images taken by professional as well as amateur astronomers. These include photographs of our Milky Way, the Andromeda galaxy, the horse head nebula and the now famous image of the Cosmic Microwave Background revealed by the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) satellite in 2003.

Belle’s hometown was chosen to host the exhibit because it is the European Capital of Culture this year. The exhibition also coincides with a major European astronomy meeting, the ASTRONET Symposium, which will take place from 16-19 June at the Liverpool John Moore’s University.


Belle tells me that the display is a prototype for an exhibit that will tour the world next year. So it might be coming to a park, shopping centre, metro station or airport near you.

There will be special coverage of IYA2009 in upcoming issues of Physics World.

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