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Special Astronomy for STEM Education Hangout

Astronauts Ron Garan and Anousheh Ansari join us for our special AWB Hangout, "Astronomy In the Development of STEM Education" on August 6, 2014 @ 16:00 UT / 12 pm ET/ 9 am PT.  

Though often neglected in traditional educational systems, astronomy is an ideal way to present science and other technical fields in schools. With limited resources, especially in developing countries, astronomy offers an accessible "laboratory" in a subject that already fascinates children.

AWB's Telescopes to Tanzania is just one example of how astronomy is used to promote science learning and curriculum-building in developing countries. This panel discussion will look at how astronomy has been used for development and the opportunities that remain.

Check out our Telescopes To Tanzania project here.

July Google Hangout Available For Your Viewing Pleasure

If you missed our monthly hangout on July 31, 2014, no worries. We have it archived ready for you to enjoy whenever you like. This month our guests included   Daniela DePaulis AstroArtist, Mark Thompson of OPT Telescopes, and Bob Eklund, AstroPoetry judge. 

Daniela DePaulis partners with AWB to create a program called AstroArts where she hopes that an "...ongoing discussion between artists and scientists, creating opportunities for collaboration and dissemination of ideas..." will occur. In this hangout she gave us an update about artists and their recent contributions to the AstroArt movement.

Mark Thompson of OPT Telescopes recently donated the proceeds of a raffle of equipment to raise a generous $7000 at the Southern California Astronomy Exposition of the 10th Annual Astro Festival on July 10th.

Bob Eklund announced the winners of our AstroPoetry competition with featured readings.


Special GAM2014 Webcast: Celebrating the Sun

SunDay-screengrabHighlights included our special online SunDay event celebrating our closest star - the Sun. On April 28th AWB President and founder Mike Simmons gave a special behind-the-scenes tour of one of the world's most historical solar observatories, the Snow Solar Telescope at Mount Wilson Observatory in California, USA.

Check out thearchived webcast.

GAM2014 Participation Certificates Are Ready

GAM-Certificate-250Finally for all the dedication and hard work you and your volunteers put into your GAM celebrations we have an official AWB participation certificate suitable for framing.

Customize your certificates with the names of all you volunteers and organizers.  It is now available for download here.

NOTE: You must first have your event registered and have filed a report of that event beforehand.

New Archive of GAM2014 AAS Random Astro-Fact Tweets

Astro-FactsNeed cosmic trivia ideas? We invite you to check out our new webpage archiving all the daily cosmic fact-based tweets sent out by the American Astronomical Society in honor of Global Astronomy Month 2014.

The successful social media campaign began in 2013 and was retweeted and commented on widely. From our neighboring worlds to the edge of the universe, there are lot of surprising factoids in there.
A tip of the hat to Crystal Tinch, Communications Manager at the AAS for putting together the tweets and providing them to AWB.

See them all on the AWB Random AstroFacts web page.

Painting Space: Then and Now With Space Artist David Hardy

AWB - Hardy1-1 - Moon by Earthlight 250World renowned astronomical artist David Hardy contributes a fascinating story on our AstroArts blog about changes in the genre of space art over the past century.

You won't want to miss the amazing examples of his eye-catching portraits of familiar and exotic cosmic locales.

Read Hardy's entire article here.

2014 TWAN Night Sky Photo Contest Winners Announced

We are excited to announce the 2014 International Earth & Sky Photo Contest Winners. Stunning portraits that highlight the wonders of the night sky and hightlight the battle with light pollution. Photographers from 55 countries submitted over a thousand entries to the contest this year.

The images were judged in two categories: “Beauty of the Night Sky” and “Against the Lights.”


“Both contest categories provide a visual awareness of the disappearing starry night sky and hopefully an understanding as to its cause,” said contest judge Connie Walker, associate scientist and education specialist at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory.

“The added hope is that the photos will provide an incentive to be more actively involved in reasonable light pollution solutions and therefore dark skies preservation.”

You have to check out all the beautiful winners and honorable mentions here at http:/

AWB Founder on Planetary Radio

AWB Founder and President Mike Simmons was a special guest this month on the Planetary Radio show run by the venerable space exploration advocacy organization, The Planetary Society. Tune-in here to listen to the entire episode.

Telescopes To Tanzania Campaign In Third Week

TtT-scope-childOur fundraiser campaign on the Indiegogo crowdsourcing website is going strong - passing the 10% funding milestone - and there already has been quite a bit of media coverage too which has helped get the word out.

Thanks so much to everyone who has donated so far! We are on track to hit our goal. Check out the full story on our Indiegogo page and please share the campaign as widely as you can to help us get the word out.

Also if you want to see exactly how amazing the work being done in Africa is and what it means to the children then you have to check out this TEDx presentation, by documentary filmmaker Kai Staats. He describes how astronomy can impact science education in developing countries, using Telescopes to Tanzania as an example.

AWB Donation Thanks to OPT

SCAE-Check-1-250The 10th annual Southern California Astronomy Expo, hosted by OPT Telescopes was a great event this year and a big one for AWB. A raffle of equipment donated by the attending vendors is always a highlight and this year AWB was the recipient of the more than $7000 raised in ticket sales.  Mike Simmons was on hand to accept the contribution in the form of a  giant check. The proceeds will help continue to fund AWB's campaigns and projects around the world.

Uwingu Mars Mapping Project Announces Grant to AWB

Uwingu 170pxUwingu, a company formed by scientists to raise funds for space exploration and education, has announced a grant to Astronomers Without Borders. The grant was generated by Uwingu's new Mars Mapping Project, an innovative program of public engagement that Uwingu hopes will raise $10 million for space research.

Based on the response to the Mars Mapping Project so far, Uwingu is off to a fast start towards reaching that goal. And Astronomers Without Borders will create programs to help reach more astronomy and space enthusiasts around the world.

Dr. Alan Stern, the CEO of Uwingu, said, "We're very proud to award the first grant from our latest project to Astronomers Without Borders, an international organization dedicated to educating the public about astronomy."

Mike Simmons, President of Astronomers Without Borders, added, "Uwingu's mission of public engagement matches ours, and we encourage our members to participate in this project to publicly fund space exploration and education.”

More announcements will be coming soon from this new and dynamic partnership as Astronomers Without Borders extends its reach to the Red Planet, taking its members along for the ride.

The complete press release is available here (PDF).

AWB Founder to Speak On John Dobson

AWB founder Mike Simmons will join a distinguished panel of speakers in Los Angeles tomorrow (Saturday, March 8) to talk about the legacy of John Dobson, who is best known for the popularization of the Dobsonian telescope for amateur astronomers. Below is the media release with full details.

WHAT: John L. Dobson (September 14, 1915-January 15, 2014) was world-famous forhis passion for sharing the universe, and his novel and accessible designs fortelescopes. In 1967, he founded the San Francisco Sidewalk Astronomers, anorganization dedicated to building and bringing telescopes to people whereverthey congregate. Today, the “Dobsonian,” or “Dob,” is familiar to both backyardand commercial telescope builders. It is distinguished by its huge light-gathering ability as well as its low cost and simple, but sturdy, design. 

Griffith Observatory Curator Dr. Laura Danly will host a panel discussion on the life and influence of John Dobson. The presentation will be followed by Q&A from the audience and a chance for people to share their own memories and perspectives on the influence John Dobson had on public astronomy. Appropriately, the session will take place during the Observatory’s Public Star Party for March (2:00 p.m. – 9:45 p.m.) Both activities are free.

WHO: Dr. Laura Danly, moderator
Anthony Cook, Griffith Observatory’s Astronomical Observer
Mike Simmons, Founder and President of Astronomers Without Borders
Katy Haugland, Sidewalk Astronomers and close associate of John Dobson

WHERE: Griffith Observatory, 2800 East Observatory Road, Los Angeles, CA, 90027

WHEN: Saturday, March 8, 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

RSVP: This event is free and open to the public. Seating is first come, first served and parking is limited. The presentation will also be webcast on the Griffith Observatory Channel at

CONTACT: SWPR Group (818) 760-7131
Bonnie Winings [email protected]
Samantha Arevelo [email protected]