One of the Global Programs taking place during Global Astronomy Month this April is the Remote Observing Program of Bellatrix Astronomical Observatory in Italy, with participants from around the world joining each observing session via the Internet.

Using a 35 cm telescope, observatory founder Gianluca Masi will guide participants through several journeys unveiling the beauty and mysteries of the Universe.

The GAM remote observing sessions include asteroid hunts, exoplanet observations, a Messier Marathon, Solar System exploration and even observations on demand. For registration visit

M27. Image credit:Bellatrix Observatory


Public events

5 April 2010: Online Messier Marathon
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The online Messier Marathon explores as many of the 110 objects in the famous Messier Catalogue as can be done in one night, combining real time images and live commentary while participants text chat and share the excitement with others joining in from around the world. The rare opportunity to observe all the Messier objects (a feat possible only at this time of year), the race to find them all before sunrise, and the joy of sharing the experience with people from around the world combine to make the online Messier Marathon a can’t-miss event.

7 April 2010: "Is There Anybody Out There?"
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One of the nearly 450 exoplanets known to orbit other stars is the target on April 7, 2010. Beginning at 00:00 GMT, the telescope will be pointed to a distance solar system to capture the unseen planet’s "fingerprint" – a minuscule dimming of the star’s light as the planet passes in front of it. Participants will share the excitement of this amazing observation while learning about one of the most intriguing topics in modern astrophysics.

15 April 2010: "Write Your Name in The Sky!"
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This unique event offers participants the opportunity to discover an astronomical object! Beginning at 21:30 GMT, the telescope will scan the sky, hunting for unknown asteroids. Images will be made available online in real time, allowing participants to search for the faint traces of asteroids. The first to report a discovery will be credited as an official co-discoverer once the find is confirmed by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center.

22 April 2010: Across The Solar System
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“Across the Solar System” is an opportunity to discover your place in the Universe on a guided tour among the planets, including commentary from an astrophysicist, from the comfort of your home. Share the excitement of a unique journey to the Moon, Saturn, comets and asteroids with friends and other astronomy enthusiasts around the world.

Personal observing sessions

1 - 30 April 2010: "The Universe at Your Command"
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The Virtual Telescope of Bellatrix Astronomical Observatory will offer a limited number of free personal observing sessions throughout Global Astronomy Month. Participants will operate the telescope through the Internet and enjoy the Universe from their home. An onsite astronomer will give live commentary and assistance through a live audio/video connection. Up to 30 minutes of observing time will be offered. To ensure the widest global participation, each country will be limited to a maximum of five participants.

More information:

Astronomers Without Borders

Astronomers Without Borders is dedicated to fostering understanding and goodwill across national and cultural boundaries by creating relationships through the universal appeal of astronomy. Astronomers Without Borders projects promote sharing, all through a common interest in something basic and universal – sharing the sky.

General inquiries


Mike Simmons
President, Astronomers Without Borders
Chair, GAM2010 Working Group
+1 818 486 7633

Oana Sandu
GAM2010 Public Relations Coordinator
+40 724 024 625

Gianluca Masi
Chair, Remote Observing Programs Working Group
Director, Bellatrix Astronomical Observatory
+39 3349236690