Cosmoquest learning spaceMike Simmons, AWB’s president and founder, recently chatted with astronomer, Dr. Pamela Gay, and Georgia Bracey of CosmoQuest, about Global Astronomy Month (GAM), April 2013, in the Google Plus hangout of Learning Space. “It’s a global event,” Mike said. “It’s like a star party where you’ve got people talking to each other all night long, then they begin asking where in the world they are.” GAM promotes “Star Peace,” Mike said, a core mission motivated by AWB’s motto, One People, One Sky. Mike highlighted many of GAM’s upcoming 31 global events inspired by the extraordinary successes of the International Year of Astronomy in 2009.

GAM 2013 kicks off on March 22 (through April 30) with the Asteroid Search Campaign in cooperation with the International Astronomical Search Collaboration, IASC. Images from observers around the world can be downloaded to high school classrooms. Students search for objects moving across the background of deep space stars. Last year, Nicaraguan students discovered the first new asteroid ever found by one of their countrymen, sparking funding for a new observatory and a visit by their nation’s vice president.

Globe at Night, a “citizen science project,” allows individuals and astronomy clubs to contribute their observations to global dark skies initiatives. “It is a fantastic program that will go on all year,” Mike said. The GAM2013 AstroPoetry Contest is an exciting and popular opportunity, open for submissions from April 1 through 30, for children and adults to share their poetry about astronomy, the night sky, or any space-related topic. “I’m the typical observer,” Mike said. I like to put my eye to the eyepiece.” The Global Star Party on April 20 will give everyone, anywhere that chance. Regardless of the weather over your head, there will be clear skies somewhere in the world.

Watch the CosmoQuest Learning Space hangout recorded video here and join Global Astronomy Month 2013 in April.