Opening Ceremony of the International Year of Astronomy    

UNESCO, Paris, France, January 15-16 2009


The conference language will be English (with simultaneous translation English-French)

Registration and security check will take time: please arrive at 8h.
Download the Brochure


Thursday January 15

8h00-9h00: Registration and free visit of exhibitions around the main room.
9h00-10h15 Chair: Jean-Michel Jarre
Inauguration by ministers and important personalities
Opening by Unesco director general Mr Koichiro Matsuura
International Year of Astronomy: Vision and goals, by Catherine Cesarsky, IAU President
Remarks by Reynald Seznec, President and CEO of Thales Alenia Space
Greetings by ministers and personalities
Coffee Break 10h15-10h45
10h45-12h00 Chair: Jean Audouze
Astronomy: History and Culture,
-- The Skies of the World, a Multicultural Experience, Franco Pacini (Firenze, Italy)
-- The First Astronomers: Astronomy over Four Millenia, Juan Antonio Belmonte (Canaries, Spain)
-- Mayan Astronomy, Julieta Fierro (Mexico)
-- Islamic Astronomy, George Saliba (New-York, USA)
-- Astronomical Exploration and the Public Imagination, Baruch Blumberg (USA, Nobel Prize in Medecine, 1976)
12h00-12h30 Chair: Jean Audouze
From Galileo (400yrs) to Apollo (40yrs)
From Galileo to Einstein, Francoise Balibar (Paris)
Lunch Pause 12h30-14h

14h00-15h00 Chair: Tim de Zeeuw
The New Frontier: The Exploration of the Solar System, André Brahic (Paris)
Echoes of Creation: Discovery of the Big-Bang fossil radiation, Bob Wilson (USA, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1978)
Modern astronomy: discoveries on our origins
15h00-15h30 Chair: Tim de Zeeuw
From a 'simple' beginning to our complex cosmos: Lord Martin Rees (Cambridge, UK)
Coffee Break 15h30-16h
16h00-17h30 Chair: Jan Palous
A Multitude of Worlds: Extra-solar planets: Michel Mayor (Geneva, Switzerland)
IYA2009: Astronomy for Humankind, Cornerstones and Universe Awareness (UNAWE) Kevin Govender (South Africa)
Video and News from the South Pole Station Concordia, presented by Gérard Jugie, Director of Institut Paul Emile Victor

Evening 19h30-21h30
Reception at the Palais de la Découverte
Video clip of "Around the World, Around the Sky", by Robert Pansard-Besson (Paris)
Film on music (G. Holst, the planets) from José-Francisco Salgado (Adler Planetarium, USA)

Friday January 16

8h30-9h: free visit of exhibitions around the main room

9h00-9h30 Chair: Beatriz Barbuy
Live video-conference with the European Very Large Telescope in Paranal, and observers in Chile
Visit the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and Participate in a session of imaging at the end of the night, on one of the 8m-telescopes, presented by Tim de Zeeuw, ESO Director General
9h30-10h30 Chair: Beatriz Barbuy
The Biggest Question of All: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life, André Brack (Orléans, France)
The question of parallel universes: Hubert Reeves (Saclay & Montréal)
Coffee Break 10h30-11h
Stars: life and death
11h00-12h30 Chair: Gang Zhao
Pulsars - progress and puzzles: Jocelyn Bell Burnell (Oxford, UK)
Beautiful death for a Star: Planetary Nebulae: Silvia Torres-Peimbert (UNAM, Mexico)
Cosmic Explosions: The Violent Supernovae: Ken'ichi Nomoto (Tokyo, Japan)
Lunch Pause 12h30-14h

Black-holes and Space
14h00-15h30 Chair: Gopal Krishna
Report from the Abyss: Massive Black Holes: Reinhard Genzel (MPE, Germany)
Astronomy from Space: the Hubble, and James Webb Space Telescopes: Jonathan Gardner (NASA, USA)
Cosmic Vision: David Southwood (ESA)
Closing speech, by Walter Erdelen, Unesco Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences
Coffee Break 15h30-16h00
Remote observing and VLBI (3 sessions in parallel)
Observing Without Going: Remote Observing at Hawaii with CFHT (Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, 3h a.m. in the night), Jean-Charles Cuillandre and Christian Veillet
Radio observation of the Milky Way in HI-21cm with the Salsa telescope at Onsala, in Sweden, by Cathy Horellou
Global e-VLBI demo, then and all along the Conference.
. One cosmic source will be observed continuously for 24 hours, with radio telescopes on 6 continents streaming data in real-time to the correlator in the Netherlands via high-bandwidth fibre networks.

Cocktail reception: 18h00-19h30

Closing ceremony: 19h30-21h30 (open to all)
Cultural event: Kronos Quartet     |     Performance



See also: