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The United Nations has declared 2009 the "International Year of Astronomy." Coinciding with both Galileo Galilei's celestial discoveries in 1609 and the publication of Johannes Kepler's Astronomia Nova (which described the fundamental laws of planetary motion), the International Year of Astronomy celebrates 400 years of discovery and exploration of our elegant universe. It is an unprecedented opportunity to showcase some amazing science — and to inspire cosmic wonder. On this episode of Skepticality, Derek & Swoopy talk with astronomer, educator, and podcaster Dr. Pamela Gay about the many exciting global events people can enjoy during the International Year of Astronomy. She also shares her thoughts about the changing face of NASA, and about some thrilling recent astronomical discoveries.
Show Notes


Date -January 20th, 2009 read by Swoopy.

We attended Dr. Donald R. Prothero's lecture in Greenville South Carolina last week.
Dr. Prothero's book Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters is selling fast. 
The Atlanta Skeptics will be hosting Atlanta Skepticamp on Feb 6-7th in Doraville, GA.
The United Nations and the International Astronomical Union declared 2009:
The International Year of Astronomy!
30 percent of Americans believe in ASTROLOGY.
Read Dr. Phil Plait's best description of why ASTROLOGY is NOT science.
The Galileoscope project hope to give 10 million people their first look through a telescope.
The Galileoscope project plans to sell telescopes for $10.
That's less than three minutes with a phone astrologer, and show you real stuff.
Promo – The Skeptic Zone Podcast 
Dr. Pamela L. Gay teaches astrophysics at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
Along with Fraser Cain, Dr. Gay co-hosts The Astronomy Cast.
2009 is the 400th anniversary of the first recorded astronomical observations with a telescope by Galileo Galilei and the publication of Johannes Kepler's Astronomia Nova.
In fact Thomas Harriot published the first drawings of the moon after observing it through a telescope, months before Galileo.
The International Year of Astronomy is also posting updates through Twitter. 
Recent astronomy news:
Computational models may have revealed how massive stars form
Magnetic traces in rocks gathered by the Apollo 17 Mission show the moon once had a liquid core similar to that of Earth.
Concentrations of methane on Mars may prove there is life on mars, albeit microbial life.
On the day this program is published, the United States will have inaugurated President Barack Obama.
NASA chief Michael Griffin has resigned, there are likely changes in store for NASA.
The Spaceward Foundation has created the Elevator 2010 challenge
In December 2008 CNN fired their space correspondent Miles O'Brien and closed their Space reporting division. Miles is on Twitter though.
There are some great images from Casini on Universe Today. 
Bump Music – George Hrab – Theme for 365 Days of Astronomy (Far Far Away) 
You can listen to The Astronomy Cast here. Also on iTunes. 
Read Dr. Pamela Gay's blog here.
The 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast is new every day. Also on iTunes.
Skepticality outro.

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