Starting Thursday, April 2 at 15:00 UT (11 am Eastern, 8am Pacific in the USA), and running through Sunday, April 5 is the International Year of Astronomy's next major activity, the 100 Hours of Astronomy.
Throughout the end of the week and the weekend, there will be many activities online and around the globe.
- On Thursday, there will be live webcasts from the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, where one of the two surviving original telescopes used by Galileo will be on display, and there will be a webcast connecting worldwide science centers for a discussion about current topics in astronomy.
- On Friday, there will be a 24-hour live webcast from 80 different observatories around the world, following the night sky through one full rotation of the Earth.
- On Saturday evening, amateur and professional astronomers around the world will be hosting a global sidewalk star party. Just find one near you and show up for a free look at many of the fine sights of the night sky, including the moon, Saturn, star clusters, and entire galaxies! If there is no star party near you, or if the weather is bad, you can join the party online.
- The last full day of the 100 hours is "Sun Day," where many places will have equipment for getting a close and safe look at the sun, the closest star to the Earth.
- And, throughout the entire week, you can sign up to control a robotic telescope and take your own pictures of objects in the night sky.
The streaming webcasts will be available on the 100 Hours of Astronomy channel of UStream. For more information, go to the 100 Hours of Astronomy website (http://www.100hoursofastronomy.org). If you Twitter, you can get updates on all the fun by following 100Hrs; while you're at it, why not follow astronomy2009 (the International Year of Astronomy 2009), 365DaysofAstro (the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast), and professor_astro (yours truly)?