The International Year of Astronomy is still in full swing, though many of the signature events have already come and gone. In particular, "100 Hours of Astronomy" was a smash hit. For four days, April 2-5, you could visit 80 professional observatories worldwide via a live, round-the-clock online tour. In those few days more than a million people got telescopic views of the cosmos for the first time.
In the end, "100HA" was so successful that IYA organizers decided to have an encore — "Galilean Nights" on October 22-24. Once again the world's professional and amateur astronomers will be out in force to encourage as many people as possible to look through a telescope. This time there'll be special focus (ouch!) on the objects that Galileo observed, with the Moon and Jupiter well-positioned in the evening sky.
Would you like to relive the revolutionary telescopic discoveries made 400 years ago? If so, then head for the Galilean Nights website, where you'll find a list of planned events and resources to help you create one of your own if you wish.
For the more ambitious among you, Galilean Nights also features an astrophotography competition that's going on right now! There are two categories, "Earth and Sky" and "Beyond Earth," and the last day to enter is October 27th. So dust off your camera, and give it a try. (New to astrophotography? No problem! We've got lots of advice for getting started.)