The Astronomy On-Line Bulletins describe recent developments around this project. For the time being, they will be issued at irregular intervals.
A standard AOL registration form is now available and should be used by all Groups who want to participate in the AOL activities. Please note that only Groups which register officially can join the programme and enjoy all the benefits. In addition to the free access to all features of the AOL that will be successively displayed at the 'marketplace', this includes the receipt of an official diploma at the end of the programme, which will be issued to all participants.
The first registrations have already been received. Each registration will be acknowledged without delay.
Before the corresponding National AOL Homepages are available, groups may register at the ESO Homepage with the International Steering Committee (ISC). In due time, however, registrations should be made directly to the National Steering Committee (NSC) in the participants' home country via the National AOL Homepage. In countries where no NSC has (yet) been formed, groups may also register directly via the AOL Homepage at ESO.
The Astronomy On-line programme was thoroughly discussed during Colloquium 162 of the International Astronomical Union ('New Trends in Astronomy Teaching') which took place at the University College London on July 8-12, 1996. Participants from all over the world, mostly professional astronomers involved in university teaching, teachers of natural sciences at high schools and educators at planetaria, expressed great interest in this exciting and unique project. Many of them, also from outside Europe, said that they will be following the further AOL developments closely.
This meeting was also an excellent opportunity to establish contacts to educators in some European countries which have not yet become firmly connected to the European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE), the principal organiser of the AOL. Among these are Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Ukraine. As an immediate result, attemps are now made to establish AOL 'bases' (e.g. National Steering Committees and AOL Homepages) in these countries. Thus it is quite likely that students and others interested in astronomy in these regions will also be able to participate in the AOL programme and thereby to 'meet' new friends with the same interests all over Europe.
In order words, Astronomy On-line is on the right way to become a truly pan-European event, with all the associated benefits for all involved.
The first, co-ordinated activities within the Astronomy On-line programme will be connected with the partial solar eclipse on October 12, 1996, which will be visible all over Europe. For this purpose, the corresponding materials are now being prepared by a group of EAAE members with special experience in the related subjects.
It is the intention to open the relevant AOL 'shop' at the earliest possible moment, so that the largest possible number of participants will have ample opportunity to prepare themselves adequately for this very special event. More details will become available in the next AOL Bulletin.
Note also that more detailed information about the planned AOL activities have been inserted on the appropriate WWW pages (at the 'shops'). It is the intention to update these at regular intervals, as the overall programme continues to take shape.
The Astronomy On-line programme is part of the 4th European Week for Scientific and Technological Culture (EWSTC), under the auspices of the European Commission. A few days ago, more information has become available about the various projects that will take place during this Week. It may be found on the Web European Science and Technology server (WEST). Here, you will also learn about the activities during the Weeks of earlier years. The AOL WWW site has been linked from WEST and v/v.
The colourful official AOL poster has been printed (in A3-format; folded to A4 for easier mailing) and will now be distributed by the National Steering Committees within their respective areas.