UK National Astronomy Week (“NAW”) is held every few years to promote public awareness of astronomy by celebrating remarkable astronomical events. Previous NAWs have marked the closest approach of Mars to Earth for 60,000 years and, most recently, the 400th anniversary of the first astronomical use of the telescope.
The next NAW will run from 1st to 8th March 2014 when an array of fascinating celestial objects will be gathered in the night sky. Throughout the week, astronomical organisations and societies all over the UK will be holding a host of special observing events open to the public. To enable as many people as possible to join in, NAW runs from Saturday to Saturday so actually lasts for 8 days.
The first NAW was held in 1981 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the discovery from the UK of Uranus. The next one was in 1985, when Halley’s Comet was visible from the UK, then in 1990 the event celebrated the centenary of the British Astronomical Association. Following that, 1996 was the 150th anniversary of the discovery of Neptune, whose position was predicted by British astronomer John Couch Adams. In 2009 the NAW group organised the Telescope400 event at Syon House to celebrate the first ever use of a telescope for Astronomical purposes by Thomas Harriott.
The NAW organising committee consists of representatives from the UK’s national astronomical societies and organisations.
More information on our history can be found in a Wikipedia article about NAW available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Astronomy_Week
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