IAU Astronomy Literacy booklet published

What does it mean to be literate in astronomy?

May 03, 2019

Which basic concepts and phenomena are part of a solid basic understanding of astronomy? The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has now published a booklet addressing this question, a proposal for how to define basic astronomical literacy. The document can serve as a foundation for developing astronomical teaching materials and for defining astronomy-related curricula.

“Big Ideas in Astronomy: A Proposed Definition of Astronomy Literacy” was produced by a team of 13 international authors, led by João Retrê (Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço, Portugal, and Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa), and Pedro Russo (Leiden University). Among the authors are HdA managing scientist Markus Pössel and HdA staff member Cecilia Scorza (now at LMU, Munich). One of the projects that would later merge into the present effort was jointly started by Haus der Astronomie and ESO, with the aim of creating a collection of the fundamental concepts of astronomy.

The document is an open document, published under a Creative Commons license, and is meant to evolve and grow via contributions of the astronomy education community.The current version was produced in the framework of the IAU Commission C1 for Astronomy Education and Development, in particular, the Working Group on Literacy and Curriculum Development.

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