Astronomy Camp at AIS 2011

Well, this is the first blog post that I'm publishing after 2 months. I'm really sorry about the absence of updates and news as i was really busy with University academics and AIESEC work. This post is about the Astronomy camp that we conducted for the Asian International School (AIS) last 18th of March

Astronomy Camp - March 2011 at University of Colombo

I'm now gonna blog about an event that we had in our University almost 2 months back. I'm really sorry guys for dragging this such longer due to the busy schedule I've been undergoing last few months due to various reasons. Hope you don't mind me sharing in so late. Anyway here it is...

Watch Total Solar Eclipse 11th July 2010 Live Streaming from EclipseBlog

The most awaited total solar eclipse of the year 2010 is about to take place in less than next 20 hours from now. There have been a lot of groups/ individuals flocked at South Pacific islands and Chilean territories right now waiting for the eclipse to take place.

IYA2009 Commemorative Coins Issued by Many Countries Worldwide

As the title of this post hints, there were lot of countries involved in this worldwide celebration during 2009, which was the 400th anniversary of both the discovery of telescope for astronomical observation by Galileo Galilei and the publication of “Astronomia Nova” by Johannes Kepler. These were the reasons which were prominent in specifying 2009 as the IYA.

A Tribute to Fiami the author of The Lives of Galileo

I have already made a post about Fiami, and his great gift that I received during the Christmas season. I got many great feedback on that and even my friends wanted to read it, as none of them had the comic book with them, So I thought of doing a youtube video featuring Fiami

The Blog Has Moved !

Sunday, May 31, 2009

"Star Quest 09" Won by Mahinda College, Galle | IYA 2009

Star Quest 09 Won by Mahinda College, Galle | IYA 2009
The second stage of the "Star Quest 09" islandwide Annual Astronomy Quiz Competition concluded today evening at the V.K. Samaranayake Auditorium, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. After the hot & astounding Grand Finals, Mahinda College, Galle emerged Champions, grabbing the elegant trophy of "Star Quest 09"

Today the Quarter finals, started at 11.00 am with the participation of 8 schools, that qualified for the further competition, at the end of the 1st Stage of "Star Quest 09", held on last 24th.

The Quarter Finalists of "Star Quest 09"

  1. Ananda College, Colombo 10.
  2. Mahinda College, Galle
  3. De Mazenod College, Kandana.
  4. Sirimavo Bandaranayake Vidyalaya, Colombo.
  5. Devi Balika Vidyalaya, Colombo.
  6. Visaka Vidyalaya, Colombo.
  7. Royal College, Colombo.
  8. Nalanda College, Colombo 10.
There was a noticeable interest from the zealous students, all of whom wanted to go ahead in the contest. However the following 4 schools qualified for the Semi Finals, making the selection of winners, narrower.

The Semi Finalists of "Star Quest 09"

  1. Ananda College, Colombo 10.
  2. Mahinda College, Galle
  3. Sirimavo Bandaranayake Vidyalaya, Colombo.
  4. Devi Balika Vidyalaya, Colombo.
In the first session of the Semi Finals Ananda College, and Sirimavo Bandaranayake Vidyalaya were onstage, for the contest. Each team had 4 members and each school had to face three interactive rounds of questions, which were interrogated by the Miss Monika Madhavi, the president of Mathematical and Astronomical Society of University of Colombo. Then Mahinda College, Galle took on the astronomical team of Devi Balika Vidyalaya, Colombo. Sometimes the audience was so thrilled at the reactions and gestures of the students, who showed off their talents in Astronomy and related advanced sciences, like Cosmology and Astrophysics.

However, as per the marks, scored by each school, Ananda College, Colombo 10, and Mahinda College, Galle had the lead over their opponents.

The Grand Finalists of "Star Quest 09"

As the time passed by, the long-waited encounter arrived in the end. It was the elite Anandians who were taking on mighty Mahindians of Down-South. The grand final consisted of three rounds. First round delivered a separate question for each member of each team. The second round was funnier, as it was the busor round, which took the crowd with great joy and enthusiasm. The last round was a different session, which gave 3 niche-related words for each team for the precisest explanation. Each team had 2-minute time for expressing their idea on the special verbatim. It was astronomically funny to see each team getting together and building up the answer, collectively and the utterance, being expressed be an individual, as per the rules and regulations.

In the end, after an unforgettable quizzical experience in the International Year of Astronomy 2009, Mahinda College, Galle had taken the leading edge and thus were crowned Champions, while the Ananda College, became runners-up.

Then the chief guest, who was the renowned Dr. Chandana Jayaratne, a senior lecturer at University of Colombo, and both the patron and chief treasurer of the Mathematical and Astronomical Society delivered his address. He had been excited to behold such a good competition and said that he would envisage a separate department, arranged for Astronomy, in the long run.

The certificates, medallions and the trophy were awarded by the Dr. Chandana Jayarathne and the quiz-masters of the "Star Quest 09", Mr. Sachith Dissanayake, Mr. Praveen
Janantha and Mr. Lasitha Senarathe, all of whom were alumni of Ananda College, coincidentally.

Further, Miss Susini De Silva, the Secretary of Mathematical and Astronomical Society of University of Colombo, made the vote of thanks, paying tribute to everyone, who contributed to the success of "Star Quest 09", organized by the Mathematical and Astronomical Society of University of Colombo. In terms of sponsorships, Sri Lanka Telecom was the golden sponsor, whereas ACBT, Achievers, National Lottery Board & Sustegen also sponsored
"Star Quest 09", providing financial means for the project. The event came to and end at 02:45 pm local time (05:15 h EDT), Colombo, Sri Lanka.
I , J D Prasanna Deshapriya, the blogger of IYA 2009-Astronomy Sri Lanka was glad to report the event, and at the same time felt sad as I could not give all my readers, a live feed of the event, as just as it was taking place, due to technical and financial difficulties. However, I am looking forward to doing that next time.

Thus, another Sri Lankan contribution towards International Year of Astronomy 2009 | IYA 2009 came to a successful conclusion. Long live IYA 2009 !

"Star Quest 09" Annual Astronomy Quiz 2nd stage to be held today, updated | IYA 2009

Star Quest 09 Annual Astronomy Quiz 2nd stage to be held today, updated | IYA 2009
Hello everyone!

The second stage of the "Star Quest 09" islandwide Annual Astronomy Quiz Competition will start in a short while today (31st May) at 11.00 am, local time, Colombo, Sri Lanka ( 01:30h EDT) at the V.K. Samaranayake Auditorium, University of Colombo. I, as the blogger of IYA 2009 - Astronomy Sri Lanka, is attending the event to give you precise updates on what is going on there. There are 3 rounds supposed to be held today, featuring the Quarter Finals, Semi Finals, Grand Finals and a lot of competent students, qualified for the 2nd Stage, are expected to attend.

By the way, I'm hoping to do a live feed as the quiz is in progress, if possible, in order to make the worldwide community aware of the event. I must hurry now, as I will miss the start if I got later . A good shower, catch a bus and off to the University of Colombo are what I all need to do at the moment. I'll update you as soon as possible of this great IYA 2009 endeavor.

Cheers for all the competing teams !

See you in a while,
signing off

Saturday, May 30, 2009

IYA 2009 Special Projects

The IYA 2009 Cornerstone Projects are backed up by a set of different projects which are called as IYA 2009 Special Projects. The Special Projects play a vital role in contributing to integrate IYA 2009 related global bodies and thus making it easier to achieve common goals of International Year of Astronomy 2009. In fact they are there to further boost the upheaval of heavenly year 2009. At the moment there are 10 approved Special Projects, contributing to IYA 2009. Please find below the Special Projects.
Special Projects of International Year of Astronomy 2009 | IYA 2009
  1. The World at Night
  2. 400 Years of the Telescope
  3. Galilean Satellites
  4. Around the World
  5. Exoplanet Hunters
  6. 1919 Eclipse
  7. The Sky - yours to Discover
  8. "BLAST!" - The movie
  9. StarPeace
  10. GalileoMobile
The Special Projects fall into a category which could launch large-scale projects in spite of equivalent 12 Cornerstone Projects . However there's a certain qualifications to satisfy, if you are to submit a Special Project and get it officially authorized.

Let your candidate to be "Special Project" be X, where

  1. X should coincide with one of the goals of IYA 2009 and align with the vision of IYA 2009.
  2. X should be a worldwide project, meaning that there should be an international and global audience.
  3. X should remain financially independent without seeking monetary assistance from the secretariat of IYA 2009.
  4. X should possess the ability of being carried out successfully in an appropriate manner.
  5. X should majorly be implemented during 2009, if it is to go beyond 2009.
If your candidate "X" is able to satisfy above criterion, you may submit a motivation to the Secretariat of IYA 2009 | |This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , clearly explaining how each of the guidelines is met and satisfied.

Try to arrange an IYA 2009 Special project in your own country and contribute to this worthy and global cause. Contact your national node and SPoC (Special Points of Contact) for more discussion. All the best! Cheers!

Visit the official page here

Friday, May 29, 2009

IYA 2009 Cornerstone Projects

IYA 2009 Cornerstone Projects official poster
There are 12 Cornerstone projects that all together contribute to the International Year of Astronomy 2009. Each Cornerstone project is a unique worldwide project and most are aimed at achieving specific goals, that fall into the arena of IYA 2009 missions. These 12 Cornerstone projects determine the whole project success of International Year of Astronomy 2009. Here is a list of projects endorsed by the International Astronomical Union for the IYA 2009.

  1. 100 Hours of Astronomy
  2. The Galileoscope
  3. Cosmic Diary
  4. The Portal to the Universe
  5. She is an Astronomer
  6. Dark Skies Awareness
  7. Astronomy & World Heritage
  8. Galileo Teacher Training Programme
  9. Universe Awareness
  10. From Earth to the Universe
  11. Developing Astronomy Globally
  12. Galilean Nights
Now you can see how the Cornerstone projects vary from each other, each focusing on a different and unique theme. However, In addition there are Special projects dedicated for the IYA 2009 as well. We will discuss them in next post.

IYA 2009 Astronomy Sri Lanka now has Google PageRank 4

IYA 2009 - Astronomy Sri Lanka with Google PageRank 4 Updated
Hello everybody!

This is just to update you about the latest Google PageRank update. Well This is for those who might not know what Google PageRank is.

"The Google PageRank is the qualitative measurement of the value of a website page or in technical words, it is the algorithmic analysis of a URL and assignation of a value to it. Actually the trademark Google PageRank is named after millionaire Larry Page, who is one of the c0-founders of Google Inc. and is patented to the Stanford University. Larry Page initially developed this algorithm at the Stanford University and later Sergey Brin joined this venture and they carried out this as a research project of a new kind of search engine. Google Inc. holds exclusive authoritative license rights, given from the Stanford University, in terms of the PageRank. For a given URL PageRank is attributed as a whole number between 0 to 10 "
Refer to Wikipedia if you wanna know more.
IYA 2009 - Astronomy Sri Lanka with Google PageRank 4 Screen-shots
Well, Today IYA 2009 - Astronomy Sri Lanka received Google PageRank 4, jumping from the PageRank 0 to PageRank4, with the quality back-links. You may see the sceen shoots and, if you have the Google Toolbar installed on the browser, you'll see the PageRank of home page of in the middle of the toolbar.

IYA 2009 - Astronomy Sri Lanka with Google PageRank 4
IYA 2009 - Astronomy Sri Lanka thanks everybody for their support by different means towards this achievement. Please keep in contact with us !

IYA 2009 - Astronomy Sri Lanka with Google PageRank 4 Updated on 29th May 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

"Star Quest 09" Annual Astronomy Quiz 1st stage held | IYA 2009

Star Quest 09 Annual Astronomy Quiz 1st stage held | IYA 2009
The first stage of "Star Quest 09" All Island Inter-school Astronomy Quiz Competition, organized by the Mathematical and Astronomical Society, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka concluded successfully, yesterday (24th May 2009) at the university premises. In the 2009's episode of this annual quiz competition, there were more than 25 school from different parts of the island.

Basically a school was asked to produce 2 teams for competing. There were 2 rounds (preliminary and second round) yesterday and however at the end of the day 8 schools were selected for the final stage which would be held on the 31st of May 2009. The final rounds will be held and the champions will be announced on the above mentioned date. It was great to see such an enthusiasm from students of different parts of Sri Lanka, in this International Year of Asstronomy 2009.

Following 3 schools led the table at the end of yesterday and a thrilling competition, is guaranteed to be witnessed on next Sunday when the quarter finals, semi-finals and the final round will be held on May 31 at V.K. Samaranayake Auditorium, University of Colombo.

1.Ananda College, Colombo 10
2.Mahinda College, Galle
3.De Mazenod College, Kandana.

We wish all the 8 schools very best for their performance in the second stage of the annual "Star Quest 09" It was surprising to see Ananda College had a lead of 50 marks over the mahinda College at the end and the junior team of Ananda Cllege scored more marks than the Mahinda College at the same time. As per rules and regulations, different 8 individual schools are chosen for the final stage, each school will have only one team to compete on the next Sunday.

It was nice to notice an astronomy quiz is held after a while in the IYA 2009.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Italian Endeavors for IYA 2009 - 10th National Astronomy Week

X Settimana Nazionale dell'Astronomia |10th National Astronomy Week
In celebration of the 10th National Week of Astronomy(from 18th to 24th May 2009), a series of initiatives has been arranged to be offered to public. The week in organized by the Italian Astronomical Society, in co-operation with Ministry of Education and the Virtual Telescope. A whole lot of experience is there to be felt by teachers and students, thus sharing the beauty of the heavens. The direction towards proper observation will be carried out by the staff of respective authorities, while explaining the science behind observational astronomy.

Please find below the schedule of planned events.

- May 19, 21.30 pm: "Galaxies of Spring"

- May 21, 10:30 am: "Our star, the Sun"

- May 22, 10:30 am: "Walking on the Sun"
The discovery of the bright star of the day.

- May 22, 21.30 pm: "The End of Stars"
White dwarf supernovae.

In addition, on May 20 at there will be a play, themed "Away from Saturn to the Universe, a journey of discovery between stars, planets and galaxies." Actors will be students of the Liceo Russell of Rome, School of Teaching Observatories Network remote Lazio, sponsored by MIUR dall'IASF. Everyone will be able to log on and watch this show directly from their computers.

To book, write to , including the chosen event, the name of the school and the expected number of participants (total students and total teachers).

The Virtual Telescope offers several educational experiences of great fascination and scientific value throughout the year, . Visit their education section to learn more !

*Please remember that you will need the reservation to take part. Participation is free !!!!!!

"Directly translated from Italian to English from what is there at "

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Around the World in 80 Telescopes : 100 Hours of Astronomy

Around the World in 80 Telescopes : 100 Hours of Astronomy

How wonderful and amazing it is to observe the sidereal skies from any location that you like real time! "Around the World in 80 Telescopes" was a great webcast that covered the heavens on both hemispheres, providing anyone one Earth, the access to online observation. A paramount endeavor of IYA 2009 Cornerstone Projects, 100 Hours of Astronomy, thus unfolds. The observations were carried out with an integration of telescopes, based on and off the terrestrial territories. The live webcast was available from 100HA channel on

Astronomers provided a variety of resourceful presentations from different observatories featuring a wide range of telescopic views. Meantime, observations were in progress to analyze the faraway galaxies, extrasolar planets, earth-like planets and many more. In addition to those there were researches dealing with different wavelengths of light to determine exclusive data.

However the webcast come to an end with a successful conclusion, which fetched a great number of feedback from online community worldwide. A big round of applause should go to the dedicated team behind the scene, who were capable of handling the situatin and leaving us all a beautiful memory of IYA 2009.

Japanese Sand & Flower Festa 2009 themed after Galileo & IYA 2009

Japanese Sand & Flower Festa 2009 in themed after Galileo & IYA 2009

The 22nd Japanese Sand & Flower Festa 2009 in Minamisatsuma was held from May 2 to 6 at Fukiage Beach in Kagoshima Prefecture. The festival has a such a beautiful story that relates how the city was determined to activate with efforts of making gigantic sculptures from the sand of Fukiage beach. The inaugural festival was held back in 1987 and the festival continued to be held annually thereupon. This has also become a major tourist attraction of Japan as there were some 150 thousand visitors to the Fukiage beach during previous episode of the festival, held last year.

Well, one might wonder what this has to do with astronomy and IYA 2009. What does something like that has do with an astronomy and IYA 2009 blog.

Yes, there's indeed a lot, to be precise. As this year's festival has been themed after Galileo Galilei and IYA 2009, there's a lot indeed to talk about IYA 2009 happenings of Japan as well.

However this contribution too will generate a lot of new experience to anyone involved in "Sand & Flower Festa 2009". Plus this has been declared an official event if IYA 2009.

Seiichi Sakamoto, one of JAXA's (Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency) bloggers on the Cosmic Diary was invited to deliver a speech as a delegate of the IYA 2009 Japan Committee and JAXA at the event.

Sri Lanka Astronomical Association AALK

Sri Lanka Astronomical Association logo
Sri Lanka Astronomical Association was earlier known as Ceylon Astronomical Association. The Ceylon Astronomical Association was founded in June 1959. The Association is a non-profit association, founded by late Sir Arthur C. Clarke and late Herschel Gunawardane. It is for the purpose of popularizing and enhancing Sri Lankan expertise on education of astronomy and other related studies.

The AALK is headquartered at SLAAS (Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science) , Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The association conducts occasional lectures and observation camps to educate the people on latest issues of astronomy. Thus during the course of 59 years of its history, the association has rendered an immense service to the country through astronomy.

The current president of Sri Lanka Astronomical Association is Prof. Kavan Ratnatunga
and the general secretary is Mr. Thilina Heenatigala

The official website is

Sunday, May 17, 2009

IYA 2009-themed phone cards of Slovenia

I was glad to see many items being issued in collaboration with IYA 2009 - the International Year of Astronomy. In Slovenia, there have been a set of six astronomical phone cards, issued to celebrate IYA 2009. These six cards will definitely be a valuable collection of souvenirs, for anyone, who is interested in Astronomy and IYA 2009 in general.

IYA 2009-themed phone cards of SloveniaIYA 2009-themed phone cards of Slovenia

Impulse capacity

:100 imp.
Copies printed


:April 2009

:Borut Berič

:Tiskarna Vesel

The company behind the issue is "Telekom Slovenije d.d.". The Astronomical Phone Cards were designed by Borut Beri and the 6 cards feature stunning images of the cosmos. Among all the most attractive is said to be the card that features Whirlpool Galaxy, which is also known as Messier 51a, M51a, or NGC 5194

Other designs can be found Here:

Monday, May 11, 2009

Ongoing IYA 2009 projects of Malta

Astronomy Malta IYA 2009
May 2009

8th May Girl's Junior Lyceum, St Benedict's College, Sta Lucia
"The Amateur astronomer and his telescope" Mr Ray Pace
DVD Eyes on the skies
Audiovisual presentations by Mr Leonard Ellul Mercer
"Moon Encounter" "Taste of the Universe"

8th May to 5th June
Basic Astronomy course (Astronomical Society of Malta)

9th May
Launch of Maltapost Europa stamp set featuring astronomy

12th May St Martin's College Swatar
Italian week commemorating Galileo Galilei

18th May St Augustine's College, Pieta
Astronomy week

25th May
Anniversary of President John F Kennedy's Apollo speech to the US congress
Kennedy Memorial St Paul's Bay

31st May Dingli Observing session

Sunday, May 10, 2009

IYA 2009 Stamps Issued by Italy and Luxembourg, Europe

This set of stamps are also dedicated to International Year of Astronomy 2009 { IYA 2009 } and is issued by Italy. In recent times, a good thrend is developing towards the IYA 2009, as many countries are publishing stamps in celebration of IYA 2009. The thrend is especially dominated by Europe, most of whose countries have now published stamps with the label IYA 2009 on them. To find you lot more on the issue, please visit this blog on European stamps.

IYA 2009 Stamps Issued by ItalyIYA 2009 Stamps Issued by Italy

Priced at 0.65 and 0.60 Euros, the stamps look pretty good and are appelaing not only for a niche-related philatelist, but for anyone involved in IYA 2009 and Astronomy as alike.

And this stamp is from Luxembourg, dedicated to the cause of IYA 2009.

IYA 2009 Stamps Issued by Italy

Do feel free to contribute by dropping in some of your words as comments..

And if you want more news on IYA 2009 stamps, please go here.. - Stamps of Malta - Worldwide Stamps

IYA 2009 Interactive Stamps of Malta

The number of stamps, published for IYA 2009 is fast growing at the moment. A lot of countries and states have already published many valuable and beautiful stamps for International Year of Astronomy 2009. However I though of publishing this new set of stamps that I came acr0ss in the blogosphere, despite my previous post on stamps at on the very IYA 2009 stamps. But before begin, give a warm round of applause for Galileo Galilei, the fundamental figure behind the IYA 2009.

Long Live Galileo!

The following two stamps were to be issued on the 09 th of May 2009 by the Maltese Post.

The stamp to your right, valued at 0.37 Euros features a portrait of Galieo Galilei and against the Orion background, are the sketches of Moon, drawn by Galieo, himself and this stamp also commemorates the 40th anniversary of primordial Lunar landing by a manned-spacecraft, which was the model "Eagle" of historical Appollo 11, back in 1969. The stamps were designed by Dr. Gordon Caruana Dingli, the IYA 2009 Malta SPoC and Alexei Pace, whereas the image of the Galileo in the stamp was painted by Francesco Boschi.

IYA 2009 Interactive Stamps Issued by Malta

IYA 2009 Interactive Stamps Issued by Malta

The stamp on the left, illustrates the great telescope of William Lassell, and is valued at 1.19 Euros. William Lassell had his telescope, set up in Malta from 1861 to 1865 and did a lot of observations fro the Maltese territories. In fact the background, showcasing the nebula M42 was observed by Lassell during the same period. The picturesque stamp shows you haw complex the telescope was and the size of it can be determined, as there's a figure of Lassell on the scene as well.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

IYA 2009 Cornerstone Project: Cosmic Diary

Cosmic Diary, IYA 2009 Sri Lanka
As you know there are many Cornerstone Projects of International Year of Astronomy 2009.
The Cosmic Diary Project is bit vivid among them and is contributed by a worldwide community of astronomers, all of whom are competent in the field and their niche. This blog post discusses about them and their respective institutions, collaborating with IYA 2009 and its Cornerstone Projects.

Diarists from ESA

  1. Detlef Koschny
  2. Salim Ansari
  3. Giuseppe Racca
  4. Team INTEGRAL
  5. Mark Kidger
Diarists from ESO

  1. Nadine Neumayer
  2. Heidi Korhonen
  3. Annalisa Calamida
  4. Diego Garcia
  5. Gaitee Hussain
  6. Gayandhi de Silva
  7. Gerard van Belle
  8. Linda Schmidtobreick
  9. Mariya Lyubenova
  10. Michael Dumke
  11. Nando Patat
  12. Suzanna Randall
  13. Thomas Dall
  14. Thomas Rivinius
  15. Aybüke Küpcü Yoldas
Diarists of JAXA

  1. Seiichi Sakamoto
  2. Yoshimi Kitamura
  3. Toshifumi Shimizu
  4. Akihiro Doi
NASA Diarists

  1. David Smith
  2. Franck Marchis
  3. Amy Mainzer
  4. Kelly Korreck
  5. Ned Wright
  6. David J. Thompson
  7. Amber Straughn
  8. Sten Odenwald
Thanks to the efforts of these bloggers/ diarists we can be updated on latest IYA 2009 and astronomy happenings of the world.
For more updates, please move on to

Sunday, May 3, 2009

IYA Coins Issued by Australia

I just thought of making available some information on IYA coins, that have been issued by Australia back in 2008, as they have not received some reputation. This post will give you some idea of those coins.

IYA 2009 Coins issued ny Australia

In fact two coins were launched by Australian Royal Mint on 7th November 2008, as an effort to highlight IYA 2009 events, which were coming alongside the International Year of Astronomy, in collaboration with the 400th anniversary of Galileo's telescope.

Janine Murphy, Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Australian Mint was quoted saying "In 2009 the world celebrates the exploration of our universe. It marks the 400th anniversary of Galileo Galilei’s first use of the telescope and recognizes his revolutionary discoveries that began modern astronomy"IYA 2009 Coins issued ny Australia
The numismatic collection was really a boost for the IYA 2009 as it needs much reputation.
Other countries are encouraged to launch IYA 2009 stamps to promote astronomy and International Year of Astronomy in general.

Out of both coins, $ 1 coin features CSIRo's Parkes radio telescope known as "The Dish" whereas the 20-cent illustrates a star-gazing amateur astronomer, who is ina background, filled with stars and constellation.

Go here if you want to order the coins online.

The following image shows you the Astrophotographer David Malin and Director of the Anlgo-Australian Observatory, Professor Matthew Colless, at the launch of the IYA coins.
IYA 2009 Australian coins being officially launched

More info available here : IYA2009 Coins of Australia