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India's participation highest during International Year of Astronomy 2009

By Nitsi

Washington, Sep 8 (ANI): A 1300-page final report for the International Year of Astronomy 2009 has been released which revealed that the highest of participation came from India.

The report was released at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science in Lisbon, which showed that at least 815 million people from 148 countries participated in the world's largest science event in decades.

The report is a compilation of the achievements of the 216 IYA2009 stakeholders -- 148 countries, 40 international organizations and 28lobal projects.

The highest participation figures came from India, where over 700 million people were reported as being reached by IYA2009 events. This was mainly due to Indian astronomers proudly showcasing their work at the Republic Day parade in Delhi.

With 30,000 people watching in person and an estimated 700 million watching on television, this was by far the biggest single event in the IYA2009 program.

Catherine Cesarsky, chair of the IYA2009 Working Group, and the IAU's President for most of IYA2009, said: "As this report clearly shows, IYA2009 was an immense success. We can see that the variety and quality of projects around the world touched the lives of literally millions of people. It's the first time that such a huge network has been put together to promote a single science communication project, so IYA2009 was also a learning process for everyone involved.

"This report, and the lessons we have drawn from IYA2009, will be a big help to anyone organizing in a similar project in future."

Robert Williams, the current IAU President, concluded: "Looking back at the activities and events and the popular reaction, we are able to truly gauge how often and how deeply IYA2009's motto, The Universe, Yours to Discover, was fulfilled during the Year." (ANI)

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