A rational man, Pope Benedict, in his appreciation of astronomy. He referred to Galileo as a man of faith who “saw nature as a book written by God.” Not only the Vatican Observatory, but other Vatican offices and museums will participate in the International Year of Astronomy.
It’s not just looking back four centuries to Galileo’s telescope. Space happenings dot the year, especially with ongoing missions to Mercury, Venus, Saturn, and a good amount of attention on Mars and the Moon.
If you or your kids have an interest in astronomy, be sure to check out the daily IYA podcast.
I will say that astronomy is one of the easiest hobbies in which you can get involved. Amateurs are generally friendly, open to newcomers, visitors, and new members. Even if joining a club isn’t your thing, be sure to make a visit to a planetarium this year. Or just look up into the night sky.