It’s April 12 again and as every year, I almost forgot about Yuri’s Night again and for that reason I’m simply adapting last year’s post and added a few new links and other information to it. Yuri’s Night is an open, worldwide celebration of humanity’s first spaceflight on April 12th, 1961, which was also the first flight of the Space Shuttle twenty years later. It’s not about Soviet spaceflight or Yuri Gagarin specifically, but actually the fact that this was the beginning of human space exploration itself. It’s not about politics at all, which is especially important nowadays because of the strained relations with Russia, but only a way to raise more public interest about space exploration. This is why Yuri’s Night has also been called the World Space Party, a celebration that humankind had ventured off its home planet for the first time.
The number of events on the Yuri’s Night website is still not back at the all-time record of over 300 in 2013, but has gone up a bit from last year with over 250 star and space parties listed. There are even quite a few in Germany, but like every year, unfortunately nowhere near where I live. But the organizers leave it up to everbody to make up their own event – throw a star party, just meet somewhere, screen a movie or hold an online event! Everybody can celebrate in their own way, but the organizers would just appreciate if you would let them know what’s going on so they can list it on their website.
As usual, the lack of clear skies prevent me from really celebrating again, because like every year, on April 12 the clouds come rolling in. I’m not aware of any online events happening today apart from the rather curious fact that the Yuri’s Night team has made a commercial partnership of sorts with Disney. But April is also Global Astronomy Month and Astronomers without Borders president Mike Simmons was a guest on the Learning Space Hangout last week! He’ll also do a hangout about astrophotography on April 19 and will be a guest on the Weekly Space Hangout on April 22. If you want to do some digital stargazing, I can also recommend the successor to the Virtual Star Party called the Global Star Party, which is happening almost every weekend now and already has 37 episodes to watch in addition to the over 100 past shows from the VSP.
And while I’m not reposting the article with my collection of space-themed reviews over on DVDLog this year, I still recommend having a look at all those movies and television series – and maybe I’ll write a short article about an amazing coincidence involving the recent SpaceX rocket landing and an old soviet space movie later this week. And as always, keep watching my stream on Google+, especially the Space & Astronomy collection to find out more – and you can join us in the WSH Crew Community to keep track of all the space news and hangouts there and on our new website! And keep watching the skies… if you don’t have clouds overhead, you might see six humans in a big space station flying overhead. Some of them are even on Twitter and are posting photos and more from space every day!