SKYWATCH: A NEW MINIMOON FOR EARTH, FIND STELLAR DWARFS, AND MORE

LATEST NEWS

A New Minimoon for Earth

Sky & Telescope
A recently discovered minimoon, the asteroid known as 2016 HO3, follows Earth in its orbit around the Sun.

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Seeing Sunspots as the Ancients Did

Sky & Telescope
Astronomers have reconstructed 18-century telescopes to observe sunspots and better understand solar cycles.

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FRIPON: A New All-Sky Meteor Network

Sky & Telescope
The innovative FRIPON network will engage professionals and the public in the hunt for space rocks.

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OBSERVING HIGHLIGHTS

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, June 24 – July 1
Sky & Telescope
Arcturus and Vega are about equally high overhead shortly after dark this weekend, and the last-quarter Moon (exact at 2:19 p.m. EDT) rises around 1 a.m. below the Great Square of Pegasus.

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Hunting White Dwarfs: Night’s Stellar Peewees

Sky & Telescope

Take a trip down the rabbit hole to the weird and weighty world of planet-sized white dwarf stars.

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Tour June’s Sky: Three Planets at Nightfall

Sky & Telescope

Sky & Telescope’s astronomy podcast takes you on a guided tour of the night sky. After the Sun sinks from view, enjoy watching Mars and Saturn near Scorpius in the southeast and Jupiter near Leo well up in the southwest.

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COMMUNITY

NEAF 2016 Astronomy Equipment Videos

Sky & Telescope

Watch Dennis di Cicco conduct in-depth interviews with vendors at the NEAF 2016 trade show displaying their newest wares.

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INTERNATIONAL WIDOW’S DAY: JUNE 23, 2016

International Widows’ Day

International Widows’ Day was introduced to address poverty and injustice faced by widows and their children in many countries. It was officially recognized by the United Nations in 2010 and is observed anually on June 23.

The situation of widows in many countries is desolate.
©iStockphoto.com/jcarillet

What Do People Do?

The first officially recognized International Widows’ Day on June 23, 2011 was marked with a conference held in the United Nations headquarters in New York.

Public Life

International Widows’ Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

International Widows’ Day was initiated by the Loomba Foundation in 2005. The plight of widows world-wide has been the foundation’s focus since it was established in 1997. According to its founder, Raj Loomba, women in many countries experience great hardship after their husbands die. “They are not looked after by governments or NGOs and they are shunned by society.”

The observance falls on June 23 because Loomba’s mother became a widow on that date in 1954.

External Link

Learn more about International Widows’ Day

International Widows’ Day Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type
Thu Jun 23 2011 International Widows’ Day United Nations observance
Sat Jun 23 2012 International Widows’ Day United Nations observance
Sun Jun 23 2013 International Widows’ Day United Nations observance
Mon Jun 23 2014 International Widows’ Day United Nations observance
Tue Jun 23 2015 International Widows’ Day United Nations observance
Thu Jun 23 2016 International Widows’ Day United Nations observance
Fri Jun 23 2017 International Widows’ Day United Nations observance
Sat Jun 23 2018 International Widows’ Day United Nations observance
Sun Jun 23 2019 International Widows’ Day United Nations observance
Tue Jun 23 2020 International Widows’ Day United Nations observance

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UNITED NATIONS’ PUBLIC SERVICE DAY: JUNE 23, 2016

Public Service Day

The United Nations’ Public Service Day is held on June 23 each year. It recognizes that democracy and successful governance are built on the foundation of a competent civil service. The day aims to celebrate the value and virtue of service to the community.

UN Public Service Day
Public servants are recognized and praised for their efforts on Public Service Day.
©iStockphoto.com/Jacob Wackerhausen

What Do People Do?

The United Nations (UN) holds a Public Service Awards ceremony each year. It rewards the creative achievements and contributions of public service institutions worldwide. This event promotes the role, professionalism and visibility of public service.  At the same time, Africa Public Service Day is celebrated in Africa to coincide with the United Nations Public Service Day.

Many public service organizations and departments around the world celebrate this day by holding various events to recognize the valuable role that public servants play in making improvements in society. Activities include: information days featuring stalls and booths about the public service; organized lunches with guest speakers; internal awards ceremonies within public service agencies or departments; and special announcements to honor public servants.

Public Life

Public Service Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

On December 20, 2002, the United Nations General Assembly designated June 23 of each year as United Nations Public Service Day (resolution 57/277). It encouraged member states to organize special events on that day to highlight the contribution of public service in the development process.

This day was created to: celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community; highlight the contribution of public service in the development process; recognize the work of public servants; and encourage young people to pursue careers in the public sector.

Symbols

The United Nations Public Administration Network (UNPAN) uses a special logo for Public Service Day. It features two columns, one on the left side and one on the right side, and in between are a pair of hands outlined in orange in a flame-like manner. These hands surround three blue human figures. The figure in the middle depicts a woman and the two other figures, one on each side of the woman, are male. The word “Public”, which joins the two columns, is written above the heads of the figures, which are standing on or supported by the word “Service” in capital letters, which joins the two columns. A smaller version of UNPAN’s main logo is located above the word “Public”.

UNPAN’s main logo, in blue and white, is similar to the logo on the UN flag. It features a projection of a world map (less Antarctica) centered on the North Pole, enclosed by olive branches. The olive branches are a symbol for peace, and the world map represents all the people of the world.

Public Service Day Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type
Wed Jun 23 2010 Public Service Day United Nations observance
Thu Jun 23 2011 Public Service Day United Nations observance
Sat Jun 23 2012 Public Service Day United Nations observance
Sun Jun 23 2013 Public Service Day United Nations observance
Mon Jun 23 2014 Public Service Day United Nations observance
Tue Jun 23 2015 Public Service Day United Nations observance
Thu Jun 23 2016 Public Service Day United Nations observance
Fri Jun 23 2017 Public Service Day United Nations observance
Sat Jun 23 2018 Public Service Day United Nations observance
Sun Jun 23 2019 Public Service Day United Nations observance
Tue Jun 23 2020 Public Service Day United Nations observance

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HATEWATCH: HEADLINES FOR 6-23-2016

By Hate

June 23, 2016
 

LGBT group says Trump is courting haters; ‘Make America White Again’ sign causes stir; DHS analyst arrested, suspected of planning rampage; and more.

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The Hill: Nation’s largest LGBT organization accuses Donald Trump of courting hate groups.

WRCB-TV (Chattanooga, TN): Trump-loving Tennessee congressional candidate stirs an uproar with his ‘Make America White Again’ billboard.

Raw Story: Tattooed Trump bro defends himself after video rant goes viral, saying whites are ‘the only race you can discriminate against.’

The Daily Beast: Twitter trolls are reporting pro-LGBT Muslim women to their governments, where punishment can mean death.

Access ADL: Homeland Security analyst arrested for weapons, suspected of plotting massacre, had history of antigovernment opinions.

Salon: Newscaster fired for bigoted remarks about black men now claims she’s the victim of racism.

Newsweek: Brutal murder busts up Aryan Brotherhood in Mississippi.

Times Argus (Barre, VT): Aryan Brotherhood lieutenant sentenced to 10 years in prison on drugs, weapons charges.

Vice: Soldiers of Odin, Europe’s notorious anti-immigration group, beginning to form cells in Canada.

Crooks and Liars: Radical Islamists and the American far right, cousins of the terrorist kind.

Right Wing Watch: AFA’s Sandy Rios suggests Trump supporters carry AR-15s to defend themselves against protesters.

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INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA: JUNE 21, 2016

International Day of Yoga

In 2014, the United Nations (UN) proclaimed June 21 as the International Day of Yoga.

Group of people doing yoga.
Western yoga practice.
©iStockphoto.com/EpicStockMedia

What is Yoga?

Yoga is a series of exercises that combines physical, mental, and spiritual practice. The word itself is derived from Sanscrit and means to join or unite.

Growing Popularity

Originating in India, yoga was introduced to the west in the late 19th and early 20th century. Since the 1980s, the number of yoga practitioners has grown each year.

Many Different Practices

Today yoga is practiced in various forms around the world and continues to grow as a sport and a lifestyle. Traditional yoga has a meditative and spiritual core in addition to the physical exercises. The result is a wide variety of schools, practices, and goals within the yoga community.

Yoga for Peace

It is because of yoga’s holistic approach to body and mind that the UN decided to dedicate June 21 to this ancient tradition.

“Yoga is a sport that can contribute to development and peace. Yoga can even help people in emergency situations to find relief from stress.” said Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary-General.

International Day of Yoga Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type
Thu Jun 21 2012 International Day of Yoga United Nations observance
Fri Jun 21 2013 International Day of Yoga United Nations observance
Sat Jun 21 2014 International Day of Yoga United Nations observance
Sun Jun 21 2015 International Day of Yoga United Nations observance
Tue Jun 21 2016 International Day of Yoga United Nations observance
Wed Jun 21 2017 International Day of Yoga United Nations observance
Thu Jun 21 2018 International Day of Yoga United Nations observance
Fri Jun 21 2019 International Day of Yoga United Nations observance
Sun Jun 21 2020 International Day of Yoga United Nations observance

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WORLD REFUGEE DAY: JUNE 20, 2016

World Refugee Day

The United Nations’ (UN) World Refugee Day is observed on June 20 each year. This event honors the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.

UN world Refugee Day
World Refugee Day honors the spirit and courage of millions of refugees worldwide.
©iStockphoto.com/David Snyder

What Do People Do?

People honor the spirit and courage of millions of refugees worldwide on World Refugee Day. It is a day to recognize the contributions of refugees in their communities. Organizations such as Amnesty International and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) often get involved in various activities for the day. They may include:

  • Activist protests against using former prisons to detain migrants and asylum seekers.
  • Screenings of films about the lives of asylum seekers living in a western country.
  • Organization members visiting asylum seekers in detention to offer moral support.
  • Letters or petitions to governments on the treatment of asylum seekers in detention.

Some communities dedicate an entire week that includes World Refugee Day to encourage people to think about the lives of refugees and the human right to a secure place to that one can see as “home”.

Public Life

World Refugee Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

For years, many countries and regions have been holding their own events similar to World Refugee Day. One of the most widespread events is Africa Refugee Day, which is celebrated on June 20 in many countries. the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to express its solidarity with Africa on December 4, 2000.

The resolution noted that 2001 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the status of refugees, and that the Organization of African Unity (OAU) agreed to have International Refugee Day coincide with Africa Refugee Day on June 20. The Assembly therefore decided that June 20 would be celebrated as World Refugee Day from 2001 onwards. This day was designated by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to bring attention to the plight of approximately 14 million refugees around the world.

Symbols

The UN Refugee Agency’s (UNCHR) logo is often associated with the day. The colors used are either white on a blue background or blue on white background. The logo features olive branches that symbolize peace surrounding or protecting two hands facing each other, and in the middle a figure of a person protected by these hands. The logo is sometimes featured with the words “UNHCR”, followed by “The UN Refugee Agency” in smaller text to mark the logo.

The UNHCR in Canada uses a special World Refugee Day logo that features two figures – one smaller figure on the left and a taller figure on the right. They are protected by brackets or half circles. The words “World Refugee Day” are placed at the centre top of the figures, and “20 June” is placed at under the figures at the centre. All elements of the logo are the one color – green.

World Refugee Day Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type
Sun Jun 20 2010 World Refugee Day United Nations observance
Mon Jun 20 2011 World Refugee Day United Nations observance
Wed Jun 20 2012 World Refugee Day United Nations observance
Thu Jun 20 2013 World Refugee Day United Nations observance
Fri Jun 20 2014 World Refugee Day United Nations observance
Sat Jun 20 2015 World Refugee Day United Nations observance
Mon Jun 20 2016 World Refugee Day United Nations observance
Tue Jun 20 2017 World Refugee Day United Nations observance
Wed Jun 20 2018 World Refugee Day United Nations observance
Thu Jun 20 2019 World Refugee Day United Nations observance
Sat Jun 20 2020 World Refugee Day United Nations observance

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INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN CONFLICT: JUNE 19, 2016

International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict

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“Sexual violence is now widely recognized as a deliberate strategy used to shred the fabric of society; to control and intimidate communities and to force people from their homes. […] We must continue to speak up for the women, girls, men and boys whose bodies for too long have been considered the spoils of war.” — UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

On 19 June 2015, the United Nations General Assembly (A/RES/69/293) proclaimed 19 June of each year the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, in order to raise awareness of the need to put an end to conflict-related sexual violence, to honour the victims and survivors of sexual violence around the world and to pay tribute to all those who have courageously devoted their lives to and lost their lives in standing up for the eradication of these crimes.

The date was chosen to commemorate the adoption on 19 June 2008 of Security Council resolution 1820 (2008), in which the Council condemned sexual violence as a tactic of war and an impediment to peacebuilding.

A panel discussion to commemorate the first annual International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict will be held at United Nations Headquarters in New York on Tuesday, 21 June 2016, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. Please RSVP here.

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