11 March 2019

Astro Voices — Contribute to the IAU Centennial Video

Hua Liu

Hua Liu American Astronomical Society (AAS)


This post is adapted from an International Astronomical Union (IAU) email sent on 8 March:

The IAU is putting together a short film — Astro Voices — for its 100th anniversary that aims at celebrating women astronomers (both professionals and students). They are counting on you to make this initiative a success! Please contribute by sending a short video clip to the IAU and/or by spreading the word to your female colleagues and students. A short description of the project and detailed instructions on how to create and submit your video follows below. The deadline to submit video clips is Sunday, 24 March. If you wish to share your video clip with the AAS, which we'd appreciate, simply go to wetransfer.com, upload your file, and input news@aas.org as the destination email address (the upload is free; maximum file size: 2 GB).

Astro Voices, a short film for the IAU's 100th anniversary

This project aims at creating a short film featuring women astronomers from around the world to be released during 2019, IAU 100th anniversary year, to promote astronomy as an exciting career and to stimulate interest among women and girls everywhere. The film will consist of an edited sequence of short video clips of individuals and groups of women saying into the camera "I am (name) from (country), and I am an astronomer!" in the language of their choice. Some improvisation is also fine — slightly different statements could be "Astronomy is my passion" or "I love astronomy" or "I love studying astronomy" or "I am proud to be an astronomer," but always with the speaker's name and country mentioned. In order to combine as many clips as possible, they have to be short. We aim to feature women from as many countries as possible and speaking in as many languages as possible. We hope you will be willing to contribute a film clip of yourself!

How to contribute to this initiative

1. Filming your clip

A video clip can be made on any smartphone. In order to ensure the best quality in the clips and coherency of the compilation, here are some tips:

  • If you are able to adjust the camera settings on your phone, the best setting is 1080p, though lower quality settings will also do.
  • Please hold the phone/camera horizontally (landscape mode) and at eye level. Look directly into the camera and make sure that the subject is well lit and well centered.
  • You can film yourself or have someone else shoot the clip. The latter has the advantage to use the camera on the back of your phone (usually of higher quality) rather than the front-facing "selfie" camera.
  • For editing purposes, please wait a few seconds after you start filming before you speak, and wait again a few seconds after you speak before you stop filming.
  • Please try to avoid filming in a noisy or windy environment and check your clip for clarity of the sound.

2. Transmitting your clip

Finished video clips should be transferred to the IAU by 24 March, via a Dropbox upload of the clip and via a notification email.

Dropbox upload:

To upload your video clip, please follow this link and click on the "Choose files" tab. This action will allow you to select the video clip directly from the photos/videos collection on your phone or from your computer. Once you have selected the clip file, please specify also your first and last name, as well your email address before hitting the "Upload" button. Your credentials will help us associate uploaded clips with the proper author names (in case we need to contact you) and will allow you to receive an acknowledgment message about your upload. No personal Dropbox account is needed in order to upload your clip. Please avoid sending us your video clips as email attachments from a mobile phone or as WhatsApp videos as these undergo massive compression in size, downgrading the quality of the clips.

Notification email:

Every upload must be accompanied by a notification email message stating: "I, Firstname Lastname, give my consent to have my video clip edited and used in the short film 'Astro Voices' to be released on social media and through the IAU Women in Astronomy email lists, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the International Astronomical Union." Without this consent, we will not be able to include your video clip in Astro Voices.