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The “Nuits des étoiles” events (1991–2008) and their impact on the French astronomical leisure landscape

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 June 2011

Olivier Las Vergnas
Affiliation:
Centre de recherches éducation et formation (CREF), Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, Bâtiment C, 200, avenue de la République, 92001 Nanterre Cedex, France email: o.lasvergnas@cite-sciences.fr Association Française d'Astronomie, 17, rue Émile Deutsch de la Meurthe, 75014 Paris, France email: eric.piednoel@afanet.fr
Eric Piednoël
Affiliation:
Association Française d'Astronomie, 17, rue Émile Deutsch de la Meurthe, 75014 Paris, France email: eric.piednoel@afanet.fr
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Abstract

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The popular event Nuits des étoiles has become in France the summer encounter with the sky. More than 400 events are set up for three consecutive days each year: several thousands of voluntary organisers invite more and more people to observe the heavens and discover astronomy. Each summer, those collective star parties reach about one hundred thousand people, several millions of sky maps are printed and distributed by newspapers and the associated TV live program broadcast by France 2 channel interested 1 to 3 millions spectators. Since 1991, Nuits des étoiles has helped to develop organisations at the local level and increased the stakeholders' interest in general public awareness. It contributed in France to strengthen and professionalise an astronomical leisure offer.

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Copyright
Copyright © International Astronomical Union 2011
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