Soheil Salimi


A quick review on Global Astronomy Month (GAM) in Pasargad region, Iran [GAM2017 & GAM2018]

Part I: Introduction

As much as people would be involved in participating, organizing, sharing and enjoying the night sky together they would feel closer to each other, meanwhile, closer to the lost part of nature above. So the universe can connect us by itself if we just step in looking forward to catch any opportunity.  Astronomers Without Borders gives us this chance by Global Astronomy Month (GAM) project in each April. 

We have actively celebrated the biggest international event of astronomy in each April and the motto of AWB "One People * One Sky" in Pasargad region, based in Saadat-shahr, Iran since 2012. This blog is a quick review of what Astronomical Society of Pasargad Sky (ASPS) and its team did in GAM2017 and GAM2018. 

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Shouldn’t we say “Meteoriiiite” instead of “Cheese” for the photos in GAM? [GAM2017]

Part II:   The Party is started! GAAAM!!!

Everyone wanted to do something for showing their love for stars! Yeah, here it's well-known as the Astronomy Town due to a great enthusiasm for astronomy! You maybe only find in this town that people propose free services in medical services, free taxies, supermarkets, restaurants and coffee-shops, bakeries, etc. in honor of astronomy to others during GAM project. Why? Because it makes everyone happier to be part of the astronomical actitives! It helps them to speak about stars and sharing a good time! It's all are consequences of constant hard working by the "Star-man" of the town "Asghar Kabiri", Founder/President of ASPS, a local teacher and astronomy populariser, who shared his passions for the stars with everyone for several decades. He accomplished 2006 Las Cumbres Amateur Outreach Award for his precious efforts in astronomy outreach.

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Asghar Kabiri (Founder/President of ASPS) [the first person on the right side] is offering the students' awards and the certificates of participation in GAM2017

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Free services proposed generously by people in Saadat-shahr, Iran in Global Astronomy Month [GAM2017 - GAM2018]

For those who are not able to propose free services they helped the "star - parties" by turning off the exterior lights. Some events organized for raising public awareness about the "light pollution" based on GAM schedule! Hence, local authorities allowed turning off unnecessary lights of the main road in order to make the beauties of the sky more visible for all citizens, besides saving energy, less effects on humans' health and environment [Please check out the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA)'s website for impressive guidelines].

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Less light pollution kindly offered by some shops during public star parties [GAM2018].


60+ The Earth Hour event was celebrated besides educational part for light pollution and energy,Pasargad [GAM2017].

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The city council [right side] and ASPS organized a meeting about astronomy and GAM in Saadat-shahr.

Girls’ schools and boys’ schools have been separated since 1979  (Islamic Revolution!) in Iran, so it takes more energy and time for organizing the same educational events in the both schools. It’s absolutely important for M. Kabiri and all members of ASPS to share the beauties of astronomy with everyone. The women and girls in Iran are highly educated (more than 60% of university students are girls!), and they’re bravely fighting for their rights and freedom. Empowering motivated girls in Saadat-shahr by ASPS for science and STEM education is not only by words, it’s by action!

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A presentation of space/astronomy by Asghar Kabiri in girls' school, Saadat-shahr during GAM2018

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It’s always so amazing to see the reaction of kids after observing the moon with better resolution through the telescope! These gorgeous girls in Saadat-shahr are showing their surprises and happiness after a better look at the Moon!

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Families are observing the Sun spots together in “Sizdah-bedar” Persian traditional day!

As a tradition, on the 13th day of the Persian new year [starts at each spring solstice], people would spend their day in the nature, this day is called “Sizdah-bedar” . We celebrated the fascinating star of our solar system with others by watching the Sun and talking about solar radiative effects on our planet, and the missions have launched for discovering better our powerful source of energy!

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Space photos exhibition for students and space talk by a very young astronaut!

The educational activities in the schools, Azad-University and University of Applied Science and Technology started immediately after the vacations. It initiated by presenting astronomy/space papers and posters by students, and continued by many competitions e.g. painting competitions, amazing Q/A sections about " THE SPACE", fantastic exhibitions called "From EARTH to the COSMOS", the Yuri's night and the astronomy club's activities such as observing planets Venus, Jupiter, Mars and the moons!

 GAM2017 hamed 3D

On the left side Hamed Zareh is talking about the size of the stars. On the right, students are watching a 3D short film associated with landing on the moon.

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Painting competitions!

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Educational activities in the schools.

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Yuri's Night was celebrated with space-lovers!

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Star parties in GAM2018 and GAM2017 .

The programs weren't limited only for schools and universities. People in villages and public places like Friday market (marché in French) enjoyed watching celestial bodies and stars in Pasargad region. Many tourists came from all over the world/the country to "Pasargad" for visiting the tomb of the Persian king "Cyrus the Great" (580-529 BC), who allowed the Jews to return to the promised Land. He also declared the first Charter of Human Rights so-called  "The Cyrus Cylinder" [now it's in the British Museum, please click here for more information]. Hence, if we would like to spread the fantastic AWB's motto "One People * One Sky", it's more meaningful to do it by watching the stars next to the tomb of this great man, although "the sky is the same in LA, California or Tehran" Mike Simmons said once in Qeshm StarFest. (2012) in Iran. 

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Observing celestial bodies next to the tomb of Cyrus the Great , Pasargad  

Part III: AWB’s motto

To sum up, Global Astronomy Month (GAM) like all AWB's projects has helped us around the globe to have a wider view to the universe and humanity. Doesn't matter which color, race, gender, nationality, language, religion and age we have, the sky can collect all of us for "peace", "love" and "science"!

Clear skies,








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    About Me

    Soheil Salimi was born on July 5, 1992 in Shiraz . From an early age, he has loved the environment and civil engineering. This great passion for engineering has led to an ambition to choose civil engineering as his major in academic studies. He entered Fasa University and achieved many awards during his undergraduate program such as Top Student of the Year Award in Civil Engineering and also ranked himself as the Excellent Student of Civil Engineering, Class of 2014. Soheil started his MSc. in Environmental Engineering at Shiraz University, Iran; and after awarding "Université Paris-Saclay International...


    Location:Shiraz, Fars
    Iran (Islamic Republic of)