Though the calendar tells us that there is still a week and a half left in 2008, the Winter Solstice seems like a more natural start to the year. It is certainly an appropriate day on which to preview the upcoming International Year of Astronomy. The year 2009 marks 400 years since Galileo Galilei first began making astronomical observations with a telescope. It is a fitting time to celebrate what astronomers have learned about our universe and the contributions that such knowledge have made to humanity. It is also a great excuse for another reading challenge! I'll be posting more details about that soon. In the mean time, enjoy the beautiful IYA2009 trailer (also available in HD).