from the dark-side-of-the-moon dept.
Slatterz writes "I own a basic 70mm telescope, which I'm sure Galileo would have given his right arm for in 1609. In fact, this year marks exactly 400 years since Galileo first pointed a telescope at the skies — discovering the moons of Jupiter and helping to prove that the universe doesn't revolve around us. As a mark of respect, the United Nations has declared 2009 the International Year of Astronomy. Official festivities kick off this week in Paris and, to help start the celebrations, 17 radio telescopes in Australia, Asia, Europe and the Americas will track three quasars using something called "real-time Very Long Baseline Interferometry" — basically creating hi-res images by combining their data to simulate a telescope as large as the Earth. Sounds cool."