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On December 17 2019, the Dutch astronomy community celebrated the 100th birthday of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and the 20th birthday of the National Research School for Astronomy (NOVA) as a top-research school with the Gala van de Sterrenkunde.

Presented by New Scientist Netherlands editor Jim Jansen and IAU director Professor Ewine van Dishoeck, the audience was treated to both a historic and current overview of Dutch astronomy. The Dutch king Willem-Alexander joined part of the night as guest of honour.

The program was packed with science but also allowed for some music and even a quiz. The science was presented by some of the top Astronomers the Netherlands has to offer, among whom a delegation from the Anton Pannekoek Institute. In the outreach panel discussion, Professor Sera Markoff stressed the importance of seeking a diverse audience. Dr Samaya Nissanke gave an overview of the relatively new field of multi messenger astronomy, Emeritus Professor Ed van den Heuvel looked back on the history of NOVA together with Professor Tim de Zeeuw (Universiteit Leiden), and Dr Joeri van Leeuwen (ASTRON/UvA) took part in an astronomical Wheel of Fortune interview.

The sold out event marked a spectacular finale to a festive year for astronomy.

The after movie is now available through the link below.