The Earthrise Institute is pleased to announce "Ice and Stone 2020," a global educational program that focuses on the "small bodies" of the solar system, i.e., comets and asteroids, and that will be unveiled throughout the course of 2020. These worlds may be small in physical size, but they have played a significant role in our natural and cultural history, and should continue to do so well into our future. "Ice and Stone 2020" will explore not only the scientific and cultural facets of these worlds, but when appropriate will also examine economic, legal, and other issues associated with them.

Throughout each week of 2020, "Ice and Stone 2020" will feature presentations examining various topics associated with the solar system's small bodies, and will also examine events that have occurred in the past; the various past, present, and future spacecraft missions to these bodies; and some of the events that will be taking place in the future. At times we will feature presentations prepared by experts in their respective fields. Furthermore, since there are always comets and asteroids visible in our nighttime skies -- including occasional passages of these bodies close to Earth -- we will, when appropriate, incorporate observations of them. Along these lines, we are collaborating with the Las Cumbres Observatory -- a worldwide network of automated telescopes based at some of the top astronomical observatory sites in the world -- and some of these telescopes will be available for use by participants in our program.

In keeping with the overall mission of the Earthrise Institute, "Ice and Stone 2020" is being made available free of charge to all students and educators around the world. Via on-line forums, participants will be able to share results of scientific observations, stories, art, and other facets of their studies with their fellow participants all over the world.

"Ice and Stone 2020" formally launches on January 1, 2020. Between now and then, this page will feature links to updates as the program is developed into its final form. As that process unfolds, we ask readers to consider making donations to Earthrise to help underwrite this effort and make it as effective and engaging as we can to as wide an audience as possible. Along these lines, we are selling various items and auctioning some "rare and collectible" items to help in raising funds for this program and future Earthrise activities. Earthrise is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and all contributions within the U.S. are tax-deductible.

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