Sepideh Hooshyar

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Sepideh Hooshyar - Image by Paul Wilson/Radiator Film
Sepideh Hooshyar (born 1994) is an Iranian astronomer, physics expert, and honorary Ambassador of the AstronomyOutreach network.

Sepideh was the subject of an award winning documentary film "Sepideh Reaching for the Stars" that has been screened and broadcast worldwide. The documentary written and directed by Berit Madsen premiered in-competition at the 2013 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam on November 24, 2013, and in-competition in the World Cinema Documentary Competition at 2014 Sundance Film Festival. The film chronicles the life and challenges of a young Iranian woman who dreams of a future in science, astronomy, and space exploration.

In an interview with Berit Madsen, she said "I was totally carried away when meeting Sepideh the first time and learned of the promise that she had made to her dead father to become a big space explorer to make him proud of his daughter and how she had teamed up with Albert Einstein and his non-conformist mindset to fight back the resistance to her unruly behavior that she was encountering from her surroundings."

"I knew that I had to pursue this story of Sepideh that was taking me into another side of Iran – the story that isn’t about the oppression of women and victimisation, but about change coming to Iran."



Sepideh and her husband Javad Naseri

"You know, the best sense of the world is when you look at the sky. The first time I saw a meteor ... I did not think of anything ... Not to my dad who was dead .. And not to the people who were asleep! And that means calm."

-Sepideh Hooshyar

From the age of ten, Sepideh became familiar with astronomy and continued with her studies and observations despite many obstacles that she faced in her community and with her family. Eventually she became the top astronomical observer in Iran, winning the SOFI and Messier Observing competitions.

Now married to Mayor Javad Naseri, and with a child, Sepideh continues to study physics and pursue her passion of studying astronomy with the support of her husband. In addition to her education, she is currently working on supernovae research and building an educational observatory with programs dedicated especially for children.


Children in Iran Observing the Stars during one of Sepideh's Outreach Events
Javad and Sepideh growing Paulownia Trees

Sepideh Hooshyar teaches children and adults astronomy and she is very keen to promote astronomy among children in deprived areas. One of the ways she supports her astronomy outreach activities for children is by growing and selling Paulownia trees.


Sepideh Hooshyar was among the invited to the WIRED2016 World Inspirational women Conference.

External links

Sepideh Reaching for the Stars on Wikipedia

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