PEOPLE FROM THE MAULE REGION CELEBRATED THE ASTRONOMY DAY AT THE BOTANICAL GARDEN

"Garden of stars" was called the scientific dissemination activity carried out at night, and it generated high participation from the community.



March 27, 2017

More than 200 people attended the free nightly astronomical observation activity at the Botanical Garden of our University, a place chosen by the Explora PAR of Conicyt Maule-UTALCA to celebrate the Astronomy Day in the Region.
 
In the days leading up to this event, there was such a great expectation on the part of the public that in only a couple of hours the available places were already fully assigned.
 
The program began at 21:00 hours with the talk entitled "Chef of the Universe: The Secrets of the Cosmos Hidden in your Kitchen", given by Carlos López, astronomer and researcher from the Center for Astro-Engineering, of the Pontificia Universidad Católica. "During the talk, people was surprised to see how the kitchen can accommodate the deepest secrets of the universe," said Lopez.
 
After the presentation, Professor Walter Bussenius, from the Institute of Mathematics and Physics, of the University of Talca, led the observation of the universe through the Institute’s telescope.
 
The images were projected on several screens for all attendees to see the stars and constellations, such as Orion, the planet Jupiter and the craters of the moon.
 
 
"Astronomy inspires many for the mysteries that envelope it and is one of the most popular ways for scientific dissemination among the community. This is important because it allows educating and clarifying dogmas and beliefs that deviate too much from the sciences," said Bussenius.
 
 The attendants valued the opportunity to participate in actions of great technical and scientific content, as it was "Garden Of Stars". One of the participants was young Benjamin Reyes, who declared himself a fan of astronomy. "It is a field so large that there are so many things to discover and to think a lot about, is a science so abstract that I like it very much," said Reyes.
 
For Carolina Troncoso, the most surprising thing was the moment of stellar observation. "I am happy with the initiative, because we were able to see different stars, constellations and planets, thanks to the guidance of the scientist. The best thing was that It was free and open to the public," she said.
 
The high demand from the community was a pleasant surprise for the organizers of the event, who see an opportunity to continue with the astronomical activities and scientific dissemination at the Botanical Garden " We know that our botanical garden is very dear to the citizens, this encourages us to generate a schedule for outreach and recreational activities for the people of the Maule Region," said Ivan Coydan, Director of University Social Responsibility and of the Explora PAR, of Conicyt Maule.
 
 Maule, Look at your Sky
 
The Astronomy Day is celebrated around the country since 2013, thanks to the Explora program from CONICYT, The Planetary Foundation and the Chilean Astronomy Society (Sochias). In our Region, since four years ago, the University of Talca leads the dissemination actions of this area of science to the Maulean community via the PAR Explora Conicyt/RSU.
 
This year, the activities began on March 10 with an astronomy workshop where more than 90 teachers received training, including kindergarten educators, primary and secondary school teachers from schools and kindergartens of the four provinces of the Region.
 
 
The course methodology was based on the training model of the House of Astronomy (Haus der Astronomie) in Heidelberg, Germany. This educational action allowed more than 3,600 schoolchildren to perform various activities, such as the modeling of solar systems and the preparation of planispheres and constellations viewers.
 
The celebration of Astronomy Day in the Maule Region also included the master class "How Astronomy Allows Us to Observe and Understand the Past of the Cosmos", imparted by Leopoldo Infante, astronomer and professor from the Catholic University of Chile. This was carried out at the Extension Center of the University of Talca to more than 250 students from different counties.



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