by Jorge Rivero González
Two days before the kick-off of the BraBo Expedition, GalileoMobile shared a lovely afternoon with ASTROPANDO, an amateur astronomy group from Cobija. In the past years ASTROPANDO has been doing some wonderful work in the wider area of Cobija, encouraging children and young people to learn more about the wonders of the Universe.
We met with about 25 children and shared a delightful afternoon, in which we introduced our project and engaged in a fruitful conversation about several astronomical topics. They showered us with questions, ranging from the origin of black holes to the formation of the Solar System. Some even wanted information on how to become a professional astronomer!
We wrapped up the afternoon with a star-party in the schoolyard. Manuel de la Torre, our longtime Bolivian collaborator who is also accompanying us during the first weeks of this expedition, had brought his own telescope to the school, so we were able to observe α and β Centauri, the planets Mars and Saturn and the “Eyes of the Lama”, an ancient Andean constellation.
The observations were very exciting for us, since we are not all familiar with the wonders of the Southern sky; so this time it was the children who were teaching us how to find the celestial objects and constellations. Just like GalileoMobile’s motto says, on that evening we learned together, under the same sky.