During November GalileoMobile participated on the astronomical activities of Astroclub, in Chile. All the activities were carried out in conjunction with the Gemini Observatory, the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) and PAR Explora Coquimbo.
We meet awesome people, travel throught breathtaking landscapes and had an incredible experience with students and teachers.
This region is known for it’s starry sky and also by it’s huge telescopes: “El Camino de las Estrellas” or The Path of the Stars. The name of our short documentary about our expedition could not be more appropried.
Starry skies to all of us!
by Pati F. Spinelli
Exactly four years ago, I read this African proverb on a wall at the Johannesburg airport when waiting for a connecting flight to Uganda. “Very wise”, I thought at that time. A few hours later, I met my GalileoMobile friends and we started the project “In the Land of Beauty” (2013) in that country.
A long time has passed since I first read the proverb and another project is currently running. However, this time, in the island of Cyprus. The “Columba-Hypatia: Astronomy for Peace” (2017) is a joint astronomy outreach project run by GalileoMobile and the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research. On 23-26 of November, the team will promote a second round of astronomy activities with students and teachers of both Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot communities of the island to transmit a message of peace and mutual understanding.
In this upcoming visit, we will be able to deliver the GalileoMobile handbook of activities in the two languages spoken in the country, so that teachers and local collaborators can keep running their own events and activities once we leave the island.
The translations of the activities from English were only possible because of the work of several dedicated volunteers who have joined us in this endeavor. Having a Greek and Turkish version of this handbook is a reason to celebrate!
We owe a huge thank you to Berk Calli, Ozlem Unver, Yenal Ogmen, Ahmet Talat Saygac, Zeynep Karul, Andreas Gregoriou, Francesca Fragkoudi and Eva Ntormousi for that!
Many thanks for having worked together with us, allowing GalileoMobile to go very, very far. Now, more than ever, the African proverb makes sense to me.
And for those who want to know more about our adventures in the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, stay tuned for the updates of the project in the upcoming days!
By Sandra Benítez
Tomorrow, 10th of November, three members of the GalileoMobile are traveling to the north of Chile for one week of astronomy-outreach activities in the region of Coquimbo, around la Serena. La Serena is a coastal city in the margins of the Atacama dessert and is usually the first place where astronomers arrive when going to the close-by international observatories of Gemini, Las Campanas, Tololo and La Silla.
In collaboration with the local outreach project Astroclub, GalileoMobile will visit several villages and organize hands-on activities in rural schools as well as star parties for the community.
Astroclub is coordinated by the astronomer and chief of educational projects of the Gemini Observatory, Fernanda Urrutia. It started in 2016 and for a year the monitors of the project – young graduate and post-graduate students in Astronomy – went to the schools performing activities and observations with students and teachers. These visits encouraged the creation of local astronomy hubs in those schools, inspiring large groups of people to be interested in Astronomy.
One of the Astroclub monitors visiting a school
During the first three days of the expedition the “galileros” and “astrocluberos” will travel to rural schools that have not been reached by the Astroclub program yet, bringing with them high-quality telescopes for solar and night-sky observations. After a day of rest back in La Serena, the team will be on the road again and head towards the Elqui’s Valley where a special activity will be organized with the participants of the Astroclub local astronomy hubs. More than 200 students are expected to gather in the Gabriela Mistral school for this occasion! Talks, performances, sky observations and story-telling will be some of the activities planned for this great star-party.
Fernanda Urrutia and her team visiting a school
So you see, this will be an amazing journey full of adventures that you cannot miss!
Stay tune for pictures and posts in the blog and in our Facebook!