Category Archives: Expeditions

CAMINO DE LAS ESTRELLAS!

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.

Hope you like it:

Starry skies to all of us!

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GalileoMobile goes back to Chile!

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.

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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.

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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!

A day to remember in Cyprus

by Natalie Christopher

Through the heart of Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus and indeed the last divided capital in the world, runs a buffer-zone created to separate the North and the South of the island. Here in ‘No Man’s Land’ is the Ledra Palace Hotel, once one of the most glamorous hotels in the area- now riddled with bullet-holes, closed off to the general public and surrounded with barbed wire- a stark reminder of the 1974 division.

Amongst the decay however, and just across the road from the Ledra Palace hotel, lies a beacon of hope: the Home for Cooperation. Acting as a bridge-builder between the separated Greek- and Turkish- Cypriot communities, H4C as it is affectionately known, provides a space for inter-communal cooperation. It is here, in this neutral and peace-promoting space, that the first Columba-Hypatia: Astronomy for Peace Project for youth took place, on 1st April 2017.

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The event started off with a short introduction to the project – see Francesca Fragkoudi’s post from 18/04/17 for more information – before giving each participant the opportunity to introduce themselves and tell everyone why they chose to come along. It was impossible to guess which side of the border the teenager came from, until they spoke. I was particularly touched to meet so many young individuals who are keen to get to know people from the other side of the border. It was truly heart-warming to hear their desires to be actively involved in promoting peace on the island, and of course learn more about Astronomy!

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Our exploratory journey into Space started close to home, with a summary of the Solar System and an explanation of how it formed. When we reached the Moon, the participants formed groups to play a game called Moon Myths, which encouraged team-work in order to decide whether statements such as ‘There is a dark side of the Moon’ and ‘Different countries see different phases of the Moon on the same day’ are true or not.

Following on from the recent exciting discovery of seven terrestrial planets orbiting a star, the TRAPPIST-1 system, we explained the methods Astronomers use to detect planets and discussed how many Earth-like planets around Sun-like stars there are predicted to be in our galaxy.

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To put the scale of things into context, we then played Scale Your Cosmos Right. The group was split into teams, with the aim to order images of astronomical objects from smallest to largest in physical size in the quickest time.

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To wrap up, we headed up to the roof for some observations of the Moon and to ponder the notion of  unity – after all, no matter which side of the island we live on, we still live Under the Same Sky.

You can follow the updates of the Columba-Hypatia: Astronomy for Peace Project in our social media

https://www.facebook.com/galileomobile.org/

https://twitter.com/galileomobile?lang=es

https://www.instagram.com/galileomobile/

and the Facebook page of the project

https://www.facebook.com/columbahypatia/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE