Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Amateur Astronomy Congress

During the last week I attended to one of the events which brings together to different people who love Astronomy in Chile: the Amateur Astronomy International Congress (CIAA for short, in spanish) in its 18th version

All the attendees of the CIAA2015 in the Planetarium of Santiago. 
Picture courtesy of my friend Francisco Segura. 

Was held in Santiago between 14 to 17, October and was organized by the Telescoperos Ricardo González, a very enthusiastic group of amateur astronomers who build their own telescopes and also do differents activities related to the education/outreach of Astronomy. 

I collaborated to the organization in two of the previous versions of CIAA in La Serena (2009) and Vicuña (2010). This year was my first time giving a presentation, talking about general information about Supernovae and my work as observer for the Carnegie Supernova Project. 

I shared some important facts about my collaboration to the CSP astronomers.
Picture courtesy of my friend Danilo Soto.

Teachers, students, professional and amateur astronomers enjoyed didactic activities as solar observation with optical and radio telescopes, the construction and use of simple spectroscopes, learning of  some scientific experiments with simple elements and the mobile planetarium provided by the Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory.

A group of high school students with their teacher (left) and Daniel Munizaga of CTIO's mobile planetarium (right).
In the center and crouching is Roberto "Caylo" Zepeda, one of the main persons in the realization of this CIAA.
Picture courtesy of my friend Francisco Segura.

Teacher Juan González and his students talked about their research 
in archaeological sites near to the town of Illapel (southern La Serena), 
where would exist a natural sculpture related to the equinoxes. 

The professional contributions to this congress came from the "Master lectures" by Dr. Patrice Bouchet (France), Dr. Gabriel Bengochea (Argentina) and Dr. Luis Paredes (Chile), giving a good opportunity to interacting and feedback.

Also, we visited to the National Astronomical Observatory of the University of Chile. A beautiful experience to know one of the oldest observatories installed in Chile and its different telescopes.

The historical Gustav Hayde refractor telescope.

Solar observations before the sunset.

Personally, was a very great experience be part of this CIAA, reuniting with old friends and to meet new ones. The helping hand from professional persons and the conversations with different people from other regions in Chile and Latin America. I keep very positive memories about this congress and I will be always thankful with the organising commitee and their warm and friendly reception.

Congratulations to the Telescoperos Ricardo González group and thank you so much for this great congress!!!

The next CIAA is hosted by the Astronomical Society of Valparaíso and Viña del Mar (SAVAL, for short) and will be held in the first week on October, 2016 in the beautiful city-port of Valparaíso. This version celebrates the 60th anniversary of SAVAL and its contribution to the outreach of the Astronomy to the local community.

Best wishes for the organising commitee and I hope to be part in this celebration. :)

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