Longtime S&T reader, amateur astronomer, and science journalist Mariano Ribas writes from Buenos Aires, Argentina:

Mariano Ribas

The first Galilean Night (Thursday, Oct. 22) was a total success at the planetarium in Buenos Aires. Five hundred people gathered here to look at the Moon and Jupiter with our two biggest scopes (11- and 12-inch SCTs, and to learn something about Galileo´s life and contributions to the modern astronomy. Half of them had never seen the sky with a big telescope, including more than 100 children, who observed the Moon and Jupiter shouting "Wow," "Wonderful," "Incredible"!

On Friday it was cloudy. But our second Galilean Night, on Saturday, was even better, with 700 visitors.

For us these Galilean Nights are very, very special, because our planetarium´s name is... Galileo Galilei!


Image of Graham Wolf

Graham Wolf

November 2, 2009 at 6:58 pm

Well done Argentina! Here in New Zealand's Capital City (Wellington) we had similar sucess right in the CBD... it's all about taking astronomy to the streets!

Here in Wellington on the 24th, from 7pm -11:30pm; countless folk walked past, or stopped their cars on the main street, got out, walk over and view both the Moon and Jupiter through am "armada" of locally owned telescopes, for NO COST! What a great way to honour Galileo, what a great freebie for the Kiwi public (and a few dozen tourists included). Astronomy crosses so many cultural barriers... astronomers (professional AND amateur) just love sharing their passion for the night sky.

Galileo would have been proud to learn that worldwide, there are countless astrronomers-of-the-future inspired by such public events, eager to take up the "torch", and further his immortal work. After 400 long years, Astronomy's "founding ancestor" is being appropriately commemorated via IYA. Astronomy continues (through international collaborations) to bring humankind closer together, unite nations and cultures. Let's have more such united international events!

Graham Wolf (New Zealand)

You must be logged in to post a comment.

You must be logged in to post a comment.