Written by Agustín Casa
It is celebrated on October 24 every year in Argentina National Astronomy Day. This date commemorates the creation of The Argentine National Observatory in Cordoba in 1871. The observatory was built during the presidency of Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, through the administration of the Minister of Justice and Public Education, Nicolás Avellaneda.
“Benjamin Gould, a very famous American astronomer, was appointed to direct the observatory and the first scientific developments made there, among them the first star catalogue, which was called Argentine uranium measurement“Which paid off after only about seven years,” he says back up Eduardo Fernandez Lajos, Doctor of Astronomy, researcher at CONICET and professor at the National University of La Plata.
Fernandez Lagos It highlights that 10 years after the founding of the observatory in Cordoba, the La Plata Observatory was created, with the participation of famous foreign astronomers with the aim of placing these places among the most important places in the world.
“Sarmiento’s philosophy in establishing astronomy in Argentina was related to the concept that science is part of any country that prides itself on being a First World country. Every modern country must have good education and, of course, scientific development, two things that go hand in hand.
Regarding the celebration of October 24, Fernandez Lajos highlights that it is important to “remember the date that began the development of astronomy research in Argentina.”
Interest in astronomy in Mar del Plata
According to the amateur astronomer Leo Malaga, Astronomy arouses great interest not only at the national level, but also at the world level It is believed that this is due to people’s curiosity.
Malaga, one of the administrators of the Facebook page Astronomical observation Mar del Plata, He says the community shows interest when announcing astronomical phenomena that will appear in the city and its surrounding areas.
“Interest in Mar del Plata is very broad. We notice this on the page when we make a post about a phenomenon that will be visible, whether it is an eclipse or a visualization of the passage of the space station. It arouses a lot of curiosity in people, who are very willing to come out and look when you tell them that at a certain moment, on a certain day, or on such a night, something like this will happen. “People immediately want to know more, know more about the topic and know which places in the city they will see this phenomenon best, where to go, and at what time to go,” Malaga explains.
The amateur astronomer confirms this date “It’s a beautiful opportunity to bring people closer to astronomy.” He believes that although various activities are held in state observatories and planetariums, in addition to activities organized by amateur groups, “history is being lost.” He adds: “With my admission of guilt, awareness groups must also face a more difficult task in this regard.”
The value of astronomy in Argentina
In the field of scientific research in the field of astronomy, Fernandez Layos confirms that research is being carried out at the highest level in our country. “Argentine scientists compete at the global level and work in constant collaboration with researchers from all over the world, from top-level institutes.”Confirms.
At the same time, he points out that “the value of scientific research, not only astronomy, but any science, is in itself the value of knowledge.” The value of knowledge is what allows human beings to grow intellectually, and along with intellectual growth come improvements in their living habits, in technology, etc., which are all developments in basic science. In astronomy we know that there are many examples from which technological progress and knowledge emerge that affect daily life. Therefore, the value of professional activity is very important.
Planetarium construction project in Mar del Plata
In parallel, it highlights the role of amateur astronomers and those who come into contact with astronomy. “It is a very valuable activity. In Mar del Plata there are many private companies. Hand in hand with that comes our proposal to do it Mar del Plata Planetariumwith the idea that this activity of disseminating astronomy and related sciences is institutionalized, approved and regulated by specialists and researchers in order to ensure the quality of what is published, as well as ensuring that the entire community has access to this type of knowledge.“, admits Fernández Lajos.
Unlike an astronomical observatory, where stars and astronomical phenomena are observed directly with specific instruments, a planetarium is a cultural space with educational purposes geared toward communicating science.
“Planetarium He points out, “It is an exhibition hall specialized in astronomical projections, for projections for publishing or cultural purposes, meaning that the planetarium has specific educational functions, and the astronomical observatory has specific scientific functions.”
Along these lines, the astronomer and researcher explains, “The planetarium is not only for spreading knowledge, but it is also linked to the arts, to culture in general, and to enjoyment, so we believe it is a good initiative for our society.” The city of Mar del Plata.”
“This also drives tourism. It is another attraction, an important architectural development for the city. It is as iconic as the major cities in the world. There are many values that come with a planetarium, and that is why we are very committed to trying to move this project forward,” he concludes. .