LCO launches its new astronomical outreach series

“Navegantes del Cielo Austral” is published on the observatory’s Youtube channel and explains about astronomy in a close and playful way. It also has interpretation in Chilean sign language and subtitles in Spanish and English.

Astronomy is a science that is constantly evolving. Scientists all over the world are vehemently investigating to solve many of the questions that have troubled mankind since ancient times, many of them related to the origin of life and the Universe.

All this new knowledge in each of the different topics that make up astronomy, are told in the new astronomical outreach series of Las Campanas Observatory (LCO) of the Carnegie Institution for Science, called “Navigators of the Southern Sky”. The series uses language that is close and far from specialized terminology, with the objective of bringing this science closer to the general public.

The name “Navigators of the Southern Sky” refers to LCO’s location high in the Atacama Desert in Chile, a perfect location to conduct scientific research and observe the center of the Milky Way and the Magellanic Clouds, galaxies that are satellites of our own.

This series was premiered on April 12, 2021 on the Youtube channel “Las Campanas Observatory”. The premiere was part of the programming of the last version of the Puerto de Ideas Antofagasta Science Festival, held entirely online.

The first chapter of “Navigators of the Southern Sky” is about “Planets and Exoplanets”. In it, everything that astronomers currently know about the formation of these objects, both in our Solar System and outside it, is told, and the projects that the Carnegie Institution for Science is developing to investigate more on this topic are made known. 

“At LCO/Carnegie we believe that conveying scientific topics, in this case astronomical topics, to the general public is very important and it is the responsibility of the experts to do so. In the series, we place special emphasis on topics that are investigated with our telescopes. For this, we take the time to talk to the researchers so that they can tell us the importance of their studies and we transmit this information in a language suitable for the general public”, emphasizes Leopoldo Infante, director of Las Campanas Observatory. “I believe that the series not only fulfills the role of science dissemination, but also positions the contribution of our institution to the global and national astronomical work,” he adds.

“Planets and Exoplanets”, like the following installments of the series, is presented by Carol Rojas, astronomer in charge of communications and outreach activities at Las Campanas Observatory.

The series has English and Spanish subtitles and includes interpretation in Chilean sign language, just like the latest productions that the Observatory has made for its Youtube channel. With this, LCO seeks to make astronomy a science for all, eliminating certain barriers that limit the dissemination of scientific knowledge. One of the allies of Las Campanas Observatory in this purpose is the Chilean Society of Astronomy (SOCHIAS), which supports sign language interpretation through its project “Breaking the barriers”.

Inclusion in science is a key issue for LCO/Carnegie. “We strive to bring astronomy to people with disabilities, both visual and hearing. In the series we have included Chilean sign language and English subtitled translation in order to broaden as much as possible the dissemination of astronomical work at the observatory,” emphasizes Infante.

“Navegantes del Cielo Austral” is a unique series in its kind, since there is not enough content of this type in Spanish, and it joins the other audiovisual productions of Las Campanas Observatory, available on its Youtube channel. Each chapter lasts, on average, 10 minutes and is published monthly on the same channel.

Before each premiere, the Las Campanas Observatory’s broadcasting team conducts a conversation with viewers through the Youtube chat to answer all their questions. 


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