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AIRA's outreach team at Bucharest Science Festival & European Researchers' Night

The outreach team of the Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy (AIRA) recently participated to Bucharest Science Festival and to the European Researchers' Night educational events which took place in Bucharest and Măgurele.

Aiming to promote science education and astronomy knowledge for the general public, our Institute welcomed visitors inside AIRA's scientific and educational park, during Bucharest Science Festival 2022. The newest attraction of this edition at AIRA was the virtual trip to Pluto from the Equatorial Dome, a construction which is the home of the largest refractory telescope in Romania. Here, AIRA’s astronomy historian Sorin Marin, told visitors the story of our Prin-Merz telescope and its contribution in taking some of the first pictures of the dwarf planet Pluto ever made in the whole world. Walking on the astronomical footsteps of Clyde Tombaugh, the famous US astronomer who discovered Pluto, and of NASA's extraordinary New Horizons mission, the visitors could admire through a Full HD projection some of the best real pictures of this celestial body. Totally engulfed by Pluto’s blue halo as photographed by the electronic eyes of New Horizons back in 2015, the public of the Equatorial Dome had the chance to make a comparison between the pictures of Pluto as taken from the Earth and the fantastic images obtained from its proximity due to the success of the New Horizons mission.

Bucharest Science Festival 2022 at the Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy also involved a visit inside the Sun Dome where the tour guides were our scientific researchers, Dr. Liliana Dumitru and Tavi Blagoi. The three Zeiss solar refractory telescopes of this dome were in use during the visits so the public could see the workflow and routine of the Romanian astronomers to scientifically monitor from Bucharest the spectacular activity of our near-by star, the Sun.

During the guided tours, our public had the chance to visit the Meridian Hall’s astronomy exhibition, and also to learn about the impressive historical legacy of the Bosianu House.

For the next two days following the Bucharest Science Festival 2022 event, AIRA's astronomy promoters moved to down-town Bucharest and to Măgurele city square in order to participate to another science fair, the European Researchers' Night 2022. There, our educational stand and telescopes gathered large crowds of people for almost 8 hours every day of the event, with long queues, enthusiasm and patience, for each person to have a glimpse to the filtered flares of our Sun, to Jupiter or to almost orbit over the craters and slopes of the Moon. For this event, the Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy had a team of 8 promoters of science and astronomy. Tavi Blagoi, Dr. Liliana Dumitru and Dr. Dumitru Pricopi were the telescopes masters and Solar System explorers together with the gathered public, while other members of our scientific staff - Dr. Dan Alin Nedelcu, Dr. Diana Ionescu, Dr. Ioana Boacă, Mădălina Trelia and Sorin Marin, organized science experiments and debates at the AIRA stand and gave interviews to the press. During all three days of the events the weather was perfect and several celestial bodies of our Solar System were observed through our telescopes.

Published on: Oct 04, 2022

The outreach team of AIRA at Bucharest Science Festival & European Researchers' Night, 2022

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