We all share the fascination for looking at the sky and wondering about its stars, planets and galaxies, so it is great news that the Night of the Stars 2022 return in person. It is the largest astronomical festival at the national level and in Latin America that is organized by the Institute of Astronomy (IA) of the UNAM since 2009, supported by various institutions, and this year the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, and the Ministry of Culture of Mexico City are also integrated.
The event that will take place next Saturday, December 3 and will host the capital’s Zócalo iron for the second time, magnificent news after two years of absence in person.
José Franco, national coordinator of The Night of the Stars, recalled that the first party dedicated to this area of science was held at this same venue in 2009, within the framework of the International Year of Astronomy; Since then it has spread to other Latin American countries, replicating in 48 locations outside of Mexico, and China has even recently joined.
Previous editions have brought together more than three million attendees and in the pandemic 640,000 people attended virtually. For this year, an attendance of 50,000 visitors is estimated at the main venue, but there will be another 90 distributed throughout the country.
For his part, José de Jesús González, director of the IA, said that the event will have 60 thematic tents, three planetariums and two giant stages for keynote speeches. There will also be workshops, exhibitions, demonstrations, informal talks, board games with scientific themes, among other activities, aimed at families, girls and boys with special programs for older adults and people with hearing and visual disabilities; “adaptations have been made to explain the celestial bodies to blind people”, for example.
The closing of the event is expected with a massive observation of the night sky with the support of more than 500 volunteer amateur telescopes, “we hope to break a record for more eyes viewing the sky in the same night.” The goal is to reach 600 and registration is still open on the IA portal.
He explained that that day it will be possible to observe the craters of the Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Saturnthe orion nebula and the twin galaxy M33.
“It seeks to inspire scientific vocations. Let us remember that the basis of the true power of a country is the knowledge that is based on basic science, applied with technology, transmitted through education and with the training of new cadres, for that science is the support of development”.
Dedicated to Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development
This year’s theme for the Night of the Stars will be Science, as a support for development, this to celebrate the International Year of Basic Science for Sustainable Development.
2022 was named that way by the United Nations (UN) in order to raise awareness and above all to convince the entire population that basic sciences give us the possibility of a better understanding of nature and society with its consequent evolution over time depending on the actions that are carried out. .
At a time when we hear more and more about the scarcity of resources such as water and energy, the concept of “sustainable development” becomes the basis of our future as humanity. This concept is nothing new, it already has a long history and speaks of the planet and humans evolving in a balanced, inclusive manner, in such a way that this lasts over time, that is, in such a way that we do not run out of resources that we have today and leave nothing to future generations.
For this to happen, the development of the basic sciences It is a necessary condition without which we would not be able to solve the problems that are presented to us today, much less those that will arise in the future when resources are scarce.
much to celebrate
In addition, in this 2022 there are also a large number of anniversaries of astronomical events or space exploration to remember, as well as important births in the area. For example, 200 years ago the chemist was born louis pasteur who developed the theory that infectious diseases were caused by germs, with which they could be combated and who also refuted the theory of the spontaneous generation of life.
175 years ago the famous inventor Thomas Alva Edison was also born who, although he is recognized for the invention of the light bulb, was the inventor of many other things. On the other hand, the British astronomer Williamina Fleming was born 165 years ago. Although she did not have formal training as an astronomer, she came to catalog more than 10,000 stars and discover nebulae, white dwarf stars, and novae; her in 1906 she was the sixth woman elected as an honorary member of the Royal Astronomical Society. Another tribute will be to the physicist and chemist Marie Curie, who was born on November 7, 155 years ago. She is the only woman to receive two Nobel Prizes in different areas and will be widely remembered in the contents of the Night of the Stars.
Other events to celebrate are the 160th anniversary of the discovery of the white dwarf Sirius B, the 30th anniversary of the discovery of the first exoplanet called PSR B1257+12 B, the 75th anniversary of the first photograph taken from space, the 60th anniversary of the first transmission by TV also from space and the 385th anniversary of the publication of René Descartes’ Discourse on the Method, which became a fundamental work for the development of science and philosophy.
The Night of the Stars is organized by the Mexican Academy of Sciences (AMC), the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), the Institute of Astronomy of UNAM (IA), the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN), the National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics (INAOE), the Mexican Association of Planetariums (AMPAC), the Mexican Space Agency (AEM) and the Astronomical Societies of the Night of the Stars (SANDE).
- Where: Capital Zócalo, Historic Center, CDMX. Transportation: Metro Zócalo
- When: December 3, 2022, from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
- Free entry
There will also be activities in more than 90 places throughout the country. Find your nearest office and check the detailed program at: https://www.nochedelasestrellas.org.mx/.