Watching the Stars in Costa Rica

    Along with the Foundation of the National Center for Science and Technology

    Since the beginning of time, the human being has always been amazed by the mysteries of the immensity of the firmament. That celestial vault that every night becomes an ocean full of tiny twinkling white spots, from the origin of humanity, inspired our species to conceive myths and legends, a belief that the sky reflected the history of the gods, heroes and wise. The sky, through which the sun navigates every day and in which every night the stars are awakened, has been the object of man’s fascination since always, today he continues to awaken the same passion.

    In Costa Rica the Foundation of the National Center for Science and Technology (CEINTEC), since 1988 promotes and contributes to the development of a scientific and technological culture, empowering people with equity. Its purpose is to stimulate curiosity; provide the population with basic tools and knowledge to observe, experiment, create models, recognize sources of reliable information, solve problems and develop their own criteria; stimulate them as creative and autonomous individuals, lifelong learners and active members of society.

    This non-profit organization recognized as “of public interest” works tirelessly for the promotion of scientific and technological knowledge for the use and growth of all Costa Ricans and the public in general. CIENTEC promotes the idea that every citizen, men, women, children, and adolescents have the ability to continue learning every day to apply this knowledge to improve the world around us. The organization creates educational support programs so that parents and trainers have interesting and entertaining strategies for the formation of critical thinking and practical knowledge in science and technology, all in a pleasant and productive environment.

    CIENTEC maintains that sciences and mathematics are part of the daily life of every human being, that is why it is so important that in this era of modernity and advances we become aware of that and learn to handle them with ease. The Foundation for the National Center for Science and Technology maintains that in order to face the challenges of the time, culture requires a greater dose of science and this must be promoted by any means, among which scientific journalism, dissemination of information science together with productions and connections between art and science.

    A world-renowned foundation

    Its programs have been recognized in the State of Education and with the Declaration of Educational Interest (MEP 2014). To develop its programs, the organization creates networks and alliances with public and private sector agents, nationally and internationally. CIENTEC is a founding member of the Popularization Network of Science and Technology in Latin America and the Caribbean, POP-UNESCO Network, an organization to promote the social appropriation of science.

    Next February 24th CIENTEC organizes a “Lunada”

    As part of the astronomical activities of the beginning of 2018, CIENTEC organizes a “Lunada” at the Simón Bolívar Zoo on February 24th, in the city of San José. A lunada is a party or outdoor evening gathering that takes place when there is a full moon. The Moon meeting will be a didactic activity where the participants will be able to observe in detail the crescent moon and to know it more thoroughly with the help of professional instructors.

    As part of the astronomical guide, the visible stars will be presented, where the Orion constellation will be the starting point to recognize other neighboring constellations and count myths and legends. The Andromeda galaxy will be searched in the constellation of the same name, hanging from Pegasus and the participants will be able to verify the color of Mars and contrast it with that of the star Aldebaran (alpha) in Taurus.

    Among the activities available in this CIENTEC event you can enjoy a Food Truck with food for sale to satisfy the appetite, musical presentations and guided tours inside the Zoo to know the nocturnal habits of many of the animals, a unique opportunity to get to know the zoo at night!

    Each participant will receive a zodiac card, participate in the LUNARIOS raffle and a T-shirt. You can also buy these CIENTEC products. If you have binoculars, take them and learn to use them to see the craters of the Moon, double stars, nebulae and star clusters. If you do not have some, there will be some to share. To enjoy this activity you only need to bring a flashlight, however, if you have a camera you can take pictures of the moon. Also, if you own it, you can take a telescope and take advantage of the help of the guides to fully enjoy the detailed observation of the stars, learning about the different types of stars, the characteristics of lunar craters, constellations, and planets.

    If you want to know more about CIENTEC visit its website in Spanish where since 1999 the organization projects its efforts internationally receiving more than 7,000 visits per day. This website was recognized and declared of “National Interest” in 2007 by the national Government of Costa Rica. On this page, you can find information about all the activities and projects carried out by the Foundation for the National Center for Science and Technology, as well as all those planned for the future.

    So if you like to observe the sky at night, fantasizing about knowing each of the stars that shine in the sky, imagining what the constellations and nebulae will look like in stories and legends when you were a child, go to the Lunada of the Foundation for the National Center for Science and Technology and enjoy this unforgettable experience at the facilities of the San José Zoo. The activity will start at 5:30 p.m. and conclude at 10 p.m., hours of entertainment and learning thanks to CIENTEC.

    SOURCEOtto Pereda
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