Send Solar Glasses to Argentina

by Astronomers Without Borders
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  • This campaign successfully raised
    $771 with 28 backers
    on February 16, 2017
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An annular solar eclipse will be gracing the skies of Patagonia in southern Argentina Feb. 26. Help kids safely view this spectacular event!

  Outreach, Astronomy

The moon will once again cross the face of the sun on February 26, 2017. This time the residents of South America will be the lucky ones to see this event.

Astronomers Without Borders would like to send 2000 glasses to two cities in Argentina, Terlew and Esquel.

Here is what Pedro Saizar (AWB National Coordinator) says about their event in Terlew: 

"The eclipse event is organized by the Centro Astronomico de Trelew
(Trelew Astronomical Center). The CAT is owned by the Municipality of Trelewand managed by the "Fundacion Amigos de la Astronomía" (FAA), under an agreement signed last year with the Municipality of Trelew.

FAA is a non-profit organization formed in 2012 by a group of local amateur astronomers interested in expanding the hobby and the interest of this science in the local community. The Foundation's President is Dr. Vito Saraniti, a Medical Doctor especialized in Image Diagnostics.

A home-made rear projection solar viewer used to view an earlier partial solar eclipse.

I am an astronomer (PhD from Ohio State University), and a teacher of Physics at the local teacher training college (I teach future teachers). Besides teaching, I have had an extensive experience in science outreach (for example, I was the outreach specialist at the Museum of Paleontology Egidio Feruglio for about 10 years).

Thus, I am a science reference and collaborator for FAA. At the Astronomy Center, I offer talks, astronomy classes, science cafes, and also participate in observing events.

Where will the glasses go?

As schools are on summer holiday, the glasses will be lent to visitors during  the eclipse event. Most of the glasses we receive will come with us  to the town of Camarones which is the only town in the band of maximum visibility (obscuration of 97.5%). We expect many parents and their children  to come and watch the eclipse from neighboring cities.

Our goal is to encourage grown-ups to use the telescopes or watch the
projection screen, and leave the glasses for the children. The remaining glasses will remain in Trelew. A group of volunteeers will
also receive visitors at the Astronomy Center. In Trelew obscuration will be about 93%.

In both towns, people will be encouraged to leave the glasses with us,if they wish, and we will donate them to public schools in Trelew and Camarones (provided they are in good condition). Teachers at thoseschools will receive training to handle them properly.

The eclipse event will actually last 3 days. The Astronomy Center will also offer talks and other activities on the theme of eclipses. This will be on Friday 24th  and Saturday 25th.

Admission will be free to all activities, including eclipse viewing, both in Trelew and Camarones."

Nestor Camino will be heading a seperate Eclipse event in Esquel similar to that of Pedro's. He's developed a manual that explains eclipses and the annular one that will be occuring on Feruary 26. 

"I'm director of Complejo Plaza del Cielo, in Esquel, working in the Teaching of Astronomy since 1986, with planetarium, lectures to the general public, schools projects, research, etc. For the plan for the coming eclipse, please access to our web site, many professional and amateur astronomers will be here, interacting with children, teachers and the general public. It will be a huge meeting. And the observation of annular eclipse in Facundo will be a very important event in that small city."

  Budget Breakdown

1000 glasses for Trelew @ $1 per pair of  glasses
1000 glasses for Esquel @ $1 per pair of glasses

Cost per pair includes cost of glasses, shipping, staff time, Fiat Physica fees, credit card fees.

  Risks and Challenges

The campaign is flexible funding, so if we do not reach our goal, we can still provide as many glasses as possible to the students. The more funding we get the more children we can provide with glasses.


Send Solar Glasses to Argentina

An annular solar eclipse will be gracing the skies of Patagonia in southern Argentina Feb. 26. Help kids safely view this spectacular event!