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Bajo un Mismo Cielo (Under the Same Sky) Part 1 - GalileoMobile documentary

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Astronomy is the science dedicated to the study of celestial bodies and all related phenomena. Throughout history the sky has drawn the attention of every civilization, thus connecting the observation of stars to many aspects of everyday life. Astronomy In ancient times, the first sky observations were used to measure time and for orientation. When humans began to grow crops, it became necessary to determine the best moment to cultivate the land. For this purpose, people started to connect changes in the weather to the position of the Sun in the sky. This was the foundation of spherical astronomy. One of the many contributions from the Mesopotamia region was the invention of the sexagesimal numerical system, used to divide time into hours, minutes and seconds. With their contributions, these civilizations laid the foundations for all later advances in western astronomy. It is known that astronomical advances in China took place long before western astronomy existed, having a completely independent development. There we find the first documented observations of a solar eclipse, a comet, and a supernova explosion. In ancient Egypt, the position of stars in the sky was used to aid in the construction and orientation of the pyramids. Their most important god was represented by the Sun, whose journey in the sky during day and night symbolized the journey of the Pharaoh through life and death. In South America, the Tiahuanacu people registered many constellations with shapes of animals or other important figures from everyday life. The “Chacana” was the most important constellation of the andean sky, serving as a guide for the Altiplano (the high plateau of the Andes) traveller and marking different agricultural seasons throughout the year with its position in the sky. In Alexandria, an astronomer called Ptolemy used already existing catalogues to create “The Almagest” (“The Great Compilation”), one of the most important works of ancient astronomy. There he registered forty eight constellations, whose names are still used in western cultures. In America, the Mayas calculated precisely the periods of the Sun and the Moon, as well as some stars such as the Pleiades, from which they thought their culture had originated from. They developed cyclic calendars with the distinctive feature that, once they ended, the counting would start over again. Several centuries later the Incas in South America also worshiped the Sun, whom they called “Inti”. To identify constellations people used the dark spots in the sky, where they saw figures of great symbolic meaning. In the year 1609, the astronomer Galileo Galilei constructed a telescope which he used to observe the sky in a way that had never been possible before. With it he studied the different phases of the Moon, discovering that it was an imperfect body contrary to common believe at the time. He observed Jupiter's moons and discovered that Venus has phases like the ones seen for the Moon. He also showed that Earth and the other planets orbit around the Sun. This was the beginning of what is now called Modern Astronomy, where experimentation forms the basis of research. Under the same sky - Cabin crew prepare for landing. In 2009 the world celebrated the International Year of Astronomy to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Galileo Galilei building his telescope to observe the stars. Inspired by his work, many people have worked bringing astronomy to each and every corner of the world. This is the story of one of these initiatives. - Here, posters. - We took the posters out already. - Is there another bag there? Thank you very much. Thank you for being here. Thank you for receiving us with such enthusiasm. I would also like to present our project, called GalileoMobile. My name is Eva and I come from Greece. We have come here from Germany, to teach and to learn. Everything stems from our love for astronomy and the sky. We have planned, with the two cars you have seen outside, to make a circle, starting from Antofagasta, going through the north of Chile, passing through Bolivia, Peru and ending up again in Antofagasta. During this journey we are going to visit many schools, just like this one, to talk about astronomy and exchange our ideas and visions about the cosmos. - Do you recognize this place? - Yes. - This place, this school where we stand tonight is going to be the start of our journey, a journey with our imagination to the Moon, the Sun and the stars; from the planets, towards distant galaxies and even further. This is a model of our planet, right? Is there something you notice when I show you this? It is very different from this political map. - Can you distinguish countries here? - No. You cannot distinguish countries on the planet because the borders which appear on the map do not belong to Earth, they are nothing but inventions of human beings. They are artificial borders, and this is how our planet really looks. And now let me ask you a question: What is the difference between this, I mean, this image, and the following one? - This picture has been taken from the Moon and the other one by satellites orbiting around Earth. Very well, so, we are looking at Earth here, right? I found the talk very interesting, I liked the last video they showed the most because it was as if one could actually travel into space with one's imagination, to me it felt like being aboard a spacecraft. - I did not know there were two types of galaxies, such as the ellipticals and the spirals. This is what I did not know, and now I do. I like to observe the Moon because I find a beauty in it unlike anything else. I am very passionate about space. - If you observe a constellation you can see many things, many things in a constellation, such as.. smaller stars, larger stars, different types of stars, different colors of stars and things like that. - What always attracted me the most about this project was not the trip, nor the landscape; it was not to teach anything to anyone, it was to create... well, not even create, but to stimulate the mind a bit further, perhaps the critical capacity to acknowledge what surrounds you, in the children. The only thing I cared about was that the children would look at something and ask themselves “why”. The answer I am sure I cannot provide, but I would like that children look at the sky and say “why are the stars there?”, or at the rainbow and ask “how is it formed?”, or look at a plant and say “why is it green?” The subject, astronomy, in a way can help them looking at the world in this way because it is very impressive, because we all see the stars, because the sky is something that unites us all. It is true, we have all seen the stars, it does not matter if in the northern or southern hemisphere, they have made us all wonder why are they there. - This galaxy here, what type of galaxy is it? - Spiral. - And why is it a spiral? It looks like a.. - Snail. - Does it look like a snail? Yes, it does. - So this is a spiral galaxy and this one, for example, this galaxy up here? - What does it look like? - An ellipse. Exactly, it looks like an ellipse! Because if you look closely it is almost round. And these are all different galaxies that exist in the Universe. - This one here, what is it? - Elliptical. - Elliptical.. And this one here? - A spiral. - This is a spiral, and this one here? - This project is itinerant, not only in that it follows a road track, but also because the people participating in it are changing. Some arrive, some leave. - The traveling team is composed of ten people during the whole journey. >From these ten people, three are the filming crew, two are the drivers and five are GalileoMobile members. These people are changing, only two of them are traveling the full two months and others just travel for some weeks depending on their available time. For example, I am leaving now, I will still be working on the project but not on the field, so to speak. There are other people coming to take our place. But of course, the people who are going back will be involved in this project for at least another year. - Hello! - We need... - Wait, wait - What do we need? - You two do the opening talk, I will stay here to help. - The “astronomy window” is a frame, so to speak, where we place some posters with information about our activities and also about astronomy in general, and which we use to explain astronomical concepts to the children. At the beginning we will give the opening talk and then we are going to explain briefly what we have here in the astronomy window. Also if the Sun is shining we are going to mount the telescopes outside and observe it. We have also been given two rooms for activities. We are going to separate the children into two groups and try to do the activities simultaneously in these two rooms. - First, for example, I want you to pass this filter around and look through it, but careful, not at the Sun! Only look around you. - And, what happens? - And tell me what happens - Here is the Sun, and this is Mercury, Very small, right? Very very small. What you are seeing here is the outer layer of the Sun. - How do you see the world through the blue window? - Everything is blue. - Everything is blue, right? - And through the red window? - Everything is red. - Everything is red! - Do you know this character here? - Do you know him? Who is he? - This character... - We have him both in the picture and live. - Do you know who I am? - No. - Come on, he's getting sad, introduce him! - He is a famous scientist, the most famous astronomer of all. Four hundred years ago, this boy (laughter), for the first time used a telescope to observe the sky, and he discovered many things. For the first time he realized that, for example, planets orbit around the Sun, and that planets have moons. He was a great thinker. - His name, please! - His name is... - What is his name? - His name is... - Ga-li-leo... - Ga-li-leo... - Mobile!! (Reading the T-shirt) - No! - GALILEO GALILEI!!! - Galileo Galilei. - He was italian. - All of a sudden our teacher told us, "you have to go to the auditorium because they are going to tell you about the solar system". They told us about astronomy, that is what they told us. We pretended that I was Mercury, and my friends were the Sun, Mercury, Neptune and the rest of the planets. They also told us about that planet.. the.. the last planet, the one that was eliminated because it was very small and the Sun was too big. - I took part in the activity where we formed the Solar System family, and we counted how many steps it contains... One starts counting five steps, eight steps, and then one hundred and two hundred steps. So, this is the activity I took part in. This small town is important because of its museum, because of the stories of the Incas, and also the Spaniards who invaded Tiahuanacu. Since the beginning I was convinced that the same project could take place in any other part of the world. but, why finally South America? I think there is a very important reason for this, besides from our own personal connection with South America. The reason is the andean tradition in astronomy, the cultural heritage here and how people relate to the sky. We are talking about the Altiplano, a place where, during the dry season, it has the clearest sky in the world. We are on a high plateau on the Andes mountains, between 3000 and 5000 meters above sea level. Here people have traditions, from their ancestors, the Tiahuanacu, other cultures, the Incas, that we know much better. All these cultures related to the sky, to the Sun, to the constellations because of agriculture and ceremonial purposes, but these traditions stay with people, the elders mostly. What remains subconsciously is a way to perceive the cosmos, a way of looking at the Universe and think of life within it. It has the stars, it has nature... These people have a connection to nature which is much stronger than ours. 245 00:2:31,275 --> 00:22:34,575 - So, as I was saying, our people also had their own astronomical knowledge. As did the people in Europe and elsewhere, they knew the stars, they were familiar with a series of astronomical phenomena; our people also had their own knowledge, for example, they had their own constellations, and the constellations of every ethnicity are related to the animals they know, the things they use, their gods, which are different in different cultures. Here, for example, we are going to watch the winter sky, which is the sky we can see at this time of the year in the southern hemisphere. It is a very interesting system, this relation between astronomy, nature and the andean world, because people here always talk about the “Pachamama”, the Mother Earth, and the “Alajpacha”, what is high above, that is, it is very important to them. The world above is where the stars are, where the Sun and the Moon move, and the world below, “Manquapacha” so you see, this relation for them is very natural. It is important because these constellations of the andean world, the andean constellations, as I call them, are natural indicators for different tasks. For example, for agricultural activities there are certain constellations that, according to their appearance during the year, people know which type of work needs to be done, especially the wise men, the “Amautas” and the “Yatiris”, who are constantly observing. And they know, for example, when the time for sowing is approaching, and they start to observe certain stars which will tell them when exactly they have to sow. Depending on the brightness and the position of these stars they know that the sowing season has started. The same thing happens for the harvest, which is indicated by the position of the Southern Cross, which they call “Chacana”. When they see it is about to reach its highest point, perfectly perpendicular, they know that the harvesting season has started. If they do it later, then the cold and frost could catch up with the harvest.

Video Details

Duration: 24 minutes and 30 seconds
Country: Germany
Language: English
Producer: GalileoMobile
Views: 152
Posted by: galileomobile on Feb 26, 2014

Bajo un Mismo Cielo (Under the Same Sky) Part 1 - GalileoMobile documentary

Link to full documentary -

Bajo un mismo cielo (Under the same sky) tells the story of GalileoMobile's expedition to Chile, Bolivia and Peru during the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009). On a road trip that lasted two months and travelled over seven thousand kilometers, GalileoMobile visited schools and communities to perform science activities and organise astronomical observations.

Learn more about the GalileoMobile project:

This documentary has been produced for educational purposes and it has no commercial value.

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