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Historical Telescopes and Astronomy Outreach

  • Patrícia Figueiró Spinelli (a1) and Alice Ribeiro (a1)

Abstract

The Night-Sky Observation Program (POC, acronym in Portuguese for Programa de Observação do Céu) is the most traditional education activity run by the Museum of Astronomy and Related Sciences (MAST), located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The activity starts with a brief talk about the astronomical objects available for visibility and is followed by the sky observation with MAST’s telescopes, one of them being over a century old. A study conducted in 2015 pointed out that its participants perceive the historical value of the old refractor and declare that the activity brings them feelings of wonderment. These perceptions and declarations have motivated us to conduct a new study to identify and exchange experiences with institutions worldwide that also use historically valuable telescopes in their night-sky observation activities with the public. With the goal of gathering information from these institutions and making it into a guide, an online survey with open and close-ended questions was launched in late 2017. Nearly eighty institutions from all continents answered our questionnaire. The data collected are vast and rich and not only tell about the passion of those mediating such activities, but also the history of astronomy itself.

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References

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Costa, A. 2009, Museu de ciência: instrumentos científicos do passado para a educação em ciências hoje. Dissertation, Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro
Bassallo, T. 2016, Ver o universo é uma coisa única– o Programa de Observação do Céu segundo os visitantes do Museu de Astronomi a e Ciências Afins. Dissertation, Casa Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz, Museu da Vida
Spinelli, P.F., Bassallo, T., Mano, S., Ribeiro, A. 2018, What does the general public expect from a night-sky observation?. Proceedings of International Symposium on Education in Astronomy and Astrobiology. University of Utrecht, submitted
Mann, P.R. 1989, Working Exhibits and Destruction Evidence in the Science Museum. The International Journal of Museum Management and Curatorship, 8, 369387
Brulon, B. 2015, Os Objetos de Museu, entre a Classificação e o Devir. In: Inf. e Soc.: Est., João Pessoa, v. 25, n. 1, p. 25–37, jan./abr.
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Historical Telescopes and Astronomy Outreach

  • Patrícia Figueiró Spinelli (a1) and Alice Ribeiro (a1)

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