ALMA develops new radio astronomy manual for teachers

ALMA develops new radio astronomy manual for teachers

1 August, 2014 / Read time: 3 minutes

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With the participation of more than 50 teachers in a free workshop held in Santiago in conjunction with Explora CONICYT, the ALMA Observatory presented its new Radio Astronomy Manual aimed at helping teachers explain basic concepts of astronomy and radio astronomy to their students.

What were the first radio telescopes like? How do we receive waves from the origins of the Universe? How do the waves help us understand the formation of stars and planets? How are radio images formed if they are invisible to the human eye? The answers to these questions are provided by the ALMA Radio Astronomy Manual, which includes a series of practical activities for teachers to implement in the classroom.

"The workshop was very understandable for those who don't know much about astronomy but have always liked the subject," said Viviana Cruz, a teacher from San José de Maipo. Cruz said she is planning to form an astronomy club at her school to take advantage of the clear skies in San José, which is a natural laboratory for learning about astronomy.

140801_ALMA_workshop_02Credit: Darío Cuéllar, Explora RM Norte de CONICYT

The workshops, held on Thursday, July 31 at Arturo Prat University, were led by ALMA astronomer José Gallardo and attended by elementary, middle and high school teachers from the Santiago Metropolitan, Valparaíso and O'Higgins regions.

"This is very good preparation for those of us who have questions about the Universe, so we can share the knowledge with our students and we can all learn to look at the skies," said Jaime Moraga, a teacher from Puente Alto.

"Chile is full of observatories but Chileans still know very little about astronomy. This manual is a fantastic way to work in schools with teachers," said Valeria Foncea, ALMA's head of education and public outreach.

A PDF of the manual can be downloaded from the ALMA web site, which also has a link to the new site for children.

140801_ALMA_workshop_04bCredit: Darío Cuéllar, Explora RM Norte de CONICYT

More Information

ALMA, an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA construction and operations are led on behalf of Europe by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), on behalf of North America by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), and on behalf of East Asia by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA.


Valeria Foncea
Education and Public Outreach Officer
Joint ALMA Observatory
Santiago, Chile
Tel: +56 2 467 6258
Cell: +56 9 75871963