The study of distant galaxies, the invention of new technologies, and the continuous promotion of astro-tourism are the main goals of the Astronomical Observatory of Panamá, which was inaugurated this past May in Penonomé, province of Coclé. Rodney Delgado, the first Panamanian astrophysicist and director of our first and only Astronomical Observatory, states that it is in these sites where the technology of the future is developed. As an example, he highlights the fact that it was in these types of observatories, in the 1980’s, where the SD memory cards were developed, which are now used in cameras and other devices. In the case of this recently-opened observatory, Delgado also points out that astronomical observation would become a new tourism alternative in Panama, as Panama is a regional tourism development site, in which the Province of Coclé is latent. It would be really interesting to intensely promote astro-tourism, as there are thousands of people, around the world, interested in visiting special places to watch the stars and universe.
Delgado points out that the study of the universe is one of the primordial tasks in this investigation center; and even though the results of the first studies could take approximately five years, the observation of galaxies is among his first projects. According to astrophysicist Delgado, the most distant galaxies, studied by man, first beamed their light within 5 billion to 8 billion years ago. However, there is still much more to discover about the universe such as how the galaxies came into existence. One of the biggest challenges for today’s astrophysics is to comprehend how distant galaxies evolved to create the sequence captured by the Hubble space telescope. The study of this sequence is among the projects that will be continually researched at the National Astronomical Observatory. This is a subject that scientists have been investigating for several years. Delgado has participated in these studies with a working group, in which scientists from different countries have also collaborated.
The Astronomical Observatory of Panama, located in Llano Marín de Penonomé, was inaugurated with the motto “The Universe is immense” and will surely perform many scientific studies and discoveries. They are currently studying and observing the sky to disclose their findings. The study of the universe is becoming more important due to the effect the stars have had on earth and as a way to comprehend more about the origin of the universe. The astronomical observatory has been designed with an exclusive exhibition room that includes liquid crystal displays, projectors, and banners, which are used to discuss and teach about astronomy to its visitors.
After the observatory’s opening, there have been agreements with the Paris National Observatory and the National Secretariat of Science and Technology to educate students and young adults, from colleges and universities, interested in learning or knowing more about astronomy and astrophysics. The observatory administration is currently training a group of students from the Technological University of Panama to collaborate on various projects.
Fuente: Diario La Prensa