When working on a new product design related to the interpretation of Natural Heritage, we use to think on wildlife. Sometimes we link wildlife and others themes like Cultural Heritage or humanscape, but less often we let those themes be the leitmotiv of the tour. Astronomy, like geology, is one of those themes that we use to consider a resource more than a product, but we should realize that its interest is frequently higher than we think. First, because they are holistic resources, in a sense that everything is related with them. But second, including Astronomy, they are always there waiting for the guide with the ability to vertebrate a Natural Heritage Tour based on the inert side of the environment.
These last days, in the month of February 2013, the approach to the Earth of the asteroid 2012da14, of significant size, has caused admiration and interest in the scientific community and some concern in a society, incidentally, quite secular in science. In contrast we must recognize that the Spanish amateur astronomers community is among the most productive in the world, and the result of this is that mentioned celestial body was discovered in an observatory located in Spain, specifically north of the province Granada (La Puebla de Don Fadrique). Apocalyptic fever began unexpectedly a few hours earlier, with the fall of a meteorite in Russia, which caused extensive damage to a large geographical area of the Urals, and what is worse, hundreds injured due to the blast and breakage of crystals.
The world of volcanoes is definitely exciting. But did you know that the place with the most active volcanism is in another world? The third largest satellite of Jupiter, Io, slightly larger than the Moon, has about 400 active volcanoes. Most surprising is that the origin of this volcanism is anything but conventional. Io orbits Jupiter closer than the other three large moons, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto - the three being called Galilean in honor of its discoverer. The intense volcanic activity is due to the enormous gravitational pull of Jupiter, and also to the interaction with Europa and Ganymede. This is, in effect, "tidal forces" instead of causing low tides and high tides, resulting in tremendous friction in the inner layers of the satellite, which is heated causing volcanic eruptions.
Last Sunday we had the opportunity of performing one of our most original (and loved) ideas. More than one year ago, during a trekking weekend with a group coming from Valencia (East Spain), I offer them to make a night walk with binoculars and try to learn a bit about stars, planets, moons and galaxies. We succeeded in making all of them enjoy our Solar System and the relative movements of its celestial objects. We performed a brief role play, a planetary theatre, with the help of some torches, a tablet pc and a lot of imagination and readiness from them. That was only a test but the result was that a lot of people laughed for all the night while changing a good amount of mistaken pre-concepts about Astronomy.
Apasionado de la ciencia, la fotografía y los viajes. Geólogo de formación y guía de naturaleza por vocación.