12 years ago, the Geophysical Institute of Peru (IGP) has been imparting knowledge of the universe through the Peruvian-Japanese National Planetarium «Mutsumi Ishitsuka». Through 2 hours, more than 126 thousand visitors, including schoolchildren, university students, fans, and the general public, learn about what happens outside of Earth.
“The IGP Planetarium is a cultural milestone that was achieved thanks to the efforts of two countries: Peru that put the infrastructure of the building and the government of Japan that contributed with the donation of equipment. Likewise, the contribution of other institutions was added to make this project a reality,», said Adita Quispe, coordinator of the IGP Planetarium through a Facebook Live transmission organized by the SPACE group. This is made up of professional astronomers and students from the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos.
Curiosity about the unknown
As Quispe mentioned, the Planetarium has had the support of JICA, the International Cooperation Agency, and its volunteers who since 2011 have actively worked to provide excellent methods to encourage the smallest, young people and the general public.
Thanks to the different methodologies, the 3D Mobile planetarium emerged, and now it allows students of different educational levels to access the knowledge taught in this science venue.
After 5 years of the inauguration, the Planetarium has managed to baptize an asteroid between the planets, Mars and Jupiter, as Qoyllurwasi, which translates from Quechua as «house of the stars».
Despite the importance of imparting educational knowledge of this type to Peruvians, the coordinator of the IGP Planetarium recalled how, with a small budget, they managed to obtain a great reception from the public last year in celebration of International Astrology Day.
«Despite not having financial funds, expectations were exceeded in terms of visits and dissemination in the media», said Adita Quispe.
Unfortunately, the pandemic has forced many public places to close their doors and take different measures to safeguard their visitors. The case of the Planetarium is no exception, so all the necessary measures are being taken to reopen its doors and continue educating in a very interesting subject such as astronomy.
«The IGP Planetarium is made up of a small group of people who are very enthusiastic about reopening their doors, after the pandemic passes, to resume their activities and continue offering astronomical science«, Quispe concluded.