The prominent scientist discussed the development opportunities and challenges of astrotourism in the Coquimbo region.
During a lecture at the Central University of the Coquimbo Region, Vice President of Sciences of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Heidi Hammel, highlighted the development opportunities and challenges facing astrotourism in the region.
For the scientist, “it is a wonderful way to connect ordinary people with one of nature’s most beautiful resources: our night sky.” And the skies over Chile are particularly pristine, making astrotourism a wonderful economic opportunity for people here,” said the AURA researcher.
Additionally, Hammel added that “many current scientific research projects are collaborations between professional astronomers and amateur astronomers.” “Astrotourism is often the spark that leads fans to these collaborations, so they play an important role in connecting us with the universe around us to unite.”
According to the Vice President of AURA, one of the main challenges that the Coquimbo Region must face in order to position itself as a pole of scientific development in astronomical matters is to have a research center with total darkness to see the sky.
In this sense, Hammel explained: “It is necessary to work closely with the local community and even with the environment in general: light pollution not only disrupts astronomy, but actually wastes energy and therefore costs more; and disrupts the natural environment of many different animals and birds.”
In conclusion, the scientist urged the community to encourage a love of learning as it is a good way to promote science in general and astronomy in particular. “The love of reading, discovery, music and puzzles expands the minds of young people and can lead to the sciences,” he concluded.