16th edition of the School of Observational Astronomy for Latin American Students

Santa María Tonantzintla, January 16, 2024. This week the 16th edition of the School of Observational Astronomy for Latin American Students (ESAOBELA) began in Tonantzintla. This year, the School is dedicated to Abel Bernal Bejarle, academic technician at UNAM, who is responsible for the operation and modernization of the one meter telescope in Tonantzintla.

Abel Bernal. Photo: INAOE.

Eleven Physics, Mathematics and Engineering students from different Latin American countries participate in this edition of ESAOBELA, to whom an Astronomy course is offered.
The School is organized jointly by the National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics (INAOE) and the Institute of Astronomy of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (IA-UNAM). The coordinators of this event are Dr. José Ramón Valdés Parra, coordinator of Astrophysics at INAOE, and M. C. José Peña Saint-Martin, researcher at IA-UNAM.

José Peña. Photo: INAOE.

Theoretical classes are reinforced with observational practices using mainly the one-meter telescope of the National Astronomical Observatory (OAN) of IA-UNAM in Tonantzintla. Researchers from different Mexican institutions offer courses on position and time astronomy, the Sun, spectral classification, photometry, stellar evolution, optical and electronic instrumentation, interstellar material, the galaxy, extragalactic systems, radio astronomy and non-visible astronomy.

Raúl Mújica. Photo: INAOE.

This year's edition was inaugurated on January 14 with a brief ceremony presided over by M. C. José Peña Saint-Martin, Dr. Raúl Mújica García, INAOE researcher; Dr. Erika Benítez Lizaola, researcher and current head of OAN Tonantzintla, and Arturo Rentería Lartundo, academic head of the OAN. The honoree, Abel Bernal, also attended.

In an interview, M. C. José Peña Saint Martin reported that in 2024, eleven students from Bolivia, Peru, Guatemala, Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Venezuela and Ecuador attend the School.
He also highlighted the work of Abel Bernal: “all telescopes in the world require a doctor, and this telescope is more than 50 years old, it is old, and in the last 20 years Abel has been responsible for the telescope, he is the one who has made it kept running. Without Abel there would be no telescope or Observatory in Tonantzintla.”
He stressed that for 2024, the organizers have chosen boys with zero astronomical knowledge: “I have always asked myself why Mexico has astronomy and the rest of Latin America does not. We have selected students from countries that do not have any astronomical knowledge. What we want is for them to leave with knowledge of astronomy, and this year, only the boy from Colombia who attends the School has a good level of theoretical astronomy.”


Last update:
17-01-2024 / 10:12 by Guadalupe Rivera Loy


Luis Enrique Erro # 1, Tonantzintla, Puebla, México, Código Postal 72840, Tel: (222) 266.31.00,  difusion@inaoep.mx

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