Science and art come together in solar eclipse scenes

Taking into account the total solar eclipse that occurred on April 8, UNAM's Universum Science Museum presents two new exhibitions entitled Eclipse Views: Science and Art.

Manuel Suarez Lastra, Director General of the Department of Science Dissemination, stressed at the opening ceremony that the eclipse was an amazing astronomical phenomenon that could be enjoyed in different places.

Also present were Dr. José Luis Macías Vázquez, Director of the Geophysics Institute, Professor Maria Emilia Bayer, Rector of Universum, Dr. Primoz Cajdic, Researcher at the Geophysics Institute and Member of the Organizing Committee of the Great Mexican Eclipse 2024, Yvonne Kennedy, Curator of the Exhibition, and Dr. José de Jesús González González, Researcher at the UNAM Institute of Astronomy.

The first exhibition is a photo exhibition resulting from the Great Mexican Eclipse 2024 photography competition, promoted by the UNAM Institute of Geophysics. Through it it is possible to see the 45 most voted photos out of 800 registered photos.

The contestants received a certificate of participation The first places were won by the telescope The second is Binoculars. Both will also receive a subscription to the digital magazine How Do You See? and their photos will be part of the traveling exhibition Great Mexican Eclipse 2024.

“Each image bears witness to the infinite beauty of the eclipse and also to the great talent and creativity of its authors. Thank you for joining us in this celebration of the universe. I hope this exhibition will inspire more people to look up at the sky and relate to the mysteries of the universe,” explained Dr. Primoz Cajdic, member of the organizing committee of the Great Mexican Eclipse 2024.

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The winning photo, which received nearly 4,000 votes, was by Teofilo Toledo Hirai, with just over 3,500 votes by Edmar Fabián Hernández Espinosa. Other winners were Rodrigo Arie Diaz de León, Juan Pablo Pó Sandoval, Jesús David Chávez Guevara and Marco Antonio Barradas Galván.

The second exhibition is named Mexico under the shadow of the moon. It consists of 24 paintings by artists based in Oaxaca, who approached the subject of eclipses from a very personal vision and combined it with astronomical knowledge from the UNAM Institute of Astronomy.

Yvonne Kennedy, curator and cultural director, emphasized that in the state of Oaxaca there has been a very important artistic movement for several decades, and this exhibition represents an opportunity to continue bringing art and science closer together.

“Thanks to Universum, but also to the universe because so many things were in line, so many people, so many wills, so much work. We managed to make this exhibition in record time, with great professionalism, and also great quality from all the artists, behind each work you will find a complete story, a complete way of seeing this phenomenon that amazes us all and that we all interpret in a very special way.”

Bringing science closer to society

The total solar eclipse of April 8 (2024) was a real astronomical spectacle for Mexicans. In Mazatlan, the longest duration of the total eclipse was 4 minutes and 20 seconds, and in most parts of the country a partial eclipse could be observed.

In addition to enjoying the eclipse, conferences, workshops, videos and observations on the astronomical phenomenon were held from different UNAM institutions.

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“The eclipse that occurred a few weeks ago brought us all together and UNAM played a pioneering role through its researchers, centers and institutes to bring science to society,” explained teacher Maria Emilia Bayer.

For Dr. José de Jesús, of the Institute of Astronomy, through both exhibitions, the eclipse has left us with a mixture of art, science and scientific communication.

“It is very important that we work on these disciplines, and that we spread them, because the appreciation of knowledge of art, science and technology is the true strength of civilization and country, and this is what we celebrate today.”

For his part, Dr. José Luis Macías Vázquez commented that this astronomical phenomenon was exploited by the scientific community of the Geophysics Institute to observe the Sun, but also because it is the best time to measure, experiment and observe the Earth.

“During an eclipse there are variations in the atmosphere, in the magnetic field, in gravity, in the tides of the Earth, in this context in the month of April the scientific community of the Institute of Geophysics traveled to different places, in all the cities where they live they conducted experiments and observations to better understand the behavior of the planet and our star. Better. “These observations will lead to many outcomes in the coming months and years.”

Both exhibitions are now open to the public.. The photography room is located in the Universum lobby; you can see the painting on the first floor.

Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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