“The Universe of Light” arrives to Easter Island

“The Universe of Light” exhibition, which touches themes basically related to the properties of light and its most recent technological applications, will present its 28th showing in Easter Island next month during October, after having toured practically all of continental Chile.

A stay of 20 days on Rapa Nui has been planned by the project team who will carry out the exhibit, now members of the Center for Optics and Photonics, CEFOP, of the University of Concepción, together with help from the Explora program of CONICYT. During this period, islanders can not only visit the exhibit, but they may also participate in a series of activities with the scientists accompanying the exhibition.

According to Dr. Carlos Saavedra, Scientific Director of CEFOP, “Bringing the exhibition to Easter Island and closing the cycle of The Universe of Light presentations in the country there is especially attractive.  Besides, in this opportunity additional applications will be incorporated, in the form of modules from the Photogrammetrics Air Service of the Chilean Air Force, SAF, on themes related to Remote Perception.  A comparable presentation to this one is probably the presentation in San Pedro de Atacama, where the number of visitors was greater than the population of residents, due to the presence of tourists and nearby towns. This time, we hope for a similar response.”

Also, the museum of anthropology P. Sebastián Englert had a fundamental role in the negotiation to host the exhibition at Takarua, an events center, where the Rapanui community can appreciate the properties of light represented in a piano of light, fiber optics communication and solar panel operation.

Francisco Torres, Director ofthemuseumofanthropology Padre Sebastián Englert, explained the relevance of bringing “The Universe of Light” to Easter Island. “Forus, it is extremely valuable to have this exhibiton the island, first because it is a very special moment for the exhibit, as it is closing its national tourand, second, becausewe are physically very far from these types of activities.  Generally, tourists visit Easter Island for its cultural importance, but there are few didactic and educational instancessuch as this that teach, awaken and motivate to learn, especially for our children,” added the museum director.

Even though with this step we finalize the tour of the travelling exhibit in Chile, a new door is opened to go out into the world, a challenge the has already been suggested and that is expected to be realized soon.

In this respect, Dr. Saavedra noted, “One of the exhibit goals for the near future is to be able to present it in other countries, for which we have made contacts with the Optics Society of America (OSA) and the International Society of Optics and Photonics (SPIE), with whom we hope to establish specific agreements to internationalize the exhibition.  It would be very rewarding for all involved with the exhibit that was conceived in its original version to tour the most isolated rural zonesof the Bio-Bio Region, with Professor Luis Braga, to now have the opportunity to present it in various countries, transforming it into an example of scientific outreach.”

The inauguration

The exhibit inauguration will be October 11 at 9 pm in the events center Takarua, and will begin with a small Rapa Nui ceremony titled Umatahu, prepared by the museum of anthropology P. Sebastián Englert, in which success will be symbollicallypetitioned for “The Universe of Light” on the island.

The exhibit will be open to the public starting from October 15, and to groups with pre-registration via telephone at (32) 2551020-2551021, or by e-mail difusión@mapse.cl. Entrance is free of charge.

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