News/Events

August 21, 2017

Observations with telescopes of the partial Solar Eclipse from the interior patio of the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

July 31, 2017

The Financial Oversight & Management Board for Puerto Rico publishes Annual Report Fiscal Year 2017. This report included the following recommendation: "Encourage the National Science Foundation to collaborate with all possible stakeholders to avoid decommissioning Arecibo Observatory and to increase science and education-focused operations.

June 21, 2017 and July 6, 2017

Consulting Parties Meetings. Pantoja and Altschuler participated as Consulting Parties under Section 106 of the National Preservation Act for the decomissioning of Arceibo Observatory. (Teleconference and Meeting at Colegio de Ingenieros y Agrimensores de Puerto Rico, Arecibo.

May 11, 2017

Pluto Litograph for story reading activity. A litograph (in Spanish) was created with information about the minor planet Pluto for an activity at the Norberto González Book Store (Plaza las Américas): Story reading of "Plutón se casa" with the author Laura Salvá, Saturday May 13, 2017 (date of event). Litografía Plutón

March 2017

International Space Station Exhibit. A scale model of the International Space Station is displayed at the José M. Lázaro Main Library of the University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras Campus. This model is on loan from NASA with the sponsorship of PR Space Grant. The exhibit includes also includes a display of astronomy themed posters.

March 21, 2017

Erathosthenes Project. Students from the "Programa de Educación Comunal de Entrega y Servicio (P.E.C.E.S)", with their teachers, Yamil Esquilín (Physics) and Yadira Gómez (Mathematics) measured the size of the Earth as part of the Erathosthenes Project.

March 2017

Moon Project. Collaboration with Prof Mario Koch from Friedrich Schiller Gymnasium Weimar, Germany to photograph the Moon at different locations and measure the Moon's size by parallax.

February 16, 2017

Visit from High School Students. A group of 10 high school students from the "Programa de Educación Comunal de Entrega y Servicio (P.E.C.E.S)", and two of their teachers, Yamil Esquilín (Physics) and Yadira Gómez (Mathematics) visited the ASTROLAB to prepare to participate of the Erathosthenes Project. In this international project the students repeat the observation made by Erathosthenes to measure the size of the Earth.

January 19-23, 2017

ACEAP Meeting at Kitt Peak National Observatory. Meeting of Ambassadors at Kitt Peak to discuss present and future Outreach Projects in Astronomy.

December 14, 2016: Petition to Save Arecibo Observatory

December 14, 2016

Accessible Astronomy at the Association for the Blind at San Juan, Puerto Rico. Dr. Gloria Isidro and Dr. C. Pantoja shared with members of the Association for the Blind during an event dedicated to Astronomy. The 2017 Solar Eclipse was discussed. The tactile models of the Sun, Moon, Mars and the galaxy were presented. The tactile radio telescope of the Arecibo Observatory was presented. Paper models of the radio telescopes at ALMA Observatory were presented. The event ended with Galileo’s Bingo.

November 18 2016

Article published in local newspaper ("El Nuevo Día") by Professors Altschuler, Lebrón, Pantoja and Olmi regarding the Future of Arecibo Observatory Tribuna Invitada (ENDI, retrieved Nov 19, 2016).

November 16-17 2016

"Public Meetings to address the Draft Environmental Statement for Arecibo Observatory": This Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) has been prepared for the National Science Foundation (NSF) to evaluate the potential environmental effects of proposed operational changes due to funding constraints for the Arecibo Observatory in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. The DEIS was prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. Consultation under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) is being conducted concurrent to the NEPA process. AST Facilities - Environmental Reviews - Arecibo Observatory

November 15, 2016

"Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassador Program": Dr. Carmen A. Pantoja presented a talk at Caribbean University, Baymón. (70 participants)

November 4, 2016

"Careers in Astronomy": Dr. Carmen A. Pantoja presented a talk at University Gardens High School. This is a High School that is Specialized in Science and Mathematics. The talk was part of an event called "Una Travesía por el Universo: Astro-Expo". (50 participants)

November 1, 2016

Film Presentation with Commentary. The documentary "Nostalgia for the Light" (Spanish: Nostalgia de la Luz) by Patricio Guzmán was presented at the Architecture Faculty (UPR-RP). This film presents the Astronomical Observatories in Chile, it considers the lasting impacts of Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship. It explores the similarities between astronomers researching the past of the Universe, and the struggle of many Chilean women who still search, after decades, for the remnants of their relatives executed during the dictatorship. (15 participants)

October 24, 2016

Controlling the radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory from the UPR-Rio Piedras
On Monday March 24, 2016, Dr. Mayra E. Lebrón (Department of Physical Sciences) and Dr. Carmen A. Pantoja (Department of Physics), together with their students, conducted astronomical observations using the Arecibo Observatory radio telescope. These astronomical observations are part of "The Arecibo Pisces-Perseus Supercluster Survey” research project. Students and professors took spectra of galaxies during the night by observing the 21-cm line of neutral hydrogen. The detected galaxies will be used to study the large-scale structure of the Universe in the region of the Pisces-Perseus supercluster. Lebró and Pantoja are radio astronomers and members of the consortium of 19 institutions known as "ALFALFA-U (Undergraduate ALFALFA Team)". This consortium is sponsored by NSF and allows undergraduate students together with their professors to do research in astrophysics.

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Fifteen undergraduate students and one graduate level student observed during the night of October 24, 2016. The observations were made from the Astronomy Laboratory (Astrolab) of the Department of Physics, UPRRP. The activity began at 6:00pm with an orientation of the project and ended the next day at 5:00 am. The next observations are scheduled for November 2016.

October 19, 2016

Dr. Mayra Lebrón and Dr. Carmen Pantoja presented the Conference "Impulsando Sueños en Ciencia, Ingeniería y Matemáticas" to ~400 students from four Alternative High Schools from ASPIRA Puerto Rico as part of the activity "Gira Ford:Impulsando Sueños".This Ford Program is designed to provide scholarships and resources to help students graduate on time and pursue a college career. Ford Fund's efforts in Puerto Rico are part of a long-term investment of $ 100,000 in educational resources.

September 22, 2016

Eratosthenes Project. Coordinated collaboration between teachers and students in Puerto Rico and Chile in order to measure the size of the Earth.

June 1 - June 27, 2016

The Project UNITE was hosted at the Department of Physics, UPR-RP. UNITE is a four week, pre-collegiate summer experience for talented high school students from groups historically underrepresented and underserved in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). (Feng, Nieves, Pantoja)

June 10-21, 2016

Prof. Pantoja participated of the Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassadors Program (ACEAP).

May 31 - June 24, 2016

UNITE Program was offered to 30 high school and middle school students at the Department of Physics UPR-RP. Prof. Feng, Prof Nieves and Prof. Pantoja organized this program.

April 23, 2016

"Marte con Arte" - Event organized by Dr. Gloria Isidro. Dr. Pantoja presented the talk: "Hispanos en Astronomía: un legado de historia, un presente de acción y un futuro de logros". Dr. Isidro presented her new tactile model of the planet Mars. The artist Luis Felipe Passalacqua presented the talk: "Arte, Puerta de Inclusión en Astronomía".

April 6, 2016

Functional Diversity Workshop for Natural Sciences Profesors - Prof. Pantoja participated of this workshop organized by Oficina de Asuntos para las Personas con Impedimentos (OAPI). Organized by José R. Ocasio, Esq., Director of OAPI.

March, 2016

International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC) - Dr. Pantoja and 2 students from University Gardens High School (C. Becerra and E. Rodríguez) participated of the Pan-STARRS campaign (March 2016). They had a preliminary discovery of an asteroid (named UPR0003).

March 15-18, 2016

Dr. D. Altschuler participated of the panel "Ciencia, Pensamiento y Comunicación en la Lengua Española.

March 11-13, 2016

2016 Physics Teacher Education Coalition Conference (PhysTEC) - Dr. Pantoja participated of the 2016 PhysTEC at Baltimore, MD.

December 7, 2015

Special Public Conference by Hitoshi Murayama:"Quantum Universe" (COFI)

December 5-6, 2015

COFI International Workshop on Gravitational Waves at Hotel El Convento, San Juan.

November 19, 2015

Our work highlighted in article:"Launching Light Beyond the Bulb for the United Nations' International Year of Light 2015" written by Kimberly Arcand and Megan Watzke in the CAP Journal, No 18, Sep 2015

November 6, 2015

Talk by Carmen Pantoja at the Astro Expo of University Gardens High School

October 19, 2015

White House Astronomy Night at the UPRRP

September 27, 2015

Photographs taken of Lunar Eclipse, with Galileoscope and with regular camera.

September 22, 2015

Undergraduate students present a Colloquium in which they describe their participation and experience as REU Programs during the summer (Giancarlo Jusino, José G. Reyes, Ricardo García and Carlos Buxó).

September 8, 2015

Colloquium by Dr. Antonio Algaze (UPR-Bayamón):"Magnets and Brains".

April 2015

Exhibit "Light Beyond the Bulb" at the Main Library: Biblioteca José M. Lázaro.

April 27-30, 2015

Outreach Forum organized by Dr. Mayra Lebrón: "Primer Foro de la Educación Informal en la Ciencia".

April 17, 2015

Global Astronomy Month 2015 (GAM2015) event and Year of Light: "Estrellas Para Todos/Stars for All".

December 16, 2014

Our Blog: materialdidacticoparaciegos.blogspot.com is selected among the best 113 astronomy blogs in Spanish at the site Astroshop.es .

November 17, 2014

Colloquim for undergraduate students by Dr. Luz Martínez Miranda

November 12, 2014

Visit from representatives of Northwestern University to present the students with the opportunities in Physics

November 12, 2014

Special Video Conference with Update on the Rosetta Mission (ESA) organized by Dr. Carmen Pantoja

November 8, 2014

Special Public Conference by Nobel Prize Winner Adam Riess (COFI)

October 21, 2014

Seminar and Colloquium by: Dr. Karin Menéndez-Delmestre and Dr. Thiago Signorini Goncalves (Observatorio de Valonglo/ Universidad Federal de Río de Janeiro)

October 15, 2014

White Cane Day Activity at Caribbean University organized by Dr. Gloria Isidro

October 7, 2014

Colloquium with Dr. Heeralal Janwa: "Quantum Computers:What, How and Why".

September 24, 2014

Special Colloquium with NASA Representative with information regarding careers at NASA.

September 10, 2014

Site visit from the American Physical Society (APS) Bridge Program

September 6, 2014

Dr. Carmen Pantoja, Dr. Mayra Lebrón and Dr. Gloria Isidro make presentations and activities in the Teacher Workshop STEM Pilot Program II.

September 1, 2014

Colloquium by Dr. Carmen Pantoja: Undergraduate Physics Program.

August 26, 2014

Conference by Dr. Daniel Altschuler: "Temperamento Científico" at UPR-Bayamón.

July 28, 2014

Article by Dr. Carmen Pantoja and Dr. Gloria Isidro: "Tactile Sun: Bringing an Invisible Universe to the Visually Impaired" in the Journal "Communicating Astronomy with the Public" (CAP Journal).

April 29, 2014

Conference by Dr. Daniel Altschuler: "Extraterrestre y Vida Extraterrestre".

April 27, 2014

Sun Day at ASPIRA de Puerto Rico organized by Dr. Mayra Lebrón, Dr. Carmen Pantoja and Dr. Gloria Isidro.

December 6, 2013

Our colleague Dr. Alfredo Torruellas retired. An excellent professor and scientist.

December 3, 2013

"Arecibo at 50", an article by Dr. Daniel Altschuler and Dr. Chris Salter appears in November issue of Physics Today.

October 16, 2013

Open House at the Faculty of Natural Sciences ("Casa Abierta del Decanato de Estudiantes"). Hundreds of students (eleventh and twelfth grade), teachers, school counselors and directors visit the UPRRP campus. Our Department displayed a collection of images that showcase Physics in Nature: "Here, There and Everywhere". Dr. Carmen Pantoja and Dr. Gloria Isidro organized an activity with the topic of Scientific Careers and Opportunities.

August 23, 2013

Astronomy Night at the Intermediate School Basilio Milán at Toa Baja, Puerto Rico. Hundreds of students, teachers, and parents participated of this event.

July 13, 2013

Astronomy Night at Punta Tuna Natural Reserve, Maunabo, Puerto Rico. This event was organized by Dr. Mayra Lebrón.

July 12, 2013

Dr. Carmen Pantoja, Dr. Gloria Isidro and Mr. Ernesto Lucca visit the Elementary School "Jaime Rosario Baez" at Villa Palmeras, for a day dedicated to the Sun.

June 24, 2013

Dr. Carmen A. Pantoja and Dr. Gloria Isidro presented the Teacher Workshop:"Search for Exoplanets" at the Interamerican University, Bayamón campus.

June 11, 2013

Dr. Mayra E. Lebrón and Dr. Gloria Isidro presented the Teacher Workshop: "The Sun" at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez campus.

June 6, 2013

Congratulations Gloria Isidro and Jorge Morales on obtaining their PhD's!

June 3, 2013

Dissertation Defense of Jorge L. Morales Ortiz. Title:"Observations and Analysis of the Molecular and Ionized Gas in the Vela-D and NGC 6334 I Star Forming Regions". Location: Seminar Room CNL C-310 Natural Sciences Faculty. Date:Monday June 3, 2013. Time: 3:00p.m. Dissertation Committee: Dr. Luca Olmi (Director of Dissertation), Dr. Mayra E. Lebrón (Dissertation Committee Member), Dr. Edwin Quiñones (Dissertation Committee Member).

April 30, 2013

Dissertation Defense of Gloria M. Isidro Villamizar. Title:"Accessibility Model of Mathematics Concepts Applied in the Descriptive Astronomy Course for Students with Visual Impairments at the University of Peurto Rico" Location: Education Faculty Room 570. Date: Tuesday April 30, 2013. Time: 3:00p.m. Dissertation Committee: Dr. Carmen A. Pantoja (Director of Dissertation), Dr. Ana Helvia Quintero (Dissertation Committee Member), Dr. Omar Hernández (Dissertation Member), Dr. Bernhard Beck-Winchatz (Dissertation Committee Member)

April 24, 2013

"Physics Night" at the UPRRP organized by Mayra Lebrón

April 2 - 26, 2013

During the month of April 2013, the exhibit "Here, There and Everywhere" was displayed at the main library "José M. Lázaro" at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus.

February 28, 2013

Article by Gloria Isidro: "Teaching Math Skills and Building Relationships" is published by the National Federation for the Blind (NFB) in Future Reflections, Winter 2013

January 13-17, 2013

Professors Mayra Lebrón and Carmen Pantoja together with the students Jonathan Pérez and José Reyes participated of the Undergraduate ALFALFA Workshop at Arecibo Observatory. This was an opportunity to interact with professors and students from 15 different Universities. The workshop had observing runs at night, diverse conferences, a tour of the Observatory with the staff and hands-on exercises on data analysis.

December 8, 2012

On Saturday December 8, 2012 Dr. Pantoja, Dr. Lebrón and Prof. Isidro presented the teacher workshop with the theme of "Exoplanets" at the UPR-Mayagüez. This workshop was part of a pilot project on Space Missions directed by Dr. Juan González Lagoa with the assistance of Ms. Dolores Balzac and Sandra Troche, as part of a program from the PR Space Grant.

October 24, 2012

Astrophysics Day at the UPR-RP! During this special event we had astronomers from Arecibo Observatory and professors from the UPR present short talks about their research projects.

October 10, 2012

Dr. Mayra Lebrón presented the talk "Spectral Energy Distribution (Part I)". She presented many of the basic concepts necessary in astrophysics.

September 26, 2012

Dr. Ramón López presented the talk "The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer". During this talk he described the mission and its different science objectives. He showed the use of the online tools available to access the data from NASA/IPAC.

September 12, 2012

During the second meeting of the Astrophysics Circle for the 2012 fall semester, Dr. Pantoja made a presentation on the "Large Scale Structure of the Universe". She described the different surveys and the structures they reveal in the Universe.

September 5, 2012

We had the first meeting of the Astrophysics Circle for the 2012 fall semester. During the meeting we discussed the Projects and Work Plan for Research in astrophysics for the semester. We welcomed the students and discussed undergraduate research opportunities.

August 4-8, 2012

Dr. Pantoja presented the project "From Earth to the Solar System Traveling Exhibit Visits Puerto Rico" and Ms. Isidro presented "The Experience at the University of Puerto Rico with "The Sky in Your Hands" and "The Tactile Moon Project" from the Astronomical Observatory, University of Valencia (Spain)" at the Conference "Communicating Science: A National Conference on Science Education and Public Outreach" at Tucson, Arizona. This Conference was organized by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

June 10-14, 2012

Dr. Pantoja presented the research project "Arecibo Observatory HI Survey of Extragalactic Sources from GLIMPSE and MIPS Data in the Zone of Avoidance" during the 220th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society at Anchorage, Alaska.

June 5, 2012

Venus Transit. This event will occur again in the year 2117. It was observed briefly from Puerto Rico. The two organizations of amateur astronomers from Puerto Rico organized observing activities. The "Sociedad de Astronomía de Puerto Rico" observed the transit from Punta Salinas. The "Sociedad de Astronomía del Caribe" observed the transit from the "Castillo San Felipe del Morro".

May 5, 2012

Conference "Venus Transit" and "Curiosity Mission" by Mr. Eddie Irizarry, President of the "Sociedad de Astronomía del Caribe" at 2 p.m. at room A-211 of the Natural Sciences Faculty of the UPR-RP. The talk was followed by the presentation of the film "The Discoveries of the HST". Some 30 persons attended this event.

May 4, 2012

Week to Celebrate Education: Meteorite Exhibit and Adapted Technologies for Teaching Mathematics and Astronomy. About 400 students and teachers attended (Participants of the Mathematics Olympiads).

April 30 - May 5, 2012

Exhibit of Lunar rocks at the Natural Sciences Library.

April 27, 2012

Students from the Astrophysics course (Department of Physics) and from the Cosmology course (Department of Physical Sciences) had the opportunity to participate of an observing session with the researchers Drs. Lebrón, Pantoja and Noriega-Crespo using the Arecibo Observatory radio telescope. Dr. Robert Minchin, Dr. Tapasi Ghosh and Mr. Jorge Rodríguez offered the students a tour of the facilities that included a visit to the telescope platform.

April 25, 2012

Dr. Alberto Noriega-Crespo (Spitzer/Caltech) presented the public talk "Spitzer Space Telescope and the Infrared Universe" to an audience of about 70 persons.

April 24, 2012

Dr. Alberto Noriega-Crespo presented the talk "Star Formation" as part of the Department of Physics Seminars (attendance of about 30 persons) at the UPR-RP.

April 24, 2012

Department of Physics awards the "Outstanding Learning Assistant Award 2012" to Ms. Gloria Isidro and the "Outstanding Teaching Asssistant Award 2012" to Mr. Adrián Camacho. Dr. Gerardo Morell awarded the students with a certificate and a one year membership to the AAPT.

March 31, 2012

Astronomical observations for the general public organized by the Physical Sciences Department of the General Studies Faculty (UPR-RP) at San Juan.

March 8, 2012

Presentation of Videoconference from the Arecibo Observatory at the UPR-Río Piedras Campus. Students from the astrophysics course ASTRO4006, and other students and professors from the Physics Department had the opportunity to participate of the videoconference: "Using the Near-Infrared Galaxy Luminosity Function to Test fro a Local Void" by Ryan Keenan from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This is the first time a videoconference is coordinated to present an Arecibo Observatory coloquim at the UPR-RP. This activity was coordinated at the UPR-RP by Dr. Gerardo Morell and Dr. Carmen Pantoja and by Dr. Robert Minchin and Dr. Arun Venkataraman at the Arecibo Observatory.

February 28, 2012

Presentation of the Planetary Show "The Heavens in Your Hands" at the auditorium of the Architecture Faculty, UPR-RP. This show was developed by Dr. Amelia Ortiz Gil of the Astronomical Observatory of the University of Valencia, Spain. It is an accessible show that allows blind persons to learn about the constellations. The show includes visual, tactile and audio media that allows the participation of a diverse audience.In Puerto Rico the show was organized by Dr. Carmen Pantoja, Natural Sciences Faculty, Dr. Jorge Rocafort (Architecture Faculty) and Prof. Gloria Isidro (Education Faculty).

February 11, 2012

Dr. Mayra Lebron and Dr. Carmen Pantoja participated of the "Career Day" organized by ASPIRA of Puerto Rico. This event is directed towards talented middle and high school students. During the event the students learned about careers in science and how to prepare for college.

January 27, 2012

Dr. Daniel Altschuler has been selected for the UNESCO Chair on Development Studies at the University of Valencia, Spain. During the months of September - December 2012 he will teach a course on Science and Development.

October 14, 2011

Preparations are going on for the Planet Festival. This event will take place on Saturday October 15th at the UPR-RP. This is a family event with guided tours of the FETTSS exhibit, astronomy demonstrations, observation of the Sun with Solar filters, the reading of the childrens story "Melvin the Travelling Martian" by Saremmy Rodriguez Salazar, poetry reading and other activities.

October 13, 2011

Guided tours of the FETTSS exhibit for school children were offered by UPR-RP students. The children received educational materials and could ask questions on different topics of astronomy. They learned about Braille and tactile astronomy materials.

October 11, 2011

Guided tours of the FETTSS exhibit for school children. They received materials and could ask questions on different topics of astronomy. They learned about Braille and tactile astronomy materials.

The movie Solaris by Tarkovskii was presented and after the film Dr. Fernando Noriega (UPR-RP, Physical Sciences) gave some very interesting comments regarding the film. Some topics that came up were extraterrestrial intelligent lifeforms, consciousness, ethics in science and much more.

October 8, 2011

The Astronomical Society of the Caribbean celebrated the International Observe the Moon Night at the front lawn of the San Felipe del Morro Fort in Old San Juan. More than 1,400 persons had the opportunity to look through a telescope.

The Astronomical Society of Puerto Rico celebrated the International Observe the Moon Night at the Muñoz Rivera Park in Old San Juan. Thousands of persons enjoyed the sky and could view the Moon with the telescopes of the members of the Society.

October 5, 2011

About 100 persons attended the Conference "Extraterrestrials and Extraterrestrial Life" presented by Dr. Daniel Altschuler. Members of the Astronomical Society of the Caribbean ("Sociedad de Astronomía del Caribe") were present and also staff from the Medical Sciences campus of the University of Puerto Rico, among others.

October 4, 2011

For the month of October, 30 beautiful images of the Solar System are on display at the "José M. Lázaro" Library (Main Library) of the Univeristy of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus.They are part of the "From Earth to the Solar System" exhibition developed by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory/Chandra with the NASA Astrobiology Institute. This exhibit will be travelling around the world during this year.

October 4, 2011

Presentation of the film: 2001: A Space Odyssey at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras Campus. Afetr the movie Dr. Ramón López-Alemán made comments regarding the Physics and Astronomy themes that appeared in the movie and interacted with the public.