1. IAU100-Puerto Rico (Intro)
  2. News
  3. Exhibits
  4. Conferences
  5. Astronomical Observations
  6. Moon Landing 50th Anniversary
  7. Einstein Schools
  8. Collaborating Organizations
  9. Volunteers

IAU100 - Puerto Rico



Welcome to the Celebration of the IAU100 in Puerto Rico! In 2019, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) is celebrating its 100th anniversary https://iau-100.org. To commemorate this milestone, the IAU is organising a year-long celebration to increase awareness of a century of astronomical discoveries as well as to support and improve the use of astronomy as a tool for education, development and diplomacy under the central theme "Under One Sky".

In Puerto Rico the celebration events are coordinated by the Puerto Rico IAU100 National Committee. This committee will implement the IAU100 Global Projects and coordinate activities and events in Puerto Rico. The National Organizing Committe Person of Contact is Dr. Mayra Lebrón from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus.


  • December 2018 - Preparations for IAU100
  • January 20, 2019 - Lunar Eclipse 2019: "Super Blood Wolf Moon", Observation at UPR Río Piedras campus 10:00pm
  • January 21, 2019 - Eclipse Observations were a success! Students with their teachers at "Colegio San Antonio de Padua" in Río Piedras observed the 2019 eclipse of the Moon. The event had telescopes available, and the teachers Professors Hernán Molina and Juan C. Velázquez gave talks about what was going on. The students enjoyed an astronomy activity combined with camping at the facilities of the Observatory allowing them to have the full eclipse experience.
  • January 22, 2019 - Conjunction of the planets Venus and Jupiter: "Breakfast with the planets", UPR Río Piedras campus 5:00 am
  • January 26, 2019 - Inauguration of the Centenary Celebrations of the International Astronomical Union: Ateneo Puertorriqueño, San Juan, 2:00pm
  • February 4, 2019 - Public Talk: "Einstein, Eddington and Me, 100 Years of Passing the Tests." Dr. Dale Ferguson, Visiting Scientist at Arecibo Observatory from Air Force Office of Scientific Research. Talk at UPR-Rio Piedras, Faculty of Natural Sciences, A-211, 10:00 am.
  • February 9, 2019 "Ceiba Bajo las Estrellas" Astronomical observations for the general public with the "Sociedad de Astronomía de Puerto Rico" at Centro Ecoturístico del Este, Antigua Base Roosevelt Roads, Ceiba, PR (5:00pm-11:00pm)
  • February 21, 2019 - "Concurso de Hula-Hoop en el Sistema Solar:Asteroides Más Allá de Neptuno" Astronomy Talk by Dr. Estela Fernández-Valenzuela University of Central Florida at the Interamerican University-Bayamón, Salón de Usos Múltiples (SUM-A), 6:00pm. For more information: (787) 279-1912 ext 2098.
  • Exhibits

    1. Exhibit:"News from the Universe"

      “News from the Universe” is a traveling image exhibit about astronomical observatories in which the visitor will learn about science as they stroll through the electromagnetic spectrum. The name of the exhibit is inspired in a quote by Sir William Bragg (Nobel Prize in Physics 1915) “Light brings us the News of the Universe”. The exhibit will be displayed at several locations of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. This exhibit is being prepared by Dr. Mayra Lebrón and Dr. Carmen Pantoja from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus.

    2. "Many Inspired Steps" - an exhibit that celebrates the 5oth anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing.

      "Sala Eugene Francis", Physics Building, Room #229, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez campus. From October 9,2018 till July 20,2019. Coordinators: Prof. Dolores Balzac and Dr. Juan González Lagoa.

    3. Exhibit about Lunar Eclipse 2019: Biblioteca Virgilio Dávila, Caribbean University, Bayamón

      Students from the course MATH102-15 of Dr. Gloria Isidro Villamizar prepared an exhibit about the Lunar eclipse of January 20, 2019

    4. Exhibit: "Astronauts and their Professions"- A collection of posters to be displayed at the different Departments of the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez campus (Departments of Physics, Geology, Mathematics, Biology, Agricultural Sciences, Engineering and Education).Coordinator: Dr. Juan González Lagoa and Prof. Dolores Balzac.
    5. Conferences

      1. Keynote Address - Inauguration of the centennial celebration of the International Astronomical Union at the "Ateneo Puertorriqueño": Speaker- Dr. Daniel R. Altschuler (Saturday January 26, 2019, 2:00p.m. ) Invitation Flyer
      2. Talk on Relativity - Public talk: "Einstein, Eddington and Me, 100 Years Passing the Tests" by Dr. Dale Ferguson (at Natural Sciences Faculty, University of Puerto Rico, A-211 , Monday February 4, 2019 at 10:00am) Poster
      3. Astronomy Talk: "Concurso de Hula-Hoop en el Sistema Solar: Asteroides Más Allá de Neptuno" by Dr. Estela Fernández Valenzuela from University of Central Florida (Salón de Usos Múltiples (SUM-A), Interamerican University-Bayamón, Thursday February 21, 2019 at 6:00pm) Poster
      4. Astronomy Symposium and Poster Exhibit of the 16 Schools Participants of the Project "Grown Beyond Earth" (GBE) of the Fairchild Botanical Garden in Miami in Partnership with NASA Kennedy Space Center - University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez campus, April 5, 2019, Coordinatos Dr. Juan González Lagoa and Prof. Dolores Balzac
      5. Puerto Rico STEM Initiative with Kennedy Space Center Ground Exploration Engineers - An activity for students grades 9-12, April 1-5, 2019, Coordinators Dr. Juan González Lagoa and Prof. Dolores Balzac.

      Astronomical Observations

      1. Observing the lunar eclipse January 20, 2019 at University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras campus
      2. Observing the Lunar Eclipse 2019 at Colegio San Antonio de Padua, Río Piedras:

        "Noche de Observación, Eclipse Lunar y súper Luna":A night of astronomical observations and the study of documentation processes through astrophotography of the total eclipse of the moon.Coordinator: Prof. Juan Carlos Velázquez, Programa y Observatorio Astronómico del Colegio San Antonio de Padua, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico.http://csa.edu.pr/observatorio

      3. Observing the conjunction of Venus and Jupiter, January 22, 2019 University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras campus
      4. Sociedad de Astronomía de Puerto Rico: "Ceiba Bajo Las Estrellas" February 9, 2019 from 5:00pm - 11:00pm

      Moon Landing 50th Anniversary


      "Moon Landing 50th Anniversary" is a global project project aims to encourage people worldwide to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing in 20 July 2019 by organising Moon observations during that day that could as well serve to inspire people on how the Moon missions changed the world forever.

      The University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez is pleased to present "Many Inspired Steps" an exhibition that celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing.

      "Many people were not even alive the last time a person walked on the Moon in 1972. For those who were, time has faded the memories feat. We need to remember, we need to celebrate that great achievement. More than that, we need to inspire children to strive to accomplish what may seem impossible" said Dr. Thomas A Lesser, the exhibition's creator.

      "Many Inspired Steps" was organized by Dr. Thomas A. Lesser, who has donated the exhibition and is distributed by Audio Visual Imagineering Inc., which has donated the distribution of the exhibition to the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. The exhibit opened on October 9, 2018 and will close on Saturday July 20, 2019. It is coordinated by Prof. Dolores Balzac and Dr. Juan González Lagoa. The exhibit is located at "Sala Eugene Francis" Physics Building, Room #229 University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez campus. It is open for school visits and the general public once a week and at "Open House" activities from January to May 2019.

      Another project that is part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing is the Forum: "50 Years of Apollo 11" - April 4, 2019. Event organized by Dr. Juan González Lagoa and Prof. Dolores Balzac.

      Einstein Schools

      Einstein Schools

      The IAU Einstein Schools project encourages an understanding of the role of gravity in modern astronomy through the exciting topics of gravity, gravity waves, space-time, and the detection of gravity waves emitted from compact objects such as black holes and neutron stars. The project also considers how gravity can bend star light and how this bending can be detected during a solar eclipse. On the largest scales, the bending of starlight from galaxies or clusters of galaxies can also lead to an understanding of dark matter.

      In the Einstein Schools project, schools around the world do activities about gravity in astronomy that relate to the topics listed above. They also learn how the 1919 total solar eclipse confirmed Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity and how the predictions from the theory of General Relativity can be verified during the upcoming eclipses in Chile. The Einstein schools worldwide will also be working together to make robotic telescope observations of gravitational lenses and other exciting objects affected by extreme gravity. The Einstein schools will also have the the opportunity to connect to Chilean and Argentinian Einstein schools and programs during the July 2, 2019 total solar eclipse.

      In Puerto Rico we encourage schools to create Science Clubs and participate of the activities of the Einstein Project. To register send an email with the name and address of your school, the name of the teacher mentor to divulgacionastronomia@gmail.com with Subject: Einstein Schools. The groups should complete a summary of the experience at the end of each activity in order that the teacher or mentor will validate. Those clubs that complete 10 of the Einstein Schools proposed projects will be invited to the IAU100 Puerto Rico closing event during which they will receive IAU100-Einstein Schools certificates of participation.

      The logo for the Einstein schools project was created by the Puerto Rican artist Ms. Kamille Morales Lebrón

      Einstein School Projects

      1. Research one or various biographies of scientists
      2. This is the opportunity to learn about scientists and their lives. We suggest a list of scientists who were important in the development of physics. Read about them, discuss with the members of your club and create a unique way to tell others about what you have learned. Write a short story, a play, a poster, a video, a podcast or any other interesting fun way you can think of to tell a a story. Report your results to us.

        Physics People:

      3. Complete one or several of the activities to prepare for the eclipse of July 2, 2019
        • Learn about the scale of the solar system
        • Learn about the Moon
        • Learn about the Sun
        • Learn about an eclipse
        • Find out what is a total solar eclipse
        • Learn about May 29, 1919 eclipse that was used to test Relativity
        • What is a constellation?
        • Find information about the Hyades cluster.
        • Find the trajectory of the May 29, 1919 eclipse on the surface of the Earth. Where is the Island of Principe and where is the city of Sobral?
        • Eddington announced his findings about the 1919 eclipse on Nov. 6, 1919. Find how the newspapers reported these findings.
        • Read about how the 1919 eclipse was used to test relativity: https://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/201605/physicshistory.cfm
        • Watch on HBO the BBC movie "Einstein and Eddington" a film from 2008. This link is a review of the film: https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16101-film-review-einstein-and-eddington/
        • On July 2, 2019 watch NASA's live transmission of the total solar eclipse
      4. Learn about Waves
      5. Learn about Gravity
      6. Learn about telescopes
      7. Learn about Time
      8. Learn about Relativity
      9. Learn about Pulsars
      10. Learn about Black Holes (Explore this website in Spanish): Enciclopedia de Agujeros Negros http://blackholes.radiouniverso.org
      11. Learn about Gravitational Waves
      12. "Working together to find Science Everywhere" - Collaborate with schools in different part of the world
. The objective is to find something interesting related to science where you live, prepare a short presentation to share with another group of students via Skype and post of photo on our School Gallery section.

      Collaborating Organizations

      1. Physics Department, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras campus
      2. Department of Physical Sciences, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras campus
      3. Planetarium of the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez campus
      4. Programa y Observatorio Astronómico del Colegio San Antonio de Padua
      5. Ateneo Puertorriqueño
      6. NASA Puerto Rico Space Grant Consortium
      7. Colegio de Física Fundamental e Interdisciplinaria de las Américas
      8. Caribbean University
      9. Interamerican University-Bayamón
      10. Sociedad de Astronomía del Caribe
      11. Kennedy Space Center
      12. Centro de Recursos Educativos y Tecnológicos (CRET), Facultad de Estudios Generales, UPR-Río Piedras
      13. Sociedad de Astronomía de Puerto Rico


      1. Prof. Dolores Balzac
      2. Dr. Juan González Lagoa
      3. Prof. Juan Carlos Velázquez
      4. Ms. Kamille Morales Lebrón
      5. Dr. Carmen Pantoja
      6. Dr. Mayra Lebrón
      7. Dr. Daniel Altschuler
      8. Dr. Gloria Isidro Villamizar
      9. Mr. Carlos Malca Reyes (Graduate Student, Physics Department, UPR-Río Piedras)
      10. Mr. Sulpicio Flores Chalco (Graduate Student, Biology Department, UPR-Río Piedras)
      11. Eng. Giacomo Comes
      12. Dr. Dorcas Torres
      13. Dr. Francisco C. Parra-Rojas
      14. Prof. Elizabeth Torres
      15. Dr. Manuel Reyes Guzmán
      16. Prof. Juan González Alicea
      17. Eng. Eddie Irizarry
      18. Dr. Lester Morales (Kennedy Space Center)
      19. Ms. Soraya Flores Chalco (Graduate Student, Physics Department, UPR-Río Piedras)
      20. Mr. Juan Villafañe
      21. Ms. Elluz Pacheco (Graduate Student, Physics Department, UPR-Río Piedras)
      22. Mr. Luis Carrubio (Graduate Student, Physics Department, UPR-Río Piedras)