Scientific Objectives


For the 2009, the Year of Astronomy of the United Nations, we celebrate in Fortaleza (capital of the State of Ceará, Brazil) three major events which have occurred in Brazil and which have fundamentally influenced scientific knowledge in the world:

  1. the mission at Sobral to observe the Solar Eclipse of May 29, 1919 which, according to Arthur Eddington, gave the first evidence for the observation of the bending of star light by the gravitational field of the sun as predicted by Albert Einstein,
  2. the discovery of the Pi meson by Cesare Lattes and Giuseppe Occhialini in Brazil and by Cecil Powell in England heralding the beginning of elementary particle physics, and
  3. the work on gravitational collapse by George Gamow and Mario Schoenberg on the URCA process, conceived at the "Cassino da URCA". We will follow the developments arising from these revolutionary discoveries all the way to new space missions from South America, to the Auger experiment in Argentina and to the observations of gamma ray bursts and supernovae from the ESO Very Large Telescope in Chile.

Specialized lectures as well as popular lectures open to the public will take place.