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Easter Island and Rapanui Planetarium talk

Yesterday December 5th, members and their guests gathered at the Embassy of Chile for a Christmas reception followed by a talk of the ethnoastronomy of Easter Island (Rapa Nui). The talk would have been given by Edmundo Edwards but unfortunately he was taken ill at the last minute. We were fortunate that his daughter also an anthropologist and astronomer stood in his place. Alexandra did an amazing job despite the challenges of appearing virtually from one of the remotest places on earth!

The talk covered the story of Rapa Nui and how the original settlers navigated to the island using the stars , moon and currents. It was a fascinating talk and we all learned so much about the ancient culture and why the famous statutes were built facing in certain directions and how astronomy was such an important part of their culture.

The talk concluded with some images of the new planetarium on the island which Alexandra's family have been so involved. Also she showed us the work they have done with school children to educate them about astronomy. The society is very proud to have donated £6000 for solar panels for the building to reduce energy costs. The evening was rounded off with a little more wine and mince pies! The Society sent a message to Edmundo wishing him a speedy recovery.


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