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Caribbean astronomers meet in Cayman, push for more regional collaboration

Students from Grand Cayman and scientists from around the North American and Caribbean region converged at the Chamber of Commerce today (25 May) for the final day of the Caribbean Astronomy conference.

The Caribbean Institute of Astronomy is looking to expand astronomy in the region and its President Isa Mohammed says building resources is key.

“It’s part of our mandate is growing astronomy in the Caribbean on a research level as well as an education level, so as part of the research component, we are working towards helping with the establishment of more observatories in the Caribbean,” said Isa Mohammed, President of CARINA.

This week Cayman hosted the Dr. William Hrudey Caribbean Astronomy Conference, a conference that brought astronomy enthusiasts and scientists under one roof, something Professor Edward Guinan said Dr. Hrudey would have wanted.

“Bill’s idea was to expand beyond here, to bring the Caribbean together and that is what this is about, we had people from Barbados and virgin islands,” said Professor Guinan.

Participants saw first hand how crops are growing in space and got a visual representation of the scientific process of astronomy. Professor Guinan says Dr. Hrudey has a lot of influence here.

“His major contribution to me is the stem program, not just the telescope, although the telescope is very important, a lasting contribution is for the children, the college kids and the children,” said Prof. Guinan.

President of the Astronomical Association of Jamaica, Nathan Henderson, says the Caribbean has a lot to offer for the growth of astronomy.

“Because of our location geographically, we can actually do research, we can participate in global studies, global studies of the night sky, there is also the use of astronomy in science education,” said Mr. Henderson.

At the conference, Prof. Guinan presented Dr. Hrudey’s presentation on telescopes. Dr. Hrudey had given it to him before his passing.

The last panel discussion of the conference focused on the role the Caribbean region can play in the global astronomy field.

About the author

Philipp Richter

Philipp Richter

Philipp Richter was born in Austria and moved to the Cayman Islands at the age of three. Throughout his life, he has always enjoyed documenting his surroundings with cameras. Studying television broadcasting and communications, he now can show the reality of life in Grand Cayman to the public.

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