Yuri’s Night in Marilia, Brazil

BMSIS Scientist Dr. Ivan Paulino-Lima recently organized the very first Yuri’s Night event in his home town of Marilia, Brazil!

Yuri’s Night is a global celebration of humanity’s past, present, and future in space. It’s a world space party, bringing together space-themed events of many kinds from around the globe and bringing together people to share in a passion for space exploration and understanding our place in the cosmos. The events are held every April in commemoration of when Yuri Gagarin became the first human to venture into space on April 12, 1961, and the inaugural launch of the first Space Shuttle on April 12, 1981. Yuri’s Night is a time to celebrate our achievements in space exploration, to have fun with other people who think about the exploration of our world on a grand scale, and to dream together about what our future in space might look like.

The event that was organized in Marilia, Brazil, by our own Dr. Paulino-Lima was called “The City and the Stars” (“A Cidade e as Estrelas”), in reference to the science fiction novel by British writer Arthur C. Clarke, published in 1956. A rewrite of Clarke’s first published novel, The City and the Stars is often considered among his finest work. As remarked within the story by the main protagonist, “Each discovery I’ve made has raised bigger questions, and opened up wider horizons. I wonder where it will end…” Dr. Paulino-Lima’s Yuri’s Night event was truly a time to share in discovery and raise some bigger questions along with others from Marilia.

Dr. Paulino-Lima, who is also the President of a local astronomy club called GRAMA (Grupo Regional de Astronomia de Marilia), presented a series of lectures about astronomy, space exploration, and his work as a BMSIS scientist at NASA Ames Research Center (Moffett Field, CA, USA). He had the wonderful opportunity of talking about the stars using a virtual planetarium while also showing the audience the real stars in the open sky! A telescope connected to a multimedia system projected live images of the moon and other celestial bodies onto the screen for a large audience. The public also enjoyed an exhibition of astrophotography with photos taken by members of GRAMA.

For the event, partiers and participants were also asked to bring non-perishable food in exchange for tickets in the evening’s raffle giveaway. Each kilogram of food was exchanged for one ticket for the potential to win one of ten kits containing NASA posters, stickers, bookmarks, post cards, and more! At the end of the event, a total of 100 kg of non-perishable food were received and later donated to the social assistance program called “Life Project”. This program provides housing and other assistance for individuals suffering from drug addiction.

The City and the Stars Yuri’s Night event was also supported by Casa Sol, Unimar, and Secretaria Municipal da Cultura de Marília.

You can find more pictures and learn more about the event with the video below: