Astronomy for blind people

Nov 3, 2009

Astronomy for blind people

More than a hundred blind people enjoyed yesterday, with those who accompany them, of the planetarium show “The heavens in your hands” that took place in the Hemisfèric’s projections hall. This experience allows a great leap to the Astronomy through hearing and touch, thanks to an audiovisual projection system with specific adaptations.

People who participated in this activity, set up with the celebration of the International Year of Astronomy were able to locate some of the main objects in the sky using Orly their hands, thanks to fibreglass hemispheres that indicate them in relief and which have been created by the Universitat de València’s Astronomical Observatory.

By means of this experience, blind people and those with serious visual handicaps know the constellations, discover if a star is more or less brilliant depending on the thickness that appears in the hemispheres, or identify the nebulae for the rough tact, among other possibilities.

“The sky in your hands” is an initiative which, as well as being able to count on the collaboration of the City of Arts and Sciences and the participation of ONCE, has been promoted by the Spanish coordinator for the International Year of Astronomy, Universitat de València’s Astronomical Observatory, and financed by the Spanish Science and Technology Foundation (FECYT).