This year I had the great pleasure and honour to be invited to the 5th International Meeting of Astronomy  and Astronoautics  in Campos dos Goytacazes (Brazil) to represent AWB from the point of view of of an NC in the heart of Europe.

Arriving in Brasil means to meet very friendly  people, laughing and happy people, people with high dedication, for example with great dedication to astronomy in Campos. This depends on Marcelo de Oliveira Souza, a man with a big heart, with a nice wife and a dedication to astronomy you have to search for !

Reading his meeting programm tells everything, even I can read out about all the work behind.

The meeting was hold on two different locations. The first day (19.April) the meeting openening was celebrated in the big Shopping Boulevard inside a big cinema hall.

Here the astronomy club runs a portable planeterium too.

The other two days (20 -21. April) we spent at the Campus Guarus do Institutio Federal Fluminense.

The next picture tells more than 1000 words ...... Marcelo as he is  .....

... you have to love him  :-)

The press and TV reported about this event.

The international speakers have been introduced and interviewed. Following you can see for example the TWAN photographer Tamas Ladanyi from Hungary.


Tamas Ladanyi opened this event with great TWAN pictures and videos.

Following Jose Carlos Diniz did a sometimes very funny talk about the difficulties to do astrophotography in Brasil, depending on weather. Nevertheless Brasilian astropotographers achieve successful great pictures of international standards and better.

After lunch I had the honour to do my talk “LIVING THE IDEA“

The idea and mission of Astronomers Without Borders from the point of view of an National Coordinator in the heart of Europe. Activities in Austria and neighbouring countries in the name of Astronomers Without Borders. Talking about visions & reality to break down frontiers and to cross borders. How everything begun, what’s going on and what are the plans for the future concerning the international cooperation with the global organisations Astronomers Without Borders and TWAN.

Following some screens of my talk:

Of course I tried to show  the beauty of my country and .......


.... I pointed up the "most important message about Austria".  If this would have been the only what people kept in mind, it's a success !!!  ;-)

I talked about our loacal astronomy association and about my AWB trips 2010 & 2011

Meeting Valenting Grigore in Romania

Of course I talked about the successful cooperation with Babak Tafreshi and TWAN-members.

For me AWB&TWAN is the best team on earth. "Never change this winning team" ... as my daughter tried to show here at the TWAN-exhibition in Linz.

And I told something about future plans & trips .....

After my little talk followed "BIG SCIENCE".

Dimitri Gadotti talked about the newest challange of ESO in the desert - the ELT.

Later Jorge Marcgrave ( Dutch Brazil) talked about his founder role in Astronomy of Brazil and of the New World” followed by Oscar Matsuura (IAG/USP retired researcher, associate researcher of MAST/MCT and HCTE/UFRJ)

Summarizing I want to tell you that that this meeting was a big experience. The programm was full of interesting speakers and interesting visitors. Unfortunately the time didn't allow to speak to all :-(

I would have liked to talk endless to people like Dirk Ross from Yamaguchi University (Japan) or Prasanna Deshapriya(Sri Lanka), to Andrea Sanchez-Saldias(Uruguay) .... and many, many more .......

Conference members gathering at the hotel.

Andrea, Dimitri & Jose Carlos

Dirk Ross & some lokal club members having a "floor-session"

Dirk Ross giving hints for searching for meteorites during his workshop

Meteorits and phenomenas in the sky became locally very actual, because in the evening a big light was thrilling the people of Campos. Yo will get some information at the following website

and you can see the video on YOUTUBE.

Following some pictures of the next 2 days about and beside the meeting.

Desh from Sri Lanka was  the darling of the young girls .......

...... but closely followed by Tamas ;-)

Campus during daytime ...............

..... and at night. I took the following 4 second  shot of southern cross without tripod, I rested my hand only on a trash barrel.

Later we drove to a darker place where Tamas continued his TWAN-workshop.

Hopefully we soon get from him this great nightsky-group-picture.

Here I tried again a 4 sec shot to show the real southern cross and the false one. Unfortunately my old "pocket-camera" can not manage more than 4 second exposure time.

Following picture, using the same technique, was a little bit pushed by image processing. So you can see nightsky photography by it's lowest level you can do.

And here it is - just got from Tamas Ladanyi by e-mail: 


And following the "making of" a TWAN picture, sometimes you have to keep away some things out of the angle of view during exposure, for example here the wire ......

..... this efforts led to the following great result: THE CRUX OF SOUTH made by Tamas Ladanyi

Lectures in the conference room of the campus.

Many topics have been concerned with astronautics and men in space. For example the talk from Dr. Robert Zubrin about his "Mars direct" project.

Following some pictures beside the meeting to show a little bit of the city of Campos and it's people.

The old front side of our hotel.

The Cathedral of Campos

Short visit at the "Market Popular"

LAST BUT NOT LEAST - the typical Brasilian food "Feiojada" - traditionally a meal for slaves - and belive me: It tasted great !

Now short back to the meeting again: I am happy to report, that Marcelo owns now, even like some other AWB-members and people I visited during my "AWB-Ambassador" activities, one of my little presents, called "Mail from a different world". And I will do this in the future when I am "Living the idea & crossing borders".

Concluding these two last pictures of Marcelo and his team, who did all together a wonderful job.

MUITO OBRIGADO - many thanks to all !




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