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IFCA welcomes the winners of 5th edition 'AstrónomAs's comic contest

During the day they met Isabel Márquez (IAA), the astronomers of the institute and the different lines of research and facilities of the centre

1 June 2022

Lea Donado and Marina Ibáñez, (Colegio Adharaz-Altasierra, Sevilla), Aitana Fernández Cala (IES Lope de Vega, Santa María de Cayón), Aiana Fajardo (IES 8 de marzo, Castro Urdiales), Sara Acosta (IES Valle de Camargo, Revilla de Camargo), Irene Iglesias and Adriana Cobo (IES Nueve Valles, Puente San Miguel) visited the Institute of Physics of Cantabria (IFCA, CSIC-UC) this Tuesday to meet the female astronomers working at the institute, following their participation in the fifth edition of the IFCA comic contest, which this year is dedicated to all women scientists working in Astronomy. The aim of this edition is students get to know women scientists in this field and their work in national and international observatories and research centres, inspired by the AstrónomAs project (

The day, which was supported by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT), began with a telematic meeting with the astrophysicist Isabel Márquez from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA), who welcomed them and reflected on the situation of women in science. "As we move up the scientific ladder, we are losing women along the way, because the ecosystem is not favourable to us. Young women who want to start a career have no reference points", said Márquez, to which she added "more varied research groups are more efficient, healthier and more effective from a scientific point of view because they are also more effective from a human point of view".

Participants in a telematic connection with Isabel Márquez (IAA)

Then it was time to meet astronomers working at  IFCA. Maite Ceballos, Silvia Martínez, Rosa Domínguez, Amalia Corral, Koushika Vaiyapuria and Beatriz Cobo, from the Galaxies and AGNs group, told them about their beginnings in physics, showed them  lines of research in which they work, the different space projects in which they participate and what their area of study consists of. They also put their knowledge of black holes into practice with a quiz.

For his part, the researcher Enrique Martínez introduced them to the astrophysicists of the Observational Cosmology and Instrumentation group: Belén Barreiro, Patricia Diego and Pratibha Jangra, who work and research at IFCA, and explained how by studying cosmic microwave background radiation we can learn more and better about our universe from its origin. Martínez also referred to the situation of women researchers in the area of Cosmology, "we need to attract more women to our field of study".

Then it was time to see the work of the Climate group on climate change, with Lissette Graafland, and Jónatan Piedra, Rocío Vilar and David Moya, from the Particle Physics and Instrumentation group, showed them the joint work being carried out at IFCA and CERN through a model of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and the IFCA Clean Room.

Visit to IFCA's rooftop to see the telescopes

The next stop on the tour was the IFCA Data Processing Centre (DPC) with Aida Palacio. Afterwards, the participants went to the rooftop, where Rosa Domínguez, Francisco Carrera and Amalia Corral showed them the different telescopes with which astrophysicists of the centre work and were able to observe the sun.

At the end of the day they were given a school diary and a tote bag as a gift for their participation in the comic competition.

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    Instituto de Física de Cantabria
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    Cantabria, Spain

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