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Cyber-Cosmos: A New Citizen Science Concept in A Dark Sky Destination

Barbosa , D. ; Coelho, B. ; Bergano , MB ; Magalhães, C. ; Mendonça, D. ; Zaharie, D. ; Correia, A. C. ; Pandeirada, J. Pandeirada ; Ribeiro, V. ; Esposito, T. ; Marchis, F.

Cyber-Cosmos: A New Citizen Science Concept in A Dark Sky Destination, Proc International Astronautical Federation International Astronautical Congress IAC, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Vol. , pp. 1 - 6, October, 2021.

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Astrotourism and related citizen science activities are becoming a major trend of a sustainable, high-quality tourism segment and are central elements in the protection of Dark skies in many countries. In the Summer of 2020, in the middle of COVID pandemics, we started an initiative to train young students - Cyber-Cosmos - using an Unistellar eVscope, a smart, compact and user-friendly digital telescope that offers unprecedented opportunities for deep-sky observation and citizen science campaigns. Sponsored by the Ciência Viva Summer program, this was probably the first continuous application of this equipment in a pedagogical and citizen-science context, and in a pandemic context. Pampilhosa da Serra, home to a certified Dark Sky destination (Aldeias do Xisto) in central Portugal, was the chosen location for this project, where we expect astrotourism and citizen science to flourish and contribute to space sciences education.