Carlos Muñoz Ferrada: Chilean Astronomer and Seismologist
Carlos Muñoz Ferrada
Chilean astronomer and seismologist
He studied at the Chilean Nautical Pilot School, and in 1929 he graduated as a third pilot. Later, on April 13, 1956, he received his title as first pilot of the National Merchant Marine. He worked at the State Maritime Company (Empremar). Later he studied to be a professor of astronomy and meteorology in the Chilean Navy , and worked as a meteorological technician and became chief of meteorology at LAN Chile . [ 2 ]According to his official biography, he studied engineering and experimental physics at the University of Chile , which he complemented with courses at the astronomical societies of Paris and Milan . He would also have been a member of the Dijon Astronomical Society. In the 1940s he was a research astronomer for the government of Panama , and in 1948, during a trip to El Salvador , he met María Dolores Rivera, with whom he married and had four children, Nelson, Carlos, Lucía and Marina. [ 2 ] [ 3 ]That same year, in 1948, he established his ” observatory ” in Villa Alemana, an artisan laboratory where he worked with second-hand equipment created by himself. [ 2 ] [ 4 ] He died in that city on October 17, 2001, as a result of a thrombosis, at the age of 92 years.
Theories and predictions
Controversial for his insights and theories, Muñoz Ferrada relied on geodynamics to explain his seismic observations and predictions, calculated “literally by hand” [ 4 ] based on solar bursts, attractions of the planets, and cycles of geophysical disturbances. [ 3 ]He is credited with predicting earthquakes, weather changes, and volcanic eruptions. For example, he is credited with making predictions for the 1939 Chillán earthquake in 1938 [ 2 ] and the 1985 Algarrobo earthquake . [ 3 ] He would also have predicted in 1940 the appearance of a comet, which would later have been discovered by the Royal Astronomical Society of London, [ 1 ] an entity that would have recommended the Chilean name for the celestial body. [ appointment required ]It had many adherents as detractors. His disciple Eduardo Martínez says that Muñoz promoted a “true” school “of knowledge, which combined in a very balanced way the great contributions of the positive sciences with those knowledge from other cultures, particularly from the East, which he always advocated as highly profound and endowed with an extraordinary empiricism ». [ 4 ] Astronomer José Maza , 1999 National Exact Sciences Award , described him as a ” charlatan ” and “a typically Chilean character who did not contribute anything to science, except to have media notoriety”. [ 1 ]
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