The Genk Youth Association for Astronomy has been around for 50 years | Jenk

JenkJVS-Descartes, the Genk Youth Astronomy Society, was founded exactly 50 years ago by Lode Vanhoutte. The association now has members from all over Limburg who are passionate about astronomy and science and have led to the building of the Cosmodrome. This weekend they celebrated their anniversary.

The youth movement in Genk was founded on March 27, 1972 by Lode Vanhoutte. His son, Paul Vanhout, became the first president of JVS-Descartes. At that time, the association consisted of 12 to 15 years. One year after their creation, they came up with a very ambitious plan: to set up an observatory in Limburg before July 1975. Then Laud wrote: “We will not understand it, we will have to ‘beat’ it ourselves!”

Thanks to the inspiring support of Armand Bain, former weather forecaster at BRT, JVS-Descartes decided to make this happen by collaborating with the city of Genk. On the initiative of JVS-Descartes, the “VZW Limburg General Observatory” was created for this purpose, which later led to the creation of the Cosmodrome.

After all these years, JVS-Descartes seems to be more than just a youth movement. They organize courses and lectures, launch small rockets and look up at the starry sky with their telescopes. They host science events, maintain an astronomical blog, and launch engineering projects like a weather balloon with a built-in camera.

“Be sure to be your curious young self. Embark on a journey of discovery through the universe, because that way you will understand a lot about what is happening here on this planet,” said Youth Minister Benjamin Dahl.

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Wetherman Frank Debusser is pleased, too. “We at JVS-Kern Pallas had a rejuvenation problem. They did it perfectly in Descartes across the observatory in Genk. There is a constant movement there and you can look at the succession and ensure a new influx of people. The editorial is to keep that for 50 years.”

Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

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