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Czech Republic

European Researchers’ Night – ‘A night with the stars’


Hradec Králové, Ondřejov, Ostrava, Prostějov, Rokycany, Slaný, Teplice, Ucipe, Valašské Meziříčí, Vlašim
23 September 2005, 15.30-05.00
Organised by: Astronomical institutions in the Czech Republic

Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences

In the Czech Republic, several astronomical institutes and societies will join forces in a night ‘full of stars’.



Observatory of Ondřejov, 16.00-24.00

Czech Astronomy Society
The Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences will host an exceptional programme for the public and the media which will include a sightseeing tour of the Observatory campus in Ondřejov (16.00-19.00), telescopic ‘stargazing’, and an excursion to a number of the Institutes’ specialised departments to see scientists carrying out their work (19.30-24.00).

Visitors will benefit from the exceptional opportunity to peer into the depths of the universe through telescopes and observe binaries, star clusters, Nebulae and Galaxies. The Albireo Binary Star in the Swan constellation, or the Alcor and Mizar binaries in Ursa Major, may be of particular interest, but there are other bright stars in the sky, such as the Hercules Globular Cluster M 13, the Ring Nebula 57 in Lyra and the Andromeda Galaxy M 31.

Radio telescope
The Solar System – much closer to Earth – will be on the agenda later in the evening. The Moon is viewable after 22.00. As the Moon will near its last quarter two days later, viewers will be able to have a graphic view of the lunar surface at the ’Moon Terminator’ – the border of light and shadow which surrounds the Moon. Planet Mars will also be looked at then. This is of particular interest as Mars’ opposition to the Sun on 7 November 2005 brings Mars much closer to Earth than usual during this time.

Visits of the Šafařík Museum will also be conducted. Excursion participants are to meet at the “central site’ in the original Observatory or, should it rain, at the Observatory Museum. For further information, please contact:

Observatory of Valašské Meziříčí, 15.30-24.00

The Researchers´ Night at the Valašské Meziříčí Observatory will open with a workshop entitled ‘Fifty years of research into the universe’, to celebrate the Observatory’s 50th anniversary. Celebrations will continue on through to Saturday and Sunday, with special programmes for both invited guests and the general public. A joint meeting of leading representatives of the Slovak and Czech Astronomical Societies will also take place on this occasion.

Observatory and Planetarium of Hradec Králové, 22.00-24.00

Participants will have the opportunity to observe the night sky in privileged conditions. In the event of rain, the programme will be presented in the Planetarium.

Observatory of Rokycany, 17.00-02.00

The West Bohemian section of the Czech Astronomical Society, in co-operation with the Rokycany Observatory and the Pilsen Observatory and Planetarium will host a special event, on 23 September 2005, at the Rokycany Observatory. Starting in the afternoon, visitors will be given the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the observatory’s equipment. Demonstrations will be made using various types of telescopes, as well as a meteorological station capable of recording changes in values during an eclipse of the Sun. Other activities will include the presentation, by the institutions, of the results of their specialised activities; an exhibition (weather permitting) of photographs showing the work of West Bohemian astronomers installed on the observatory’s premises; and evening stargazing.

The event will start in the afternoon, thus allowing individual visitors to take part during the day and, weather permitting, to learn about astronomical techniques or to observe the Sun. They will also be able to view the photosphere through the Coudé telescope and the chromosphere through the Rokycany Observatory’s new chromospheric telescope.

Observatory of Úpice, 19.00-24.00

The East Bohemian Branch of the Czech Astronomical Society and the Úpice Observatory will present the following programme:

  • 19.00: Premiere of an audiovisual programme about the Universe
  • 20.00: Guided tour of specialised departments and looking at telescopes
  • 21.00-24.00: Viewings of the autumn constellations of stars, objects in the night sky, the Moon and Mars – with an accompanying programme in the lecture hall. Members of amateur astronomy clubs are offered an entire night of observation, including the option of staying overnight at the Observatory.

Observatory of Teplice, 20.00-05.00

The observatory will be opened to the public. The scheduled programme will include viewings of the summer, autumn and winter skies, those planets which are visible during this period, and the Moon. Visitors will have the opportunity to become acquainted with the cultural, educational and professional activities of the observatory, especially its observations of star alignments.

Observatory of Slaný, 20.00-24.00

The municipal observatory in Slaný will be opened to the public and the programme will include:

  • 20.00: Audiovisual show Look into the near and deep universe’
  • 20.45: Tour of the observatory’s equipment
  • 21.30-24.00: observations of the autumn sky with professional commentary

Johann Palisa Observatory and Planetarium at Ostrava, 20.00-24.00

The observatory, which is open regularly for Saturday observations, will also be open for the Researchers´ Night. A special programme will focus on astronomical research methods in relation to stellar sky observations.

Observatory of Prostějov, 11.30-20.00

The event will be introduced by Dr Petr Heinzel, PhD, and will present the following programme:

  • 11.50: Student lecture on ‘The physics of stellar atmospheres’ about the determination of the physical parameters of stars. It will focus on the physical processes in the stellar atmospheres and the formation of star spectra – including how the spectra help determine star structures. Admission fee: Kč25.00
  • 18.00: General public lecture on ‘Space research of the sun’, addressing current and future research projects on the Sun in various spectral regions, ranging from UV to gamma radiation. .The research missions of the space probes SOHO, SOLAR ORBITER, SOLAR A and B, and others will be presented; and the influence of the Sun on humans and the Earth will be explained. Admission fee: Kč30.00

Vlasim Astronomical Society, 20.00

Logo of the Vlasim Astronomical Observatory
The Multifaceted sun’ is the title of a slide show lecture proposed by the Astronomical Society of Vlasim, consisting of a presentation of solar physics research work by Miroslav Barta, PhD, an expert from the Astronomical Institute of Ondrejov.

Observatory of Vlasim
From the second   half of the 20th century, new observational windows in (thus far) unexplored wavelength fields were gradually opened for astrophysics. As a result of this, our view of the sun, and indeed of the whole of space, underwent a radical change. Humanity could observe, mostly thanks to satellite experiments using space probes Yohkoh, SoHO and TRACE, thus far hidden activities in higher layers of the solar atmosphere. These discoveries led to the gradual improvement of our theoretical understanding of observed phenomena – especially solar eruptions and coronal substance emissions.
The aim of the lecture is not only to present the listeners with wonderful and unusual views of the sun’s hidden facets (as seen by the space probes), but also to give them a brief update on the development of our observational capacities and theoretical understanding of solar activity. The lecture will conclude with a presentation on the impact of the sun’s activities on the Earth and its close spatial surroundings – something commonly referred to as “space weather”.

The public will also have the opportunity to star gaze (assuming the sky is clear enough) through telescopes, which will be accompanied by a professional commentary.

Venue: Vlasimska astronomicka společnost, B. Martinu 1341, 258 01 Vlasim

Štefánik´s Observatory of Prague, 20:00-24:00

View of Stefánik’s Observatory in Prague
The Prague Observatory and Planetarium, a cultural-educational institution visited by 150 000 people a year, will join the celebrations of European Researchers‘ Night, on 23 September 2005, with an extraordinary programme of events to be held at Štefánik‘s Observatory:
  • Visitors will be able to view the Observatory‘s equipment and its permanent exhibition. They will also have the opportunity to observe the stars through the Observatory’s telescopes (weather permitting): viewing binaries, star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies. A member of the professional staff will also provide a running commentary.
  • Part of the tour will include an exhibition ‘One hundred times in a second – once in a lifetime‘, focusing on cosmic rays and elementary particles - which visitors will be able to see with their own eyes in the ‘Wilson Cloud Chamber‘. The exhibition runs until 25 September.
  • Special programmes in the observatory‘s cinema hall will feature the following:
    • 20.00: ‘Depths of the universe and the core of the matter’, by Prof Petr Kulhánek, CSc, on the mysterious world of elementary particles and the forces influencing them.
    • 21.00: ‘Five planets’, a brilliant show featuring astronomers as ‘actors’.
    • 22.00: ‘Into the near and distant universe’, a multimedia widescreen film presentation summarising our basic knowledge of the universe.
    • 23.00: ‘The Moon – the dream and the reality’, a programme dealing with contemporary, often surprising, events which accompanied the origin and development of our nearest neighbour in the universe.


Observatory of České Budějovice, 20.00-23.00

The České Budějovice Observatory, otherwise closed for renovation, will exceptionally open its doors to the public on 23 September to offer a special programme of extraordinary observations of the stars. Visitors will be able to view a series of films on astronomy, as well as a new exhibition called ‘The invisible beauty of the universe and the infrared Spitzer’.

Venue: Klet Hill

Admission fee is Kč 20.

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