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How Ukraine Celebrated the International Year of Astronomy by Alexander Prokophiev

In the following text all links are in Russian. To read them please use a translator, such as translate.google.com There are some pics at the links, but if you need them in better quality please, just ask. I'll look for the highest resolution.


Actually our club began to think about the IYA at the second half of 2008. On Oct.,4 2008 we carried out a miniconference for amateurs of astronomy dedicated  IYA. There were amateurs from Kiev and Krasnograd at the conference.  The main theses of it were published at

http://www.astroclub.kiev.ua/forum/index.php?topic=6421.0 reply 24.


In 2009 the main events were 100 hours of Astronomy and Galilean Nights.


Looking backward it's very amazing to realize that our club fulfilled almost all the themes of the program.


So I'll write according to the published program just not to miss anything.


-Courses for beginners.

Our Club with the Dnepropetrovsk's Planetarium renewed the astronomical circle for schoolchildren. I'm not sure about the exact word, but as for circle I mean regular classes one - three times a week for schoolchildren in after school time on one special topic - history, math, English etc. This kind of work was stopped by the Planetarium a few years ago. Now our joint efforts renewed its work in Oct. (have a look http://www.dneproplanet.dp.ua/krujok.doc)


As for the training cycles the work of our club actually carried like that. Ones a month we have a big meeting with a special theme of report and discussion after it. If the weather is good we make telescope observations. We invite public at the meeting. On the site http://www.astroclub.kiev.ua/forum/index.php?board=26.0 we make announces about the next meeting of this kind. And since Sept. we obtained possibility to meet every week, so now we began a theoretical cycle on 4 dimensions pattern of the Universe and have a lot of other cycles in project.

 -Movies of training character. 

On Oct., 16 we discussed in details the TV program “Masters of Yekaterinoslavl’” (http://www.astroclub.kiev.ua/forum/index.php?topic=9500.0 reply 7). This program was about the constructing of a telescope by Anton Mel’nik – a club member. We plan to make such discussions about BBC programs etc. in future.


- Connection between societies of amateurs of astronomy on joint programs and observations.


In 2009 the club held the connection through Internet and unofficial meetings with societies of amateurs of astronomy in Kiev “Astropolis” (http://www.astroclub.kiev.ua/forum/index.php?cat=21) and of gymnasium No 59 (http://astro59.kiev.ua/, for instance, May, 14 2009, Section "Club News"); with amateurs of astronomy and coworkers of the Planetarium in Wien, with Finnish society of amateurs of astronomy URSA (Helsinki) (http://www.astroclub.kiev.ua/forum/index.php?topic=8113.0 reply 10), with coworkers of Berlin and Alexandria (Egypt) planetariums.


The club made departures for joint observations in Krasnograd on Jun, 28 (http://www.astroclub.kiev.ua/forum/index.php?topic=9070.0) and in Odessa on Aug., 8 (http://www.astroclub.kiev.ua/forum/index.php?topic=4279.40 reply 44 and fol.). Apart from the observations we made reports and discussions. The most significant was the journey to Odessa, for that time we began to discuss the Galilean Nights program (Oct, 22-24).


The club invited at its large meetings amateurs of astronomy from other towns and countries. Natalia Virnina from ‘Astrodes’ (Odessa) made reports on variable stars on March, 7 (http://www.astroclub.kiev.ua/forum/index.php?topic=7745.0) and Sep., 26  (http://www.astroclub.kiev.ua/forum/index.php?topic=9701.0 reply 19).


On Sept., 25-28 James Wiggins (the USA) and Karen Waterston (the UK) –the organizers of total sun eclipses observations visited the club. This visit was full of events. During the dates there were two meetings of the club, a meeting in another club of young amateurs of astronomy “Follow the Sun!” (http://astronomy.dp.ua/), a visit to the Museum of Mineralogy at the National Mining University to see meteorites in the exposition there (http://www.dneproplanet.dp.ua/astro.html#11). There is the National Center of aerospace education of youth of ukraine named after A.M.Makarov. We organized a visit to its Museum and an open lesson carried out by James Wiggins for the students of aerospace school there (http://www.astroclub.kiev.ua/forum/index.php?topic=9701.0 reply 18).


On dec., 26 Oleg Kryklja from Krasnograd made a report about astrophotography in our club (http://www.astroclub.kiev.ua/forum/index.php?topic=10501.0)


The biggest event of the year was the 8th UkrAstroForum which was carried in Kharkov (http://www.astroclub.kiev.ua/forum/index.php?topic=9701.0). At the Forum a lot of amateurs from all parts of the country gathered. Due to it the new projects and connections appeared.


- Sidewalk astronomy.


We carried out it every evening. Well, almost every evening. Apart from large meeting of the club and participation in International Programs we carried at least 17 sidewalk astronomy events during the year! (There are 17 reports about them at http://www.astroclub.kiev.ua/forum/index.php?topic=6405.0 see reply 21 and fol. about 2009).


We took part in three International programs of sidewalk astronomy.


Participation in the Third International Sidewalk Astronomy Night is described at http://www.astroclub.kiev.ua/forum/index.php?topic=8113.0 There were more then 100 people in it.


Project Galilean Nights took place during three evenings on Oct., 22-24. The sky permitted to make observations on the first two dates. About 300 people observed Jupiter and deep sky objects with the help of 9 telescopes from the Planetarium, a camera store and the Club members (http://www.astroclub.kiev.ua/forum/index.php?topic=9933.0 reply 6 and fol.). It was cloudy on the last evening, so about 15 Club members gathered in the Planetarium at the special program about Galileo and the Galilean Nights (about 100 people were there) then we made a parade of telescopes there and we took three of them to the sidewalk astronomy venue, for a lot of people wished to see at least anything. We showed the opportunities of telescopes, told what could be observed with them and invited people to the next large meeting of the Club. In general more then 600 people attended the three evenings event.


The project of Astronomy without borders suggested carrying out sidewalk astronomy on Dec., 21-22. We made observations under the slogan ‘One Earth - Two Seasons - One People’ of the Moon and the Pleads (M45) and discussed the conditions on the Planet during the solstice. See the details and pics at http://www.astroclub.kiev.ua/forum/index.php?topic=6405.60 reply 63 and fol. There were about 30 people and 3 club members.

 - Exhibitions in museums and cafes. 

There was an exhibition “Sight in the Sky” of fine art in the Art Museum as a part of the project “Galilean Nights in Dnepropetrovsk”. The paintings from the funds of the Museum could be observed on Oct., 21 – Nov.,15. Actually the project wasn’t fulfilled. There still is an opportunity to make exhibitions of astrophotography in the city.

 - Lecture on astronomical themes in libraries, schools, high schools 

There was a lecture for 3 classes in the school No 23 as a part of the project ‘100 hours of Astronomy’. The lecture was so successful that later it was carried out in other schools of the city and Kharkov region (http://www.astroclub.kiev.ua/forum/index.php?topic=8113.20 reply 22 and fol.).


In the summer during school camps Alexander Kovaljov told to children of 8-11 years old about meteorites and showed them in “Novatsky” camp «FREE SUMMER» (http://www.astroclub.kiev.ua/forum/index.php?topic=9025.0 , see as well the reply 5).


Usually in June after the end of classes there is two week practice for schoolchildren in our country. A schoolteacher at the school 45 Tamara Anatolievna Koval’ decided to make it on astronomy for her 8 form schoolchildren. It was a very successful joint project with many members of our club on studding the sky and telescopes, the general picture of the Universe and special astronomy programs that schoolchildren can take part in. (http://www.astroclub.kiev.ua/forum/index.php?topic=8896.0). It looks like a wonderful opportunity to create space thinking.


Due to the Galilean Nights project there were about ten free lectures in schools in September – October (http://www.astroclub.kiev.ua/forum/index.php?topic=9933.0). There was a special event for high schools students in the Central Library. The club and the Library made a special book exhibition “Universe yours to discover” and a lecture about Galileo and the development of astronomy after telescope been invented (http://www.dneproplanet.dp.ua/libr.doc).

 - Articles in MASS-MEDIA etc. 

There is an article about the double vision of Venus in Dnepropetrovsk in a weekly newspaper “Vecherny Gorod” (No13, March, 31). Actually the article was a part of ‘100 hours of astronomy’ project.


Apart from that there were a lot of interviews, ‘on air’ programs, press-conference and other programs of many club members for urban and national TV channels and newspapers. Most of them were in connection with Galilean Nights.

 - Ukraine – Space Power. 

The club makes contacts and organized joint projects with the National Center of aerospace education of youth of ukraine named after A.M.Makarov (program of participants of the Galilean Nights project http://www.dneproplanet.dp.ua/astro.html#05).

 - Concept "a telescope in each school". 

The Kharkov’s Planetarium suggested this concept. As a result free master-classes for teachers were created in our club. The main theme of them was to learn the skills of work with telescope and astro-orientation. As a side result of such work in Sept. – Oct. (http://www.astroclub.kiev.ua/forum/index.php?topic=9933.0) a telescope was restored in school No 138. The continuation of this program is the course “Handmade Telescope”. Oleg Shylov from the Club carried out free classes on how to make a telescope of Galilean type at home (about 50 people attended the classes during 2 months). This program is very similar to “You are Galileo” Japanese concept ((http://www-irc.mtk.nao.ac.jp/~webadm/Galileo-E/index.php).

 - Publication in the popular scientific editions. 

There are publications of an our club member as following:

-         An article “Constellations on Ancient Coins” in Magazine “Kolosok” for schoolchildren (№1 2009, p. 28).

-         An advertisement about Galilean Nights in the Journal “Vselennaja, Prostronstvo, Vremja” – the only Russian language popular journal about astronomy in the countries left after the USSR (№9 2009, p.2 without signature).

-         An article “Galilean Nights” in the journal “Physics in Schools of Ukraine” (“Phizyka v shkolakh Ukrainy”) ((№17 (141) Sept. 2009, p.2-3 – Khar’kov).

There was a brief report “Astronomy on Coins of Ecumene” at the 8th ukrAstroForum  (May, 23, 2009)


- Charity Program.


On Sept., 21 Alexander Kovaljov, a club member made a gift of five meteorites to the Museum of Mineralogy of the National Mining University in connection with the 110 years anniversary of the University. This event was wildly elucidated in MASS-MEDIA on Sept., 28 (http://www.astroclub.kiev.ua/forum/index.php?topic=9932.0). Due to it a lot of TV programs and newspaper articles were done about meteorites later.


Separately it’s necessary to state that the club became an organizer of large scale carrying Galilean Nights in Dnepropetrovsk which became real Holidays in the city. There were 14 participants and 2 sponsors of the project. The site of the Planetarium http://dneproplanet.dp.ua/astro.html became the main coordinator of it, where all events were announced. It’s difficult to estimate the general number of people who took part in the Holidays, for at the sidewalk astronomy evenings there were more then 600 people, at the schoolchildren competitions there were about the same number of organizers and participants, but it really hard to estimate the number of people who read newspapers and saw TV programs. It looks like a few thousand people where involved in the Holidays of the Astronomy.


I think that the next year we will make some more interesting project. My dream is to create a meteor observers team, at least few skilled members who could make observations of asteroids occultations and to collect a group of people to investigate two archeoastronomy themes one is concerning connection of sun eclipses and myths of end of the world and the other is about astronomy on numismatics. And I’d like to see many telescope constructors in the club.


As for the sidewalk astronomy I think it’s an essential moment in our work. We will continue it the same way. By the way could I ask you to add the information about our club as an active sidewalk astronomers group in Ukraine, please . I think that this page /id7.html is OK. With the information

ukraine - Dnepropetrovsk   AstroDnepr ([email protected]) website (http://www.astroclub.kiev.ua/forum/index.php?board=26.0)


I think that we will continue to carry out miniconferences on special topics for amateurs of astronomy.


Now we think about making evening telescope observations at schools as a part of the Planetarium program.


And I was asked to look for grants for we can make much more with the help of Coronado, we can take some schoolchildren at the 9th ukrAstroForum free of charge as a reward for their work. We can create a prize fund for astronomy competitions among students. And we can get some more equipment for our club which could help us to work.


There was a New Year tea party on Dec., 26. And we wished each other to make more achievements in 2010 then in 2009. So we really try to use the momentum of the IYA!