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Say nothing in the East?

In the east (I mean the East of  Slovakia) the asterisk is much more than, for example, in western Slovakia or central Slovakia. We can name the observatory on Lomnicky peak in High Tatras, observatories and planetariums in Humenne, Presov, Kosice, Medzev, Michalovce. Svidnik, Trebisov. The Astronomical Observatory at the Nova Kolonica has an exceptional position.

The sky is our treasure,  it is or what our grandparents have seen

Igor Kudzej speaks passionately while visiting this Astronomical Observatory. It is true that in tourism, popularization, attractiveness and education go hand in hand. And so we come to the possibility of visiting the Dark Sky Park in the N Kolonicke sedlo  . It is a park that is part of nearby parks in Ukraine and Poland. Hills in the territory of Ukraine and Poland can be seen from the Kolonica  with the naked eye. The three-park create one of Europe’s largest dark sky parks. The need for a large park of dark sky Igor Kudzej argues that in one small park the darkness is diminishing, in a large park the darkness has a chance to keep up.

Of course, even in the dark sky park, they understand  that the use of light cannot be stopped at all. When people need it, they should shine under their feet and not into the sky.

There is also a nature trail in Nova Sedlica in Poloniny. It consists of seven stops. In summer time, I shall  definitely choose to see the so-called  light pollution cemetery, which is in the village of Zboj in the center of Poloniny UNESCO national park.

It is a fact that the Park of the Dark Sky is indeed in an area where there is mainly nature and nothing more. In this case it’s fine, light smog is an unknown term.

Observatory, Planetarium “Kolonica ”

The conditions for observation are very good in Kolonica. During the day you can watch the sunrise, sunshine and  sunset,  at night the stars. To observe natural and astronomical phenomena, not only astronomy specialists but also ordinary people are interested. It is not in vain that we are talking about astrotourism in tourism. Solar eclipse, lunar eclipse, perzeid meteor shower, meteorite rain – this is a heavenly theater directed by nature, our sky.

As it is also a scientific workplace, the necessary modern technologies are also available for observing the Current Atmosphere Model. What is closer, today’s second largest national telescope with a main mirror diameter of 1 meter, will show observations of variable stars. Incidentally, the staff at the Colonial Saddle Observatory have already discovered them 20 and are registered under the KOL Code. They project a virtual night sky at the planetarium, as well as films in full-screen projection. MARS is a model of an astronomical rotating station for group observation of 20 people. A great idea is the touch sky for the blind.

Special days 

March 17 is every year the official Day of the Stellar and Planetarium. If it is nice, the observation will certainly be interesting. If the weather is not 100%, the opportunities will certainly be enough in the next period. During this year, nature prepares three regular meteor swarms, two solar eclipses, or even the passing of Mercury in front of the Sun.

What about tourism – astrotourism?

Definitely just soft, in small groups. Certainly, significant days of natural phenomena mean an increased arrival of as many as 400 observations – lusty people during the day. In the Astronomical Observatory, they realize that tourists need to know about the Dark Sky Park. At the moment, they themselves are actively communicating with the Polish organizers to “import” the Poles who visit their Polish side in large numbers. A valuable and certainly successful initiative. However, it should be noted that marketing should be done by the institutions, though perhaps not with sufficient staff and financial background. I am referring to the regional and regional tourism organization.

Yet, tourists who come to the observatory need water, respectively. smaller snacks. They should think of this task, ie setting up an environmentally friendly “soft” outpatient sale on the access road to the observatory in the village. It is their responsibility. Reaching out to potential retailers and souvenirs shouldn’t be a problem.

by: Ludmila Novacká

Photo: Ludmila Novacká

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