Oana Sandu


FETU exhibition in Bulgaria helps promote a planetarium in Sofia

On March 22nd 2010, the Astronomical Association – Sofia and Sofia Municipality are welcoming the inhabitants and visitors of the Bulgarian capital into the gardens of the National Theatre, where the exhibition “From the Earth to the Universe” will be opened.  This event is a continuation of the program of the Astronomical Association – Sofia to celebrate the International Year of the Astronomy 2009, following its slogan “The Universe – yours to discover!”  The exhibition will continue until April 18th and will be closed during the Night of astronomy, thus making it a part of Global Astronomy Month 2010 as well. (April 17-18 2010).

This exhibition is the natural prelude to the much larger project of building a planetarium and a public observatory in Sofia.  Sofia is among the very few European capitals without a planetarium!  About 2 million inhabitants and visitors are deprived of the possibility to get into closer contact with the magic of the night sky, which remains hidden behind the intensive city lights.  Since the middle of the last century, six cities in Bulgaria have built planetariums, which are daily attracting a remarkable number of cosmic adventurers.  The idea of having a planetarium in the 130-year-old capital has been around for some 50 years, but has never been achieved—despite the fact that a planetarium would fill a huge gap in the city’s cultural life and would fast become a favorite place to be for the youth, from ages two to 102 years.

Creation of a planetarium in Sofia will require gathering and focusing  the efforts of several institutions.  The Astronomical association – Sofia would like to attract the attention of the public on this important issue, and demonstrate that the capital’s inhabitants and visitors are interested in improving its cultural and educational life.  As part of the exhibition, for inspiration, the work of the young architect Elena Daskalova, a scholar of the Planetarium in Smolyan, will be displayed.  Also, during the exhibition the enthusiastic team of the Astronomical Association – Sofia will be offering observations with telescopes for everybody curious to glimpse the stars, and will be answering and discussing all the public’s questions about the Universe.

Romanian astronomers get ready for the Marathon

Amateur astronomer Sorin Hotea challenges his Romanian colleagues to take part in Messier Marathon 2010.  Sorin has been organizing this event since 2004, with a constant growth in participants.  Starting last year, the Marathon is also an award competition.  This year’s highlight is the longer period of the event—from March 15 until April 15—and its inclusion in Global Astronomy Month 2010.  For more information, visit the Romanian website.


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