In late November 2015 took place the closing ceremony of the pl@NETour project, one of the most generous projects in a long-term perspective, to promote tourism, which have been ever implemented in this area in Romania. With the official closure of the project began one of the most exciting post-stages of its: the opening activities to the centers of Astronomical Tourism Network, through travel agents and guesthouses situated around points free of light pollution, tourism astronomical accesible: Şugău, Onceşti, Ocna Şugatag, Dumbrăviţa, Rohia and Vf. Paltinu. – That in Maramures, because in Transcarpathia, our Ukrainian partners have selected other five points associated to astronomical tourism.

To stimulate interest for gems visible in the night sky and made accessible the results of this project was made an application for smart phones, available on Google Play (pl@netour), a planisphere which allows identification of objects visible in the sky at the time and calendar date desired, a guide to the night sky, a leaflet and a booklet – designed to present the project genesis of this very special tourism branch, providing access to content with spectacular value in a multidisciplinary perspective of a recreational especially in terms of diversification Holiday activities with an evening-night program that combines cultural dimension of heaven stories with the scientific, observational astronomy.

Because the value of the orientation sky through a planisfere (star map) produced entirely by experts from Astronomy Complex Baia Mare (Publication conducted under the guidance of Mr. Mircea Lite, expert implementation project) is clear, planisphere being an interactive device that allow you, once you have located the cardinal points and the selected date range and zone you are at that moment, to see what constellations are above you and identify each of the main or principal stars , “the guide of Night sky”, a trilingual manual (en-eng-UCR) which has 44 pages with illustrations and explanations in detail – is an instrument documented and published by prof. Ovidiu Ignat – expert technical project, being one of the most important publications for popularizing astronomy ever made by Baia Mare Planetarium.

Guidance in the sky – (Sky reading book) has in its preamble two articles made by prof. Ioan Bob, presenting a serious and global problem, acknowledged internationally and are seeking solutions to planet scale: cosmic pollution and artificial light pollution. Pollution of the Earth orbit with space debris of varying sizes is a consequence of human adventure in space and represents an imminent danger to all present and future space missions. Light pollution, on the other hand, affects multiple ecosystems of the planet, leading to species extinction and has an undeniable influence on human health, causing degeneration, weakening the immune system and generating an acceleration of the aging of human body. The two major themes related to the spatial and light pollution were, moreover, major components of international program of celebration the “International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies – 2015”.

The main articles of the Orientation Guide to the Night Sky, provides an introduction to terminology and meaningful explanation on the appearance of the heavenly vault and on the perspective of the observer. Also in generalities series is presented diurnal movement and types of constellations after their position in the sky: the circumpolar constellations, zenith constellations, equatorial and ecliptic (zodiacal) constellations, and also the southern sky constellations.

Subchapter “Methods and means of orientation in the sky” gives us some clues by which we can measure distances and angular dimensions using our hands, various lengths and widths of the fingers. Guide content among the constellations and identifying the principal stars contains the presentation aspect of heaven seasons – Winter sky, Spring sky, Summer sky, Autumn sky with display of helpful markings, assisting the observer crossing, safe from a constellation to another, marked major milestones, asterisms well known and various transit routes from one constellation to another, using mnemonic landmarks.

Astronomical Tourism may be a branch niche of national tourism as a long-term strategy, as it provides diversity, access to culture and science – both in an informal spaces and generate interest because the activities offered to tourist amateur astronomers is a good alternative of cable television and internet, more or less accessible in this areas wich are by the way free of … light pollution.

As well remember, 2009 was the International Year of Astronomy, whose slogan correctly translated “The universe is waiting for you to discover!” has been embraced by millions of people worldwide. If you want, you can interpret the astronomical tourism as a implementation, or an illustration of what advanced astronomy must represent for us men, “the foundation of a cosmic consciousness” as Hubert Reeves said.

Ciprian Crisan




In the days of 25 to 27 November 2015, at the Astronomy Complex from Baia Mare were held the festivities of oficial closure of the pl@NETour project, developed under the ENPI – CBC Programme HUSKROUA, program co-financed by the European Union, a project aimed at creating a tourism scientific product and infrastructure for a network of astronomical tourism in the regions of Maramures and Transcarpathia.

Through this project, applied and implemented by the Maramures County Council, Astronomy Complex from Baia Mare has been equipped with new planetarium equipment – model Zeiss Skymaster ZKP4 – top technology in this field, in a dome renovated and equipped with digital and environmental support and a performant sound system. Our partners from the National University Uzhhorod – a city in western Ukraine, near the border with Slovakia and Hungary, were equipped with a mobile digital planetarium, being the only planetarium located on an very wide area, and maps of Maramures and Transcarpathia in wich were positioned five points free of light pollution, suitable for astronomical observations, points that were connected with various units for receiving tourists, and which were enriched with information, star charts, leaflets etc.

Events organized on this occasion concerned the official closing ceremony of the project, were honored by the presence of the President of Maramures County Council – Mr. Zamfir Ciceu and important representatives of the ENPI program, travel agencies, students, teachers, volunteers and of course – other representatives from Maramures County Council, University Uzhhorod – Ukraine, the Rach Ecotour reprezentative – which was the associate partner in Ukraine project, other team members of IARDI and Astronomy Complex from Baia Mare.

The very practical activities of this closure event were the visit and astronomy testing the points free of light pollution from Maramures County, astronomical observations and planetarium shows presentations. This part of the event was intended to highlight the excellent results of this project and concrete ways it can be developed in the future, and to that time presented even other ENPI successful projects and was opened an exhibition of space painting – as interactive moment – were performed live a number of artistic works by this technique.

We need to mentions some publications of the project portofolio: a planisphere (interactive night sky map), a flyer, night sky guide, a DVD presentation, micro-computer applications and online publications. It is significant that only in the first three months of new planetarium equipment operation – the Astronomy Complex from Baia Mare was visited by over 10,000 visitors.

Through this project coordinated by the Maramures County Council, by manager Mihaela Lite and the project team, the Astronomy Complex from Baia Mare become currently the most modern planetarium in Romania and Southeast Europe, one of the most popular objectives of cultural tourism and popular science in Romania and not only.

This modern technology of what we could call “the spacetime machine”, or night sky simulator, or window to the universe from Baia Mare assured thr reinventing of the Baia Mare Planetarium, and partially offsets the issue of light pollution in the area of ​​his activity, which prevents us to present many outdoor live astronomy observations of live thousands of space objects in the Universe, that are now available in the astronomical tourism centers of pl@NETour.

We thank all those who made possible the successful realization of this project, part of a new begining of Astronomy Complex from Baia Mare.

Ciprian Crisan – Astronomy Complex Baia Mare

Entire gallery of images and audio version of the article can be found here (click)



In the ”European Cooperation Day”, Maramures County Council held on 13 October 2015 at Astronomy Complex of Baia Mare (Planetarium), a round table presenting the results of European funded projects implemented under the ENPI CBC Programme HU-SK-RO UA 2007-2013.


The event was attended by representatives of several institutions and organizations that have developed cross-border projects Maramures using this occasion to disseminate the results obtained in carrying out projects and thus achieving a useful exchange of experience.

Thus in the event they were presented the following projects and their results:

  1. “Open borders for bears in the Carpathians of Romania and Ukraine” – beneficiary / project leader organization WWF Danube Carpathian Programme Romania (see project web page;
  2. “Management of biodegradable waste in Baia Mare, Romania and Kolomyia and Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine” – beneficiary / project leader Baia Mare Public Urban Environment Service;
  3. “RoUaSoil: Romania-Ukraine border area – management of sites contaminated by petroleum products” – beneficiary / project leader Technical University of Cluj-Napoca University Center Baia Mare (see page project);
  4. “Promoting investment opportunities, cooperation between small and medium enterprises and developing cross-border relations in the Carpathian region” – Partner Foundation project “Center for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises” Maramures (see page project );
  5. “CLAMROUA – Management for clean air in the border region Romania-Ukraine” – beneficiary / project leader Environmental Protection Agency Maramures (see page project);


Projects implemented by the Maramures County Council (Maramures County UAT) as beneficiary / project leader and / or partner:

  1. “Increasing response capacity in the event of natural disasters in the border region”;
  2. “CBC Parliament – Parliament Transborder Cooperation – ICT instrument for achieving a forum in border regions in Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Ukraine” (see project website / application informaticăhttp: //
  3. “Pl@NETour – Creating a scientific tourism product and the crossborder infrastructure for a cooperation network in domainf scientific tourism in Maramures and Transcarpathia” (see page project or project blog http://planetour .com.


At the end of round table discussions were held on future funding opportunities and new project ideas and event host: Astronomy Complex Baia Mare giving participants a presentation in the planetarium dome made with the new equipment purchased under the project Pl@NETour.

Press over the Maramures County Council website – where you can access the photo gallery.


Orientation Practical Guide of orientation to Celestial Sphere (part II)

Orientation Practical Guide of orientation to Celestial Sphere (part II)

  1. Methods and ways for orientation across the heavens
  1. Distances and angular dimensions

For an easy aiming through the sky is very useful to approximate distances between celestial bodies, namely to can measure (in degrees) apparent distances between them. It may seem hard to accomplish this, but it becomes relatively easy if we know a few tricks. As I mentioned earlier, the sky seems to be like a sphere, the observer being in the center of this sphere. If a star is near the horizon, the angle it is seen is almost zero, and if the star is directly overhead (the zenith), the angle between the direction of Horizon-Observer and Observer-Star is 900. To measure any intermediate angle, we use the palm or the Ursa Major constellation (the Big Dipper).

For most people, the ratio of arm length and hand diameter is constant, ie, for each of us, when stretching the arm, hand or fist will occupy the same number of degrees in the sky.

Ursa Major is probably best known constellation in the world. It was mentioned by Ptolemy in his Almagest, it appears in the literature in the works of Homer, Shakespeare or Tennyson and was painted by Vincent van Gogh in his famous “The Starry Night” work.

This group of stars is also mentioned in the Bible. The main asterism of the constellation consists of seven stars (the Big Dipper) and is visible throughout the year in the sky, because Ursa Major is a circumpolar constellation at latitude of our region. If we know the angular distances of the main stars of asterism, we can approximate well enough and other angular distance in the sky.

Here are some examples of angular size in the sky:

  • Imaginary circle of the horizon line has an angular distance of 3600;
  • Angular distance between two consecutive cardinal points (eg. E-S or S-V) have clearly 900;
  • Height of Polar star, for this region is about 470 (height of Pole star coincide with the latitude of the observation place);
  • The apparent diameter of the Sun in the sky is about 31-32 minutes, or almost half a degree. This means that the Sun could fit twice after the little finger of the hand stretched toward the sky. Almost the same it happens with Moon, whose body apparent diameter on the sky ranges from 29 to 34 minutes;
  • The apparent diameter of Jupiter, observed from Earth, is between 29.8 and 50.1 arc seconds;
  1. Learning the constellations and orientation on night sky

There are various ways and methods for learning and easy identification of constellations on the night sky. Whatever it is good for beginners to become familiar with the constellations names firstly and then move to recognize them, starting on a sky map and then to the night sky. A good method for finding constellations is the alignment method that can offer in the same time the identification of stars or major points on the sky.

Winter Sky

Northern sky appearance, valid for December – at 11 PM, January – at 9 PM, February – 19 PM.

In order to identify the main constellations, we should start with Ursa Major, a well-known constellation located in a less crowded area of ​​the sky with stars. Tracing an imaginary line through the rear wheels of the Big Dipper into drawbar (Line 1) and counting on this line five times the distance between these wheels take as to the North Star. With a further extension of this line (Line 2) at a distance of about 120 in the Cepheus constellation, will meet the Errai star and just above (Line 3), the Caph star from Cassiopeia. This constellation has the shape of the letter M in the sky winter and acquires a W-shape on summer sky. Between the two chariots winding the Draco constellation cu the star Thuban, a former polar star of about 5,000 years ago. Extending the imaginary line passing through the rear wheels of the Big Dipper (Line 4) to the North Star opposite direction, we go through Leo Minor, reaching the northeastern part of the sky, in the well-known ecliptic constellation of Leo. Looking overhead (towards the zenith – Line 5), we will distinguish the constellations of Camelopardalis (giraffe) and Perseus, and in the northwestern part of the sky (Line 6) can be seen a good part of the constellation Cygnus (the Northern Cross). Inside the curvature of drawbar of the Big Dipper, there are two stars resembling the Constellation of Hunting Dogs, the star nearest to horizon, Cor Caroli being a spectacular double star.

Eastern Sky Appeareance, valid for December – at 11 pm, January – at 9 pm and February – at 7 pm.

Castor and Pollux stars from Gemini constellation are among the brightest stars in the eastern sky winter. They can be easily recognized by their colors, with orange tint of Pollux and the blue-white of Castor. On clear nights, under Gemini may be observed a diffuse spot very tough perceptible, a place known as Praesape’s Cluster, located in the Cancer constellation. Going farther to the horizon (line 1) we will find the Hydra`s head. In the southeastern part of the sky can be observed the brightest star of the entire celestial spfere, Sirius from Canis Major. Line 2 connects the stars Pollux from Gemini, Procyon from Canis Minor and Sirius passing through Licorne (Monoceros). Imaginary line between Castor (Gemini) and Dubhe (Ursa Major), cut the constellation of Lynx (line 3). In the opposite part to the Big Dipper, relative to the Castor star, crossing the Gemini constellation star we reach the Betelgeuse star from Orion constellation (line 4). In the eastern part of the Hydra constellations, above the horizon makes its appearance the constellation `Leo the Great` (line 5).

The appearance of sky looking to  the south, valid for December – at 11 pm, January – at 9 pm and February – 7 pm

The most beautiful constellation of the southern part of winter sky is Orion. It can be easily recognized after the three stars aligned from the Hunter`s belt (1). Under Orion constellation is the Rabbit, and in the left side of this constellation can be easily identified Sirius star from Canis Major, because it is the brightest star of the entire night sky. To the right of Orion constellation, towards southwest, there are the Whale and Eridanus constellations (line 2), and at left of hunter, above the Great Dog, we identify the Unicorne and the Procyon star from Canis Minor (line 3). Just to the south, in front of the hunter constellation is Taurus, with Aldebaran as the brightest star. At that time (December 15 2013, 11:00 pm), the Moon was only at 30 to the right of Aldebaran star. To the left of Taurus, we identify the Gemini and Cancer constellations (line 4), and the Taurus horn from zenith direction ends in Alnath star (line 5), a star which is shared by the constellations of Taurus and Auriga (Auriga). In the western part of Auriga, we meet the Perseus constellation. Extending the line starting from Aldebaran and passes through the Moon, we get the star cluster of Pleiades (M45), place more known to Romanians as the Hatching Hen (6).

In the southeastern part of the sky above the Whale, in a clear night conditions we will find the Pisces constellation (the constellation being formed does not have brilliant stars) and inside the rope connecting the two fish tails can be recognized the great square of Pegasus. To the left of eastern fish there are two more small constellations, Aries and Triangle.

The appearance of western sky, valid for December – at 11 pm, January – at 9 pm and in February – at 7 pm

By Ovidiu Ignat



Maramures County Council runs together with its partners: Astronomy Complex Baia Mare (RO), the International Association of Regional Development Agencies – IARDI (Transcarpathia, UA) and National University of Uzghorod – Laboratory for Space Research (Transcarpathia, AU), the project “pl@NETour – Creating of a scientific tourism product and cross-border infrastructure for a network of scientific tourism in Maramures and Transcarpathia”, funded by CBC Hungary-Slovakia-Romania-Ukraine 2007-2013

The main objective of the project is diversification of the existing range of tourism services by creating a new product called scientific tourism: pl@NETour, with an improved infrastructure for Planetarium Baia Mare (equiped due to project with an optical-mechanical projector) and Uzhorod National University – Laboratory for Space Research (equiped with a powerful digital projector and a portable dome).

The project has reached the stage of inaugurations of pl@NETour centers, and after the inauguration at Baia Mare of the new Zeiss Skymaster ZKP4 star projector, held on 17 March 2015, it was the time for Ukrainean partners to hold, on May 22, 2015 the opening ceremony of the pl@NETour Centre in Uzhgorod, respectively a digital planetarium and mobile dome purchased through the project. At this ceremony was attended besides the members of the project teams of the 4 partners from Romania and Ukraine and representatives of the leadership of the State Administration of Transcarpathia region, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Tourism of the Transcarpathian region, the Rector of the National University Uzghorod and Space Research Laboratory of the University.

Besides this inaugural event, during the period 21 to 22 May 2015 were held in Uzhgorod other activities within the pl@NETour project: on May 21, 2015 a visit to the Observatory located outside the city of Uzhgorod and astronomical nightsky observations at the Observatory located in Uzghgorod inside the astronomical park of the National University Uzghorod, both actions being the practical workshop with the theme of astronomical observations.

On May 22, 2015 was held a working meeting of project teams, aimed at assessing the status of implementation, progress made by each partner in the regions covered by the project and future steps to be followed to complete the project in good condition. Ukrainian partners received the second tranche of maps with points of astronomical observation for Maramures county and Transcarpathia region, which was conducted by Maramures County Council and Astronomy Complex Baia Mare, and the map will be available to all tour operators, and tourists from the two partner counties.

Activities to be undertaken in the upcoming period of the project are presentations maded in planetariums and astronomy observations for the target groups of the project (students students, travel agencies and tourist operators).

Mihaela Lite – project general manager

planetour 2Planetour 3Planetour 4planetour 5planetour 6planetour 7



Between 17 to 21 March 2015, the Astronomy Complex Baia Mare were held a series of events dedicated to the inauguration of the new star projector Skymaster ZKP4 installed in a dome renovated and modernized with extremely comfortable armchairs, sound system and digital billboards with automatic and manual control of the night sky simulations.

This revival of the institution occurred in just two days away from International Day of planetariums (15 March), the full swing of the “International Year of Light and technologies based on light” (2015), the frames also celebrating 45 years uptime of the first public planetarium opened in Romania, Baia Mare, on July 1, 1969.

The unique status of public institution to popularize astronomy in Transylvania was kept for many decades of existence, our institution can count hundreds of thousands of visitors who have crossed the threshold and who wanted to return someday to relive the experience otherwise impossible under the stars by night.

At 46 years away from the opening of the first planetarium public in Romania, using essentially the help offered by the Maramures County Council in the design and implementation of a project for crossed-border and financial support of the European Union, in Baia Mare has just been put into a new Cosmos portal, a new open window to the knowledge of the universe. But modernization of Astronomical Complex means also a new high-powered telescope, a speciality library and many plans to restore astronomy in the public highscools and make available to everyone, both astronomical observations of the Sun, and more intense sessions of night sky observations. And an essential component of cross-border project pl@NETour is developing a network of centers for astronomical observation in areas free of light pollution, to support astronomical tourism in Maramures  and Transcarpathia.

Sequences of the first public demonstration – the inauguration of March 17, 2015

Ciprian Crisan



Maramures County Council runs together with its partners: Astronomy Complex Baia Mare (Ro), the International Association of Regional Development Agencies – IARDI (Transcarpathia, UA) and National University of Uzhorod – Laboratory for Space Research (Transcarpathia, AU), the project “pl@NETour – Creating a scientific tourism product and a cross-border infrastructure  for a network of scientific tourism in Maramures and Transcarpathia”, funded by CBC Hungary-Slovakia-Romania-Ukraine 2007-2013.

The main objective of this project is diversifying the existing tourism services by creating a new scientific tourism product called: pl@NETour with an improved infrastructure for the Planetarium from Baia Mare and the Laboratory for Space Research of the National University of Uzhorod – (equipped also with a digital projector and a portable dome).

echip planetariu-15012015145906One of the most important activities on project was completed in late December 2014 by purchasing the planetarium. This optical mechanical equipment of the latest generation, Skymaster ZKP4 LED model, manufactured by ZEISS, from Germany, will replace the old ZEISS ZKP1 equipment, produced in 1969, which was a version with a little improvements of the first ever builded modern public planetarium (1936).

The accessories that comes with the basic equipment will allow a diversification of presentations in the planetarium dome, the new equipment with many facilities will surely please the audiences.

In this period they were carried out extensive modernization works at the Baia Mare Astronomical Complex: projection room and dome of the planetarium were upgraded to rise to the standards required by new equipment, with modernized facility lighting and ventilation and were purchased comfortable chairs for the projection room.

In late January 2015 a team of experts and specialists from the manufacturing company will install new equipment and train the staff of Baia Mare Astronomy Complex in its use.

Mihaela Lite – Project General Manager



DEVELOPMENT OF RESEARCH DIRECTIONS OF THE UZHNU LABORATORY OF SPACE RESEARCHES V.P. Jepishev, S.I. Ignatovych, I.I. Isak, N.I. Kablak, V.U. Klimyk, I.I. Motrunych, Y.M. Motrunych, I.F. Neibauer



Earth’s first artificial satellite was launched into orbit on October 4, 1957. This event marked the beginning of the space age. Only two days after the launch, people realized this new artificial celestial body was first observed directly, using performant optics in Uzhhorod and Leningrad by the professor I. Aljeksahin, from National University of Uzhhorodd, then a third year student, and they mapped the first point which later was officially declared as professional satellite position on the map of the night sky by the Control Centre flight. It was the only the begining of the history with research units in Transcarpathia connected with the subject of outer space.


V.P. Jepishev, S.I. Ignatovych, Î.I. Isak, n.i. Kablak, V.U. Klimyk,

Î.I. Motrunych, Y.M. Motrunych, I.F. Neibauer

Uzhhorod National University, Pidgirna Str. 46, 88000, Uzhhorod, Ukraine

e-mail: spaс


Scientific research directions of the Laboratory for Space Research UZHNU have always been determined by the needs of the moment, being so topical. They aimed to develop methods for monitoring of space near Earth objects and space geodesy solutions, involving geodynamics, geophysics and atmospheric physics land based observations of artificial satellites in Earth’s soil. This article presents current methods and research directions of the laboratory connected with observations ASE (artificial satellites of Earth).

The whole article, în PDF format could be found here:


Practical Guide of orientation to Celestial Sphere

Practical Guide of orientation to Celestial Sphere

  1. Generalities
  2. Celestial Sphere

Sky with its myriad of stars has ignite the imagination of people when they raised their eyes to heaven conscious. Knowing the sky, one of the basic problems of observational astronomy, means first of all knowing the constellations, star clusters designed from immemorial time. Ancient man imagined the sky figures representing creatures and objects related to daily life, religious cults and various natural phenomena that he could not explain at that time. Every nation, every civilization has built his own vision of heaven, an image of the heavenly vault inevitably depended on where they looked toward the sky and the degree of socio-economic development of the people concerned. For example, the Greek interpretation of sky replete with heroes and deities and Romanian Sky have the largest share of pastoral and agrarian constellations.

The appearance of the heavenly sphere is derived from several causes. The human eye, a complex optical instrument, near to perfection, still has shortcomings, among which the most important is that it can’t distinguish and appreciate distances, especially when they are in different directions. Therefore, from a certain distance limit, human eye places all objects at the same distance, so all the visible stars and other heavenly bodies situated at huge distances appear to be projected on a sphere whose center seems to be the observer. Celestial Sphere impression is emphasized even because of the multiple scattering phenomenon of light (sunlight scattering by particles suspended in the opaque solid and gaseous atmosphere), forming a perspective background in which the stars seems to be projected. The diffusion phenomenon contributes also to the color of the firmament, and to the fact that in the middle of the night we don’t get a full darkness. Stars contribute to the natural light of the night with just a few percent.

If the observer’s eye is at a low height above the Earth, it does not perceive clearly the circular shape of the earth’s surface but only a tiny portion. Because of this, the illusion that the earth is flat tricked the men for millennia. This circular border around observer is called horizon. Radius expressed as mathematical horizon has the following value: R = 3.8 √h, where h represented the height above the ground observer’s eye in meters. With this formula you can calculate the height of 1,75 m a man sees flat horizon located at a distance of 5-6 km. So, on this tiny sphere (diameter of 10-12 km) compared to the size of Earth, we see the whole accessible Universe for astronomy observations.

  1. Diurnal Movement

If we observe the night sky for several hours, we feel that the celestial sphere rotates entirely as a solid body, from east to west (this happens because the real movement of the Earth around its axis occurs at west to east), making a complete rotation in 24 hours. This phenomenon is called diurnal rotation of the celestial sphere or shorter, diurnal movement.

During diurnal movement, all the stars perform circles with the centers situated on a straight imaginary line called the ”Axis Mundi” which stinging the celestial sphere in both North and South pole (celestial North Pole is situated closed to Polar Star for northern hemisphere and celestial South Pole is located in Octans constellation for the Southern Hemisphere).

During his revolution movement around the Sun, the Earth performs an arch movement of 10 daily (specifically: 0,9860). But we have the impression that the sun moves eastward with the same daily arch. Therefore, the stars rose and set each day by nearly four minutes faster than the previous day (the equivalent in time of 10 arch).

                From simple observations on diurnal movement the following laws can be easily derived:

– Orb performs a movement from East to West or clockwise;

 – Diurnal movement is uniform, so every celestial body describe equal arcs in equal time units;

– Heavenly movement is synchronous, been carried out like if the celestial sphere it would be solid and it maintain relative distances between celestial bodies (except the Moon and planets);

– Diurnal movement is circular, all the stars having centers located on the Axis Mundi, describing parallel circles relative with the celestial equator.

  1. Constellations

In order to be more recognizable, the stars visible with naked eye were grouped into zones, so the obtained drawn resemble figures of people, animals or objects. With time, the drawings have been replaced with simple geometric figures that are obtained with straight lines joining some stars of the constellation.

Currently, a constellation is associated most often with an area of ​​the sky, expressed in square degrees of sky, a group of apparent stars which, united by an imaginary line, resembles an object, animal, god and so on.

Number constellations varied over time from 48 to 131. It’s hard to say exactly who fired the first constellations or where and when this happened. Surely we know who was the most meticulous artisan of designing constellations. In II AD Century, Ptolemy in his “Megale Syntaxis” (which later became more known as al-Majisti or Almagest due to a translation in Arabic) published among others a catalog of 1022 stars and 48 constellations described. Of these, 47 are used nowadays, and the 48th, ”Argo Navis”, was divided in 4 constellation: Carina, Puppis, Pyxis and Vela. Southern Hemisphere constellations appeared much later, only at the beginning of the sixteenth century, when the first sailors who crossed the southern coast named the constellations identified in those areas. Through an international agreement concluded in 1922 at a congress of the International Astronomical Union, the number of constellations was set at 88 and at that time the figures of the constellations were replaced with simple surfaces on the celestial sphere, surfaces traced by the specific rules that include old images which constellations were likened.

The Constellations visible from our country latitude could be can be classified according to their position in the sky, in this manner: circumpolar constellations, zenithal constellations, equatorial constellations equatorial, ecliptic constellations, and austral constellations.

Circumpolar constellations are those groups of stars that rotate around the North Celestial Pole (located near the North Star), remaining always above the horizon. For northern latitudes between 450 and 500, these constellations are: Cassiopeia, Perseus, Camelopardalis, Lynx, Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Draco, Cepheus and Lacerta.

Zenithal constellations are called so because they pass during diurnal movement at the zenith of the place (point in the sky located on the vertical of site). They spring up towards the North East and sets in the Northwest direction. For this region, in this category can be grouped the following constellations: Andromeda, Triangulum, Auriga, Leo Minor, Canes Venatici, Coma Berenices, Bootes (the Herdsman), Corona Borealis, Hercules, Lyra, Cygnus (the Swan), Sagitta (the Arrow), Vulpecula, Delphinus, Equuleus (the Foal), Pegasus.

Equatorial constellations are lined along the celestial equator. They pop up in the east and sets in the west direction and is useful in guiding the Earth’s surface, meaning to determine approximately the compass direction (where we see the constellation near the horizon). Equatorial constellations visible in this region are: Cetus (the Whale), Orion, Monoceros (The Unicorn), Canis Minor, Hydra, Sextant, Ophiuchus, Serpens, Aquila (The Eagle).

Ecliptic constellations (or The Zodiac) are located on the ecliptic, the apparent Sun path on the celestial sphere. Each of these constellations occupies an area of about 300 in width on the sky. They are: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces.

Austral Constellations (southern constellations) can be seen only partially near the horizon. Following are some of the constellations of the southern visible in these regions: Eridanus, Lepus (the rabbit), Canis Major, Puppis (Stern), Crater (Cup), Corvus, Austral Fish, Sculptor, Pyxis (Compass), Antlia (Pneumatic Pump), Centaurus, Fornax (the Furnace).

Ovidiu Ignat – Astronomy Complex from Baia Mare




Until the construction of first scopes and telescopes and of increasingly perfected telescopes, development of astronomy was based only on observations made with the naked eye on celestial bodies.

In principle, any refracting scope or telescope is made up of two main parts, centered on the same optical shaft, the objective consisting of a lens or a lens system (or a mirror for the telescope), which serves to collect the light from the heavenly body which is oriented towards and thus gives the real image in its focal plane. The image obtained is magnified with a magnifying glass, simple or compound, which is called the eyepiece (ocular). The objective and eyepiece are mounted in different ways on the telescope tube or rear scope.

The objective is the main part of any astronomical instrument. Its diameter can vary from a few centimeters to a few decimetres (where telescopes few meters) or more, and the length of focal lens (distance from the center of the lens by which to form a clear picture of the observed object) is typically between 10 and 20 times its diameter. The objective is the masterpiece that determine the quality and value of any astronomical instrument.

By nature of the objective, we can divide astronomical instruments into two categories: telescopes or refractors or reflectors and rear scopes.

From the point of view of practical applications, observation tools can be divided into: measuring instruments; observation instruments themselves; supporting and special tools.

Measuring instruments are generally small, light and fine. Of those for measuring angles the main part is constitute by divided circles, and the secondary part is the telescope that has more than just the role of sight. In turn, these tools can be divided into two types:

– Stable, such as meridian sniper, meridian circle, astronomical clock and so on;

– Portable, like theodolite, sextant, chronometer and coronagraph.

Observation tools designed especially for the physical survey of the stars are usually large, heavy and stable, having frames that allow diurnal motion tracking. They are divided into:

– Optical instruments, which help to catch the rays of light (monoculars, telescopes, etc.);

– Radio-captors, they catch electromagnetic radiation;

Special tools are helpful and in a number and a wide variety used in specific cases for the resolution of which were actually imagined and realized.



Refracting telescope is a tool for collecting and concentrating the refraction of light, so it is also called refractor.

– Galileo’s Telescope or Dutch telescope was invented in 1600 in the Netherlands. Learning of this, Galileo Galilei builds and headed toward heaven in 1609, the first telescope which had a biconvex lens with a focal length from a few cm, and as ocular some biconcave lens of dispersion, with focal length of several centimeters. It sat between objective and its focus and move back and forth until the conical beam of rays given object is transformed into a parallel beam to enter the eye. This telescope gives direct images. It can therefore be used as a spotting scope (not overturn image) as telescopic sights, binoculars etc. The great disadvantage of this type of this refractor is to have a small field of view (comprising a small portion of the celestial sphere) and has a low power magnification.

– Kepler’s refracting telescope has both as objective and eyepiece, biconvex lenses. Eyepiece lens sits behind the outbreak. By this, the telescope has a field of view greater and greater power magnification, but has a longer length and gives the inverted images.



A simple lens has some defects, including the following several important:

  1. a) spherical aberration, which stems from the fact that the objective lens strongest rays reflected from the edge of the lens than those nearer the center, so the optical axis. Each area of objective ​​focus in another outbreak and thus obtain a linear focus, not punctual. Therefore the image of a bright spot (star) will not be just a point, as it should, but a disc, even if light rays fall on the lens parallel to the optical axis. If the light rays fall at an angle, the image will be colored stain, like comets. The defect is corrected by diafragmarea objective, ie covering marginal parties. This, however, decreases the lens surface.
  2. b) Chromatic aberration. Different radiation that make up white light are not equal refracted by the lens. Refracted rays are strongest with low wavelengths (ie purple) and less rays with wavelengths larger (for example, red). Therefore colored images are obtained.

The objectives can be corrected of this aberration with filters (the yellow and green, for example, eliminates coloration of red and blue). The refractive indices of the two lenses can fit so as to eliminate dispersion of more than two different colors. Such object is called achromatic.

Systems consisting of multiple lenses can eliminate three different colors. These objectives are called apocromatics. Their disadvantage is that they can not be builded in large dimensions.

  1. c) Astigmatism is due to the fact that a composite objective, maded even of the two lenses do not form a plan view for an plan object, but the pined one (due to the inclination of the ray from the optical axis are changed, and the plane in which the rays are collected on the other side lens). The objectives astigmatism corrected are called anastigmate (and double anastigmate).
  2. d) distortion inequality comes from different parts of target sizes. Because of this network appears distorted rectangular with curved lines concavity having either outside or inside. Data quality images of an object apart from these aberrations and atmospheric physics and whose effect is added to the characteristics of the building.


  2. a) The power collector is a property of the lens to gather and move towards the observer’s eye a larger number of rays than can penetrate commonly through the pupil.
  3. b) The power of light. Image brightness is, apart from the loss of light, directly proportional to the size and inversely proportional to the lens focal length.
  4. c) The power dividers is one of the most important qualities of refractors. Because of that you can see separately the images of two close luminaries that, to the naked eye, are blended. Two bright points (a double star, for example) apear distinct, if the diffraction rings of their images do not overlap too much. Diffraction is a phenomenon that makes the objectives with all aberrations corrected, to a point not to punctuate bright picture, but a small disc surrounded by concentric rings light and dark, called diffraction rings.

Diffraction discs are much smaller with higher power lens diameter and luminous face. Power dividers depends, however, and the light color and state of the atmosphere at the time of observation.

  1. d) The zoom (magnification) is the ratio of angles under which the image is seen through the eyepiece and the naked eye, being about as the ratio of lens focal length and focal length of the eyepiece. This number shows how many times seen closer an object seen through the telescope to the naked eye.
  2. e) The power of penetration is the smallest size stellar visible through the rear window.

The eyepiece is an optical system composed usually of two lenses. The collectors from objective lens or lens is called field because serves to increase the field of vision and the eye from ocular lens called. Eyepiece becomes minimal chromatic aberration, if the distance between the lens take the arithmetic mean of the two focal lengths of lenses.

There are two types of ocular:

  1. a) Ramsden type eyepiece or micrometer, in which two convex lenses plan components have convexity inwards towards each other.
  2. b) Ocular Huyghens, in which two convex lenses have bumps plan goal oriented. The focus lens is formed between the two.
  3. telescope. TYPES OF TELESCOPES

The telescope is an instrument whose objective (mirror) focuses rays of light by reflection. For this reason also called reflector. It consists of a system of mirrors and eyepiece. It has a large mirror, the main collector which is a glass disc sander on some form of paraboloid of revolution and coated with a thin layer of silver or aluminum. To change the direction of light rays, a second mirror lower secondary, which can deprive may be flat, convex (or concave hyperbolic). Lens defects like mirrors. They have no color deviations, however, because by reflecting light and not broken down into component colors.

  1. a) Herschel Telescope. Mirror lens is inclined to the tube axis, and thus focuses the light rays to the edge where it clicks eyepiece tube. It has the disadvantage that the light rays fall on the mirror and skew deviation spherical mirror and astigmatism become troublesome. It is the only type of telescope secondary mirror without.
  2. b) Newton telescope. Light rays collected by the primary mirror, parabolic, are reflected to the eyepiece side with a side plane mirrors inclined at 45 degrees to the optical axis. The disadvantage of this is that the telescope perpendicular to the direction of radiation and the top of the tube.
  3. c) Gregory Telescope. Home parabolic mirror has perforated in the middle, where it enters the eye to the beam reflected from the secondary mirror, concave and elliptical opposite side of the main mirror focus.
  4. d) Cassegrain telescope. It took place Gregory telescope and is distinguished by the fact that the secondary mirror is convex hyperbolic primary mirror and placed before the outbreak.
  5. e) Schmidt Telescope. In 1930 the optician Bernhard Schmidt is building a telescope that eliminates the drawback of other telescopes, which is to have a small field of view. This type of telescope was used only for shooting, not for visual observations.
  6. f) Maxutov Telescope. An improvement of the Baker-Schmidt telescope. He has a perforated spherical mirror as the Cassegrain telescope type. This type of telescope has a lot of advantages, among which are the following: it is easy to build because spherical surfaces are polished and aberrations are minimized; lens tube that is closed makes silver or aluminum on the inner face has a higher durability, is protected from moisture and dust.

Between the rear window and telescope occurred a continuous and permanent competition.

After the invention of the telescope, have passed 100 years until it was found acromatizare middle of the lens. Until then goals were made smaller and therefore less bright. For this reason it preferred telescope. The telescope was first realized in the Netherlands by Zucchius, but used the telescope for astronomical observations was Newton’s telescope in 1671. Friedrich William Herschel, a musician and amateur astronomer great discoverer and founder of modern astronomy, a polished mirror 400 metal, most of which had a diameter of 1.22 meters and the focal length of 11.9 meters. Glass mirrors used until about 100 years.

By the early nineteenth century Swiss Guinaud found a process to obtain flint glass cleaner and sizes untouched until then and gave the famous optician German Fraunhofer able to grind achromatic lens with a diameter of 26 centimeters, so it is preferred again rear window. But when Foucault, the great French physicist, invented the process of cutting mirror glass instead of mirrors, heavy metal, which is used until then, giving a safe and easy for their study, the race was won again telescope, which today holds supremacy when it comes to size.

Since building objectives (lenses and mirrors) size and higher quality is a major work, like art, they bear the author’s name. Polishers mention of the famous Ritchey Clarke and US and French coud.

Radio telescope. This tool is used for collecting and measuring electromagnetic radiation (radio waves with lengths between one centimeter and twenty meters), accessible vision from the sun, moon, planets, nebulae and by numerous other sources. It is such a valuable complement to optical instruments, because they can gather information that rays of light can not bring. A radio telescope consists usually of a large parabolic metal antenna mounted telescopes like equatorial serving the collection and gathering of radio waves in the outbreak. Still, having a low energy, they are amplified to be recorded. The instrument also has a receiver and a recording system. To determine the source transmitters of radio batteries used today, which works by interfering. These modern tools have significantly increased the possibility of human to enter space research. They detected radio waves from nebulae located at a distance of up to 17 billion light years.

Radar is a tool that can send pulse radio and luminaries to receive them, after reflecting upon their return. It has multiple applications in matters of location, for determining the distances and velocities of different objects. The radar was first used in the Second World War to detect aircraft and submarines, landing on cloudy and hazy etc.

Prof. Ioan Bob

Astronomy Complex Baia Mare