ROAD TO CENTER: ORIENTATION GUIDE TO THE NIGHT SKY AND THE PLANISPHERE – PLANETOUR PROJECT PUBLICATIONS
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.