On 25 May this year, Department of Education POLSA organized a tour popularizing astronomy, in which she took part and invited a group of high school students from the Collegium Marianum in Pelplin.
The purpose of the trip was to see an observatory and astronomy in the Cellar, and after crossing the Torun session at the local planetarium. On Wednesday morning, an organized group of students waited for the bus, which arrived punctually at 9.00 under the basilica WNMP of monks. Ninety minutes later, the bus drove into the parking lot at the observatory, where the group all welcomed prof. Andrew Strobel, one of the prearranged earlier guides. After passing under the main building of the Centre for Radio Astronomy and the Department of UMK, the group welcomed the second guide Marcin Gawronski, in whose company went into the largest in the country and this part of Europe radio telescope RT-4 with a diameter dome 32 meters. Students learned about the technical parameters, conditions of construction of the instrument, its capabilities, limitations resulting from the proximity of large urban centers, as well as the current scientific tasks carried out with its use.
Tour participants then divided into two groups, the first under the guidance of prof. Andrew Strobel went to visit a part of the optical observatory. The aim, in addition to walk through the beautiful botanical park, were among others, the largest telescope in our country - the camera Schmidt mirror diameter of 90 cm, used to capture large portions of the sky and spectroscopy of stars using the prism of the objective, and one of the world's most famous telescope - astrograph Draper. It was a gift of Harvard University, who in 1947 was installed in the newly created after the war observatory. Prior to use it under the guidance of prof. Edward C. Pickering, developed the famous catalog the brightness of stars and their spectral classification. Telescope, despite the passage of years, it is still functional, but now fully function only historical.
The second group, with the help of a telescope with a filter, was at that time the opportunity to observe a large stain on the Sun, and in the meantime, listen to the chatter of Dr. Martin Gawronski on research projects with the use of observations by high resolution and participation in Polish scientists from the Centre for Astronomy Nicolaus Copernicus University.
Thanking guides for a lot of interesting information, the trip headed to a waiting bus that took them around the Vistula Boulevard. From there, the beautiful streets of Torun, all of the group went to the planetarium. At full attendance was displayed a session entitled "Meteoplanet" in which an attractive multimedia format was told about the very different meteorological conditions and climatic conditions on the planets and moons of the solar system.
After finishing screening they all went to the coach, who took them back on their way back home. It can be considered that the first such project implemented by the Department of Education POLSA turned out to be a success not only in terms of the organization and the content-rich, but also thanks to a disciplined group of high school students and the support of their guardians, under the beautiful spring weather. Similar trips will certainly be planned in the future.
Text and photos:
POLSA - Gdańsk