Space Challenges Trip to the Rozhen National Astronomical Observatory
Posted: 18 November, 2014

Space Challenges Trip to the Rozhen National Astronomical Observatory

This past weekend a group of 25 Space Cadets and mentors took a trip to the Rozhen National Astronomical Observatory – one of the biggest astronomical facilities in the Balkans. The trip had several purposes – to educate the Cadets about Astronomy and Space Sciences, to expose them to this marvelous facility and the research performed there, and not least of all – to observe the peak of the Leonids meteor shower, which occurs every year in mid-November.

The visit began with a lecture by Dr. Nikola Petrov of Rozhen Observatory, who told the Cadets about the latest and greatest in Astrophysics, both the theory and observations. He delivered a captivating 2-hour lecture, leaving the audience breathless. Then, it was time for observing.

We had been very hopeful for cloudless weather, although coming up the mountain it had been quite cloudy. Luckily for us, the skies opened just after dinner, and so we went out to the visitors’ observing pad, where again Dr. Petrov gave the Cadets a presentation about the winter night sky – pointing out important constellations, stars, nebulae, and galaxies for visual observation. After that, everyone got a chance to take a peek at various objects through the 20-cm telescope at hand.

The next morning, the Cadets had the opportunity to visit the 2-meter, main telescope of the observatory, for a nice tour. They used the opportunity to walk around the balcony of the 30-meter dome and snap photos of some amazing scenery. Then, it was time to head back to the city – but the memories of this trip would surely remain for a long time.

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