Skopje Astronomy Society

                    

address:
ul. “Dositej Obradovik” 14-2/1
1000 Skopje
R. Macedonia

e-mail:
kontakt@astronomija.com.mk

contact phone numbers:
+389 70 498345 (Martin)
+389 76 439027 (Radan)
+389 70 275642 (Filip)

meetings:
every Monday at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Skopje, at 20:00;

The “Skopje Astronomical Society” (SAS) is a society of citizens, astronomy lovers of all age and nationality. It was founded on the founding assembly held on December 10th 1998, in the city of Skopje.
The goal of the society is to spread and promote astronomy as a science, and to unite all astronomy lovers in their mutual quest for more knowledge, bonding and clearer skies.

www.astronomija.com.mk is the official web-site of the Society.

The logo at the beginning of this page (up) is the official logo of the Society.

SAS nowadays has approximately 70 active members.

The Skopje Astronomical Society maintains contact and cooperates with other domestic and foreign astronomy societies on a regular basis, such as: the Macedonian AS, the Bitola AS, the Youth Cultural Center of Macedonia, Emiter (magazine for popularization of science and technology), the International Meteor Organization (IMO), Astronomski Magazin (web magazine from Serbia), AS “Infinitum” (Zagreb, Croatia), Loznica AS (Serbia and Montenegro), "Rudzer Boskovic" AS (Belgrade, Serbia), Alfa AS (Nis, Serbia), etc…

Activities

The regular meetings of the SAS are held every second Monday at 8 pm, at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Skopje. The Society organizes courses of astronomy, series of lectures on astronomy, field observations for its members general public, astro-camps, active cooperation with the media through obtaining fresh and up-to-date information about the ongoing celestial happenings and phenomena.

here and here you can find pictures from all the activities of the Skopje Astronomical Society before 2007.

Astronomy courses

Annually, every year since its foundation, Skopje Astronomical Society organizes astronomy courses opened to general public. Because astronomy is not included in the school system, the goal of the courses is to promote astronomy and to bring it closer to general public. Therefore the courses are opened for everyone, with and without previous knowledge in astronomy. They cover lectures as:

  • Sun
  • Solar System
  • Stellar evolution
  • Constellations
  • Basic astronomical laws
  • Coordinate systems and astronomical instruments
  • Cosmology
  • Visit to the planetarium in Skopje (not managed by SAS)

On average, the courses are attended by 30 participants of all ages.

Lectures in the field of astronomy

Beside these courses, SAS organizes annual series of lectures on the field of astronomy. The lectures, unlike the lectures that are part of the courses are not related with each other. The topics include:

  • Astronomy inventions in the new era
  • Mars and its terraforming
  • Extrasolar planets
  • Life in space
  • Black holes
  • Stellar skies through a telescope
  • Space missions
  • The truth about horoscope and astrology
  • Interstellar travel
  • General relativity
  • Asteroids - insignificant little rocks, or lurking killers?
  • Why Pluto isn't a planet anymore?
  • Moons and artificial satellites
  • The wonderful sky
  • Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
  • Star Trek - reality in the future
    ... and many more...

Frequently SAS invites university professors and members of other NGOs to hold lectures on their field of research or NGO’s domain activity, all in the spirit of promoting science and astronomy.

On special occasions, like commemoration day of Chernobyl, Lunar landing, Sputnik’s anniversary, first human flight, etc, themed lectures are held in order to commemorate the day.

Throughout various projects, members of the Society hold astronomy lectures for students in elementary and secondary schools.

Field observations

Field observations are organized for the members of the SAS on regular bases, whether there’s a specific astronomy event going on (such as eclipses, conjunctions, oppositions etc.), or just performing astro-photography, or even simply hunger for clear skies. Since its foundation, the Society has been observing many astronomical phenomenon so far, such as the Sun and Moon eclipses, meteor showers, comets, oppositions, conjunctions etc. From the latter bigger activities we single out the observation of the total solar eclipse on May 27th 2006, close to Antalya, Turkey. In an organized journey, 10 members of the Society, 3 Italian guests and 4 Croatian guests had the opportunity to witness this rare astronomical phenomenon.

Every year in spring, SAS organizes so called Messier Marathon.

The Society is maintaining contacts with IMO (the International Meteor Organization), where several members are registered and send reports of meteor showers on a regular basis. For the two biggest showers, the Leonids and the Perseids, detailed reports were sent for every year since 2002, when the weather conditions allowed field observations on the day of the peak of the shower.

Here and here you can find pictures from the field observations organized by the Skopje Astronomical Society.

Astronomy camps

Every summer since 2002 SAS organizes astronomy camps. The location where the camps were held had varied over the years: Galichnik, near the towns Kumanovo, Berovo, Shtip and Skopje. Often, as guests of the camp, come members of astronomy clubs from other towns in Macedonia and neighboring countries.

Open-to-the-public observations

The Skopje Astronomy Society has organized a number of observations open to the public. So far, through the equipment owned by SAS and its members, the citizens of Skopje have had the opportunity to observe:

- partial solar eclipses
- numerous lunar eclipses
- planets and planets’ oppositions
- transit of Venus over Sun’s disk
- Sun spots
- Moon

On each occasion, approximately 300 people have the chance to look at the beauties of the sky with the help of our telescopes.

Here and here you can find pictures from the open-to-the-public observations organized by the Skopje Astronomical Society.

Publishing activity

SAS has published three issues of the magazine “Vselena” (”Space”) so far, which during 2001 was available to the public as feuilleton in the daily newspaper “Vest”. The complete preparation and elaboration of the feuilleton was done by the members of the Society.
SAS has its own bulletin called “InfoSAD”, which in 2002 changed its name to “Merak” and continued to exist under that name. Twelve different issues were released under the name “InfoSAD”, and additional three, entitled “Merak”.

Once the Society’s web page was launched, the bulleting was integrated into the web page. At this moment, all the attention on the field of media is focused on the Society’s official web-site astronomija.com. mk, which has an informative and educational role. It represents a contact place for the astronomers of these regions, functioning at the same time as an astronomy classroom and a web-portal, on which the latest astronomy news are published (in Macedonian) on a daily basis.

Cooperation with the media

SAS has organized numerous public discussions on various astronomy topics, and its representatives have participated in a number of debates on radio or TV shows and programs of an informative character.

Very often, members of the Society give short interviews to various TV stations, thus meeting their need for information about different astronomy events. Reports are sent on regular bases to all media (written and electronic) in order to inform the public of the current astronomy events. Macedonian daily newspapers have published news about the activities of the SAS, or texts about the Society itself, on various occasions.

The Society is always available for consultations and giving useful information for the needs of any medium, especially for helping in the preparation and realization of educational programs in the field of astronomy.

A special cooperation was established with the Macedonian Radio Television (MRTV) for the needs of the contact educational show “Dzvon”, intended mainly for children, when members of the Society completely prepared and organized 10 short-term educational shows with astronomy subjects.

Cooperation is also established with “Emiter” (monthly magazine for popularization of science and technology), where the article “The sky above Macedonia this month” is prepared on a regular basis for every issue, as well as short news and other articles on astronomy subjects from the members of the Society.

Projects

Skopje astronomical society has executed many projects funded by the society itself, governmental or international institutions.

  • Astronomical Weekend in Prilep as part of “Prilep – city of culture 2007”. Astronomy lectures and projections of documentary movies were held. For the first time, an exhibition of astronomy photographs was held, with photos made by members of the society. Due to bad weather, open-to-the-public observations were canceled.
  • Celebration of “Yuri’s Night”. “Yuri’s Night” is international initiative for celebration of the first human flight in outer space. It includes organizing themed parties all over the world. SAS has joined in organization of Yuri’s Night in Skopje since 2009.
  • “Exhibition of astronomy photographs” project funded by the Ministry of Culture of Republic of Macedonia. The exhibition was held to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Society’s establishment in 2008.
  • Celebration of International Year of Astronomy 2009. The Society was the main organizer of the events in Macedonia that were held to commemorate the 400 year anniversary of the first telescope. The project included numerous events and subprojects:
    • Opening ceremony were all institutions and NGO related to astronomy had opportunity to present themselves and their activities.
    • “Popularization of astronomy in the city of Skopje” project funded by the City of Skopje in 2009. The project incorporated 8 lectures for primary school students, 5 open-to-the-public observations and exhibition of astronomy photographs.
    • “Astronomy caravan” project funded by South African Observatory in 2009. The goal of the project was to promote astronomy in other cities in Macedonia. Five cities were visited: Kumanovo, Strumica, Ohrid, Shtip and Bitola, where lectures were held, exhibition of astronomy photos and open-to-the-public telescope observations.
    • “100 Hours of Astronomy” – simultaneous public telescope observations all around the world
    • “Star Peace” – joint field observations of 4 astronomical clubs from Macedonia and Serbia on the mountain Golija, R. Serbia.
    • Co-organization of “Astronomy camp Kokino 2009”, organized by Macedonian Astronomical Society, funded by UNESCO and municipality Staro Nagorichane. 20 secondary school students from all over Macedonia took part in the camp. The goal of the camp was to bring astronomy closer to young people.
  • Two field activities were organized through the project "Ethno-astronomy", where a lot of precious data was recovered and elaborated, regarding how the senior citizens of Skopje see and think of the astronomy phenomena.
  • The Skopje Astronomical Society marks the World week of astronomy (October 4th – 10th). Sometimes by organizing lecture “Astronomy inventions in the new era”, sometimes by dedicating the whole series of lectures to the Week, sometimes by organizing open-to-the-public observations.

International cooperation

The Skopje Astronomical Society maintains active cooperation with various astronomical societies and associations outside Macedonia, mainly from the Balkans.

So far, members of the Society participated in the following events:

  • astronomy summer camp "Letenka" near Novi Sad, Serbia, every year since 2003

  • "The Japetic Star Party", close to Zagreb, Croatia, organized by the Astronomical Society "Infinitum" from Zagreb;
  • Two members of SAS participated in the International Meteor Conference 2004 in Varna, Bulgaria;
  • In 2005 five members of the Society participated in the "Summer Astronomy School Rozhen 2005", organized by the Bulgarian National Astronomy Observatory on Rozhen;
  • Three members of SAS attended the official opening of International Year of Astronomy 2009 in Paris, France;
  • Participation in joint project with amateur astronomical clubs from Poland and Turkey. The project “One Sky 4 All, All 4 One Sky”, was funded by the program “Youth in Action” by European Union. The goal of the project was to strengthen intercultural cooperation between 45 young people from various countries, all united under one passion – love for astronomy.
  • Members of the Society participated in summer schools of astronomy in Italy and Germany.

Guests from Serbia participated in three summer astronomy camps organized by SAS, expecting more international guests on the next summer camps.

Future projects of the Skopje Astronomical Society

  • The Society's future most important and serious project was the project for building an observatory on the peak of the mountain Vodno near the city of Skopje, but unfortunately, due to the happenings in the country at the beginning of 2001, this project was abandoned, although the necessary funding had already been approved. SAS didn’t give up the idea, and is committed in search for funds for building observatory in Macedonia;
  • Organizing astronomy courses every year;
  • Continuing with the traditional series of popular astronomy lectures;
  • Organizing summer astronomy camps every year;
  • Increasing the number of astronomy lectures in elementary and secondary schools in Skopje;
  • Promoting astronomy and all sciences in general public.

SAS will continue to organize observations for all significant astronomy events and will continue informing and educating the public on all ongoing astronomy phenomena.

Contact

The web-page www.astronomija.com.mk is the official web-site of the Society. Everything you need to ask about us or about astronomy in general, please feel free to write to us at kontakt@astronomija.com.mk.   

          

last updated: june 2010

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