Saturday , November 28 2020

The universe is incredibly beautiful, understands its tiny size.

… and observation can begin. Svetlorar Štefeček in front of the observatory.

Photo: Svetozár Štefeček archive

Astronomy has a great tradition in Sobotista, near Senica. Ladislav Košinár, head of the local primary school in the 70s of the last century, deserved its development. Thanks to him, the school has been an observatory for 46 years – a Slovak rarity. He does not work until today, former student of Ladve Košinár Svetozár Štefeček. When she started working with her enthusiastic young astronomers, she eventually acquired the wand. The astronomical circle has existed for over 28 years, and children from a wide variety of children come to it. Over the years, we have the same deadline – it starts on Friday for the fifth. His most successful student, Janka Švrčková, recently won the prestigious international Olympics in China.

Astronomy sounds good, but there are calculations and tables, right?

Yes, it belongs.

How do you motivate your children to make these tables and calculations interesting?

First of all, observation. Children are totally different when they look at the sky and watch the meteorite fly or observe a planet: Jupiter, Saturn or moons farklı They see what is happening in the universe around us, and then they learn naturally. As much as you can, why, etc. If so, others are added.

Many parents are struggling with the comfort of their children, especially in dealing with the successes of technology and commerce, finding something that can easily be found on the Internet at home, yes, but not for a deeper and more systematic work for most … Are there other people in your neighborhood?

Children now have better options than us. Only through this technique. For example, he was already gone only two weeks ago, until he learned about a comet that had flown and was visible about 30 years ago. Today, this kind of information can be searched, followed by children, if they wish, and then they can be ready to watch a comet, for example. They need attention and curiosity.

So your children are interested?

Yeah. The arrivals try us. Now Janka Švrčková was even more successful in the international Olympics. A great motivation for them. They see an icon in it. And even the parents, thanks to Janke, if he tries his kids, they can take him away, they can see the world. So they're trying to direct them.

International Olympics winner of Janka Švrčková Svetozar is the most successful student of Štefeček.

Photo: Svetozár Štefeček archive

Is Chodieva Janka still on the rings?

Now, when he starts working in Prague, he has less time, but he will help me before. Even now, when he can.

Is this your most successful student?

Yeah. It was an extraordinary, very insistent way. It had a tremendous interest. There are differences between the children after some initial failures until they are delivered, on the contrary, they have started to work more and more. She wanted to know more.

What's he planning to do next?

He studied general physics at Charles University in Prague. The first two years are common, then they can specialize. They'il still see.

How did you reach astronomy in person and then what?

My teacher Ladislav Košinár & la. Because of him, we have an observatory, and it was he who brought in astronomy. I helped him with the astronomical ring. I actually studied chemistry and physics, I wanted to do something else, but I enjoyed working with children, so I came here. In 1987 I started to go on an astronomical ring. Mr. Košinár has also retired for us and astronomy. Practically to the end. He died two years ago and lived until the age of 90 at the beginning of next year. He said the ring was fifth on Friday. And today we have, on the fifth Friday.

How does astronomy attract you?

Probably, it is the tiny size of the huge universe. Not only spatial but also the size of time, the length of our lives is surprisingly amazing. Well, it has the aesthetic value of science – all cosmic structures, whether planets, comets, stars, nebulae and galaxies, are incredibly beautiful and photogenic.

How many children are there?

We have about 20 children from primary school to high school students. They come from a wide range of us from Senice, but also Gbelov, Radošoviec, Podbranča …

The school in Sobotista cannot look beyond any other observatory.

Photo: Svetozár Štefeček archive

Then what are the possibilities to develop this hobby? Hopes for the development of astronomy in our country is not great – we're not a rich state with a space program, scientists are paying shabby …

Well, none of my students are professional in the field of astronomy. It is true that the facilities here are limited – the Astronomical SAS, Hvuzdáre imkan. A student studied astronomy but didn't like it. Applied in computer science. However, most students at astronomy recreation level have devoted themselves to their children, which is good.

I hope the future astronomers.

Photo: Svetozár Štefeček archive

What are you getting used to on the rings? Are you investigating something new or are you already verifying what's already known?

We need a different budget for new projects. Yeah, we're confirming what someone saw before. But it won't hurt. On the contrary, it is useful that children learn to work on such issues and take procedures. And then, when they reach a higher workplace, they can easily adapt to a better technique.

How are you with the money? Observatory operations are apparently costless, doesn't binocular need care?

Yes, binoculars need service. They are mirrored so that they can recover the reflective surfaces over time by squeezing the metal layer. In addition to the ring, we also established the civil unity of astronomers, so two percent of taxes, one member, some of the subsidies, sponsors, we get something … We stand for it.

How have astronomy and possibilities changed over the years since your inception?

There's more. We know a lot more. In our time, although we only recognize a limited number of planets or satellites, today there are exoplanets and other new bodies, gravitational waves and unknown cosmic structures. And we can almost follow these discoveries in real time.

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