International day of astronomy. Let`s stand on the Pulkovsky meridian?
After a bright May Day holiday - the Labor Day, admirers of astronomy note on May 2, 2009 the International day of astronomy. It is an informal holiday, it has no exact annual date, and the t falls on day when the Moon happens in the first phase, growing. e date from the middle of April to the middle of May approximately is chosen. For example, in a past, 2008 day of astronomy was on April 24. The American astronomers in 1973 thought up and offered a holiday, having premised to this event the motto: “ Bearing astronomy to people “. the Holiday became popular thanks to assistance of many astronomical organizations, such as the Pacific Astronomical Society, Astronomical League, the International Union of Planetaria .
Probably, there are it is unlikely people who were never interested in astronomy, would not like to watch the star sky, lunar and solar eclipses, the movement of comets and planets. Astronomy - one of the most ancient sciences. With the advent of the homo sapiens - Homo sapiens, arose also need to be guided in time and space for the sake of a survival and various work. Already primitive people knew when there were solstices or equinoxes as floods of the rivers and approach of these or those seasons were connected with them. And long before emergence of writing and the states, many important discoveries connected with an arrangement and apparent motion were made shone on the sky, that is there was an astronomy.
Later there were observatories - special constructions for supervision over celestial bodies and the phenomena. Now it is difficult to call the most ancient observatory in the world. Complexes of constructions of the special designs reminding astronomical observatories (more true, their remains) find in different places, on different continents. For example, about Yerevan, in the territory of Armenia, the most ancient construction intended for astronomical and meteorological supervision which age exceeds 5 thousand years is revealed. There is a similar complex of constructions in the USA, in a middle part of the river Mississippi, in the State of Louisiana. The original system of constructions consists of six octahedrons of the correct form with four radial passes. Incidentally or not, two constructions from six are located precisely on the places corresponding to the directions of a sunset in days of a summer and winter solstice. In the world experts carry to number of the most ancient observatories also the well-known ruins of Stonehenge in Great Britain. In the list of ancient observatories enter Machu Picchu Peru, Abu Simbel in Egypt and others. On the Internet it is possible to look at a collection of space pictures of 13 areas with objects which were used for astronomical supervision. They are posted by the Space Imaging company on the website spaceimaging. com/gallery/ancientobservatories.
In the 17th century the first government astronomical observatories in Europe appeared: in 1637 - 56 in Copenhagen, in 1667 in Paris, and in 8 years, in 1675 well-known the Greenwich observatory near London .
On the question “ You sometime stood on the Pulkovsky meridian? “ many residents of St. Petersburg will answer in the affirmative. At least, if did not stand, then crossed it repeatedly even if never were at excursion in well-known of Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory - the main scientific observatory of Russia. The Pulkovsky meridian passes through the middle of Moskovsky Avenue and Pulkovskoye Highway of St. Petersburg. Till 1884 when the meridian passing through the Greenwich observatory was taken for a reference point of all longitudes on Earth (zero or Greenwich), the Pulkovsky meridian was a reference point of all longitudes on maps of Russia .
Pulkovo astronomical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences (in abbreviated form - “ GAO RAHN - the Main Astronomical observatory) was constructed on the project of the architect Alexander Bryullov (the brother famous artist Karl Bryullov), and the t is solemnly open in 1839. e 130 years ago. The Academic Observatory in St. Petersburg founded at Peter I, in 1725, and settling down in an octagonal tower of the building of Cabinet of curiosities on Vasilyevsky Island was her predecessor. But to observe in the city where often air was polluted by a smoke from chimneys, and tools had hesitations from the passing crews, it was very inconvenient. Therefore at the end of the 18th century there was an offer to transfer observatory for city borders, to the place more suitable for exact astronomical supervision. The top of the Pulkovsky mountain, in 19 kilometers from the capital, at the height more than 70 meters above sea level became such place. The academician Vasily Yakovlevich Struve was her first director, thanks to which efforts Pulkovo Observatory became known around the world soon.
Exactly here thought up a technique of supervision over stars, more exact and perfect, than at the same time were applied in the Greenwich and Parisian observatories. Especially it was glorified by the star catalogs made in the 19th century, which became a basis sea, and after aviation and even space cards. In 1847 the director of the Greenwich observatory wrote that any astronomer cannot consider himself as the astronomer if he did not get acquainted with Pulkovo astronomical Observatory.
In days of the Great Patriotic War the front line passed through Pulkovsky heights, there were hardest fights. Scientific cases literally were wiped off the face of the earth. Rescuing the equipment, employees dug in it to the earth, something was taken out. But by 1953 the observatory was restored. To visit I was lucky there excursion for the first time in 1959, during study at University. With what delight we, students, examined astronomical devices and “ kept “ for the Pulkovsky meridian! To us even allowed to look at heavenly bodies in the big telescope!
Today everyone can visit the well-known observatory. Here tours are conducted, lectures are given. In a year the observatory is visited by 10 - 15 thousand people. Show to visitors with pride not only the first navigation and astronomical devices, but also fragments of meteorites, both the big Pulkovsky radio telescope, and models of the well-known Pulkovsky telescopes working in the most known observatories of the world.
In 2000 at observatory the Astronomical museum which, though occupies only one round hall, but gives a complete idea of development of astronomy in Russia for the last three hundred years was open for . In the museum samples of astronomical equipment, telescopes of the 19th century, geodetic tools, an astronomical clock, art gallery, with portraits of outstanding astronomers and scientists, and many other things are presented. Through the center of the Round hall there passes the well-known Pulkovsky meridian which for a long time was in Russia the center of counting of geographical system of coordinates. It almost coincides with direct as the arrow, Moskovsky Avenue and passes further close the Admiralty spike, well visible from observatory. From the platform located on a circle of the main tower of the building of observatory the fine panorama of St. Petersburg opens.
Except the Main Astronomical Observatory in Pulkovo in modern Russia there are 17 more observatories, including university. The Russian Academy of Sciences has Zelenchuksky Astrophysical observatory in Stavropol Krai and two observatories in Sayan Mountains, there is an observatory at the State Astronomical Institute of P. K. Shternberg, have observatories and the largest universities of the country.
Except Astronomical observatories fans of the star sky can visit Planetaria which are almost in any large city. All domestic planetaria united 15 years ago in Association which is included into the International Union of Planetaria. So, in St. Petersburg the Planetarium (In Aleksandrovsk park, near Music hall) works decades, there on 25 - a meter dome of the Star hall it is possible to see stars of any part of the sky at any moment, planets, galaxies, comets, asteroids, eclipses of the Sun and the Moon, and other astronomical objects and events.
So, dear readers, forward, to stars!