Welcome to Czech Science. Last week we started a short series about astronomy in the Czech lands. Our guest, the director of the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Professor Jan Palous, took us back to 17th century Rudolphine Prague - a time when the city hosted such famous astronomers as Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler. Only three centuries later it was Albert Einstein who spent two years in Prague and very likely formulated his general principle of relativity here. While in last week's episode, Professor Palous talked about
The tragic Egyptian charter plane crash that left 148 dead and panoramic colour images of Mars released by NASA after establishing contact with a US probe to search for signs of life on the Red Planet make the front pages of almost all the main dailies today. Domestically, it's a photo of Czech actress Helena Ruzickova that dominates the papers. Mrs Ruzickova died on Sunday at the age of 67 after losing a two-year battle against cancer.
There are a wide variety of stories making the headlines in Thursday's dailies, though most carry front page photos of Mars, which is at its closest to the earth for 60,000 years. Pravo and Lidove Noviny have what appears to be the same photo, except in Pravo Mars is orange coloured and in Lidove Noviny it's red. The face of athletics star Roman Sebrle is also splashed across the dailies, after he came second in the decathlon at the World Athletics Championships in Paris.
The Czech scientific satellite Mimosa was successfully launched on Monday from the Russian cosmodrome Plesetsk to a low Earth orbit. The main goal of the mission is to study the atmospheric density that affects low flying satellites, causing them to burn up as they finally re-enter the atmosphere. The whole project was financed through a mutual agreement between the Czech Republic and Russia as part of the repayment of Russia's large debt to the country. Mirna Solic reports:
The Czech Republic is making yet another contribution to space exploration. The Czech scientific team is helping to operate the satellite Integral which is discovering gamma ray sources. What's going on with the gamma flashes? Where are they coming from? The mystery remains yet unsolved, but Tracy Burns sheds more light on the latest news from the cosmos.
The month of May seems to have put everyone in a better mood but more than anyone astronomers have reason to celebrate. This month will bring three important celestial phenomena - a very rare occurrence according to those in the know. And such events always create a stir in a country that has more than its fair share of astronomer enthusiasts. I talked to Martin Fuchs, an astronomer at the Prague Stefanik Observatory to find out more about what exactly is happening -and why so many Czechs are searching the skies these days.
Czech astronomers have made a number of important discoveries recently. Earlier this year they discovered a Nova, which is a star temporarily emitting a great amount of energy and light, and solved a question which was puzzling astronomers around the world, that is whether one very bright object was or was not actually two stars. Several days ago, an unknown asteroid was observed from the Klet observatory in South Bohemia. More from Pavla Horakova.