In two months' time, an electronic appliance developed by a research team in the Czech city of Brno is to be sent into space. It will be delivered to the International Space Station, where it is expected to operate for one year. Meanwhile the team in Brno are busy finishing another international space research project.
Last Friday's successful touchdown of the Huygens probe on Saturn's moon Titan made world headlines. The European-built probe was to explore conditions on Titan which are believed to be similar to those on the Earth some 4.5 billion years ago. The Huygens mission is seen as a landmark for the European Space Agency but it is also a personal triumph for many of the scientists who have spent years and sometimes decades working on the US-European Cassini-Huygens mission. Among them is the Czech astronomer Jiri Svestka who co-designed one of the measuring
In the northern sky at one hour right ascension and 40 degrees north declination — the coordinate on the celestial sphere analogous to longitude on the Earth and the angular distance north of the celestial equator — lies Andromeda. After her death, the beautiful Ethiopian princess was placed there by Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, to shine for all eternity.
In this week's Spotlight, we visit the Ondrejov Observatory 35km south-east of Prague, where some 50 scientists are busy solving the mysteries of the universe. The observatory has been part of the Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic since 1953 and houses the biggest telescope in Central Europe. It's open to the public every weekend in the summer from 9 a.m.
Throughout the summer holidays, visitors to the Klet Observatory in South Bohemia can see an exhibition called "The World of Minor Planets". After that the observatory will undergo renovation. Founded in 1957, the Klet Observatory is a state supported research institution situated south of the top of Klet Mountain at the altitude of 1070 m.
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