The first half of 10 DA 2016

The first half of this year’s 10 Days of Astronomy is behind us. Find out more about the events after the surprising opening ceremony and Vladimir Paar’s lecture in the following article.

Thursday, 07. April 2016. u 09:10 sati

Day Two 
Prof. Davorka Radovčić, PhD delivered a lecture that was well attended as well as interesting. The title itself, ‘The new hominin fossil species: Homo naledi’ wasn’t especially revealing and meant very little to most of us, but an hour and a half later we learned all about what this charming anthropologist really does and about the importance of the discovery of a new piece of the puzzle that is the human evolution process. We also found out about the anthropologists’ discovery in the Rising Star cave system in South Africa, where it was necessary to employ slender female anthropologists they called astronauts due to very little space and narrow passages that measured only 17 centimeters in width. 
Davorka was very pleased with the attendance, the questions, as well as with Daruvar, and wishes to see us here again next year, which we readily accepted. 
By 11 pm, our traditional Star Party awaited, even though a part of our crew had already gone up there immediately after the lecture ended. The attendance as well as the clear and exceptionally starry night sky were reason enough to keep the eyepieces of our telescopes well occupied. Our fervent educators Alan Jadanić (Lagonda) and Saša Nuić (Beorn) made sure nobody lacked any important information. Beorn used his laser pointer to show us around the beauty of the night sky and explain and exemplify the various constellations and stars that were visible. Kudos to him for a job well done, for his patience, knowledge and willingness to answer any and all questions that were asked. He was, naturally, the last one to leave Petrov vrh at dawn. 

Day Three 
After sleeping in due to a long night well spent on Petrov vrh, we gathered to meet our guests, last night’s lecturer Davorka and the Puljak family for a morning cup of coffee. Prof. Ivica Puljak’s lecture ‘Where do we come from and where are we going?’ began at 7 pm. Ivica is well-known as a lecturer in Daruvar, so the more than satisfactory attendance didn’t surprise us at all. We learned a lot that day about the Big Bang, the origin of the Earth and civilization. We also learned about a sad ending – the end of our planet. We discovered what atoms are and that we are all made of them, which essentially makes each of us a big bunch of – nothing! If we took all of the empty space between atoms in every human being on the planet it would fit a single (heavier than usual) sugar cube. Most importantly, if, after seven years of marriage your spouse tells you you are not the same person they married, they are essentially correct, since seven years is the amount of time it takes for all the atoms in your body to be replaced with a fresh batch of brand new ones. This is the reasoning I used on my wife to explain that this is now the seventh edition of me that she has met. The professor answered many questions after his lecture and was awarded a long and well-earned applause. 

Day Four 
We started our day by observing the Sun and its sunspots at Vladimir Nazor Elementary School. Professor Denis Singer organized this activity for his students. Our friend Alan Jadanić (demonstrator with the Zagreb Observatory) took matters into his own hands once again and was patient in offering the students a glimpse of the Sun and the sunspots through the telescope as well as in answering many of their questions. He also demonstrated the danger of looking at the Sun through binoculars or the telescope without using proper equipment by allowing strong sunrays coming through the telescope to burn right through a sheet of paper. After observing the Sun Alan and I were invited to Grubišno Polje Radio where I believe we managed to get listeners interested in the events of 10 DA and astronomy in general. Another lecture was held in Vladimir Nazor Elementary School at 5 pm that day by professors Josip Prević and Ivan Marko Dežić. This interesting lecture entitled ‘To the Moon and beyond’ introduced the students to our Solar system and to the basic laws of physics; a feat which will, hopefully, awaken the curiosity of at least a few future scientists. Ante Radonić’s lecture awaited us at 7 pm. Ante is another one of our guests that has been with us for the past seven years and that the people of Daruvar know really well. Therefore, unsurprisingly, every seat in the room was taken once the lecture started. The lecture, ‘From the Earth to the Moon,’ explained in detail the mechanics of leaving the Earth and flying to the Moon and beyond in our exploration of space. I believe everybody’s curiosity was satisfied when it comes to the characteristics of rockets, aircraft orbits, and the space industry. We were happy to inform Ante of something he didn’t know, as well. Our sponsor of seven years, a Daruvar based company called SAB d.o.o. produces some of the parts needed for Space X to build spacecraft. 

Day Five 
An Inspiring Science Education workshop entitled ‘The Exploration of the Sun’ began at 5 pm in Daruvar Technical School. Inspiring Science Education (ISE) is a project co-financed by the program support policy for competitiveness and innovation in information and communication technology (CIP ICT PSP). Students were given the opportunity to familiarize themselves with our Sun in a new and interactive way. What are solar plasma, solar wind and the corona? These are just some of the questions we searched for answers to using multimedia channels. Twenty students participated in the workshop that was conducted by professor Dunja Županić. 
7 pm gave us an opportunity to listen to another interesting first-time lecturer, meteorologist Nebojša Subanović, who rode into town on a Yamaha with an engine capacity of 1100 cubic meters like a boss.Nebojša’s lecture, ‘Do You (I) Feel Lucky?’ told us all about how and when Earth formed, about the atmosphere and the conditions necessary for life to begin. We learned we were actually pretty lucky to have had ideal conditions give rise to the life we know today. After the lecture Nebojša answered the audience’s questions, before we all headed to a well-deserved dinner. 


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