About us

Kumova Slama Astronomical Society was founded on December 5, 2008 through an organized effort of seven astronomy enthusiasts: Antun Boroš, Josip Prević, Davor Rohlik, Josip Mesaroš, Mirko Šulc, Goran Repinc and Nenad Šironja. The constituent assembly alone increased the number of members to 52.

The first assignment was to name the society, which resulted in a great discussion over the many suggestions offered. Some of them included names such as Orion, The Pleiades, Vega, Ždral (The Crane) and, naturally, Kumova Slama, a name suggested and explained by Professor Josip Prević. His idea is how we got the name Kumova Slama, which is a local nickname for our Milky Way galaxy.

There is an interesting story that includes a character widely recognized in local anecdotes and jokes in Croatia – Cigo – who stole some straw and took it home in a tandem, a two-wheeled carriage drawn by horses. As the tandem shook, the straw kept falling out along the way and when he unloaded it in his backyard, police officers came running. When asked whose straw it was he had taken, Cigo replied: Whose straw would it be, sir? 'Tis my godfather's straw ('godfather's straw' would be a literal translation of the local term 'kumova slama' from the anecdote that created the nickname). The trails of stars lie scattered along the horizon as the straw did along the country road and they remind us of Cigo and his shaky cart.

The society's first elected president and secretary were Davor Rohlik and Antun Boroš respectively, who have since been re-elected to continue to perform their duties.
Members of the society’s executive committee are: Dunja Županić, Josip Prević, Josip Mesaroš, Nenad Šironja and Aleksandar Borojević. Two newly appointed affiliates, Tanja Ježabek, professor of English and philosophy, and Saša Selihar, bacc.ing.comp, have been added to the membership during a recent committee meeting. 
The supervisory committee includes: Mirko Šulc, Šimun Aščić and Denis Singer.

2014 has found the society organizing the 10 Days of Astronomy for the fifth time in a row, an event which has undoubtedly proven itself to be of major significance for our town an county's scientific tourism plan. 

This year's annual 10DA were once more held under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Croatia, Dr. Ivo Josipović and were co-organized for the third consecutive time with the help of the town of Daruvar. The Bjelovar-Bilogora County has contributed greatly as well and a special honor of conducting the opening ceremony was given to its prefect Damir Bajs. We are members of The Association of Technical Culture of the Bjelovar-Bilogora County, who have offered generous help in organizing the event as well.

The society's work includes regular observations of stellar events such as meteor showers, sunspots and solar and lunar eclipses, where interested citizens are able to use all of our stargazing equipment.

Our member Dunja Županić is prominent in astrophotography and her skills have awarded her with a superb ranking among the top ten best Astronomy Photographers of the Year in the Royal Observatory Greenwich competition of 2012.

Dunja has also participated in a NASA sponsored program Sally Rider EarthKAM along with her students from Daruvar Technical School. The program allowed them to take 250 photographs using the ISS camera. 

Our astronomical society is also a member of the Croatian Meteor Network.

This year we presented a model of Daruvar's future astronomical observatory, an endeavor we are going to be working on intensely for the next couple of years. We hope to complete it successfully.

It is worth mentioning that our society consists of over 170 members, 30 of whom are active in everyday work.

The society also includes six honorary members:
1. Ante Radonić,
2. Ivo Josipović,
3. Vladimir Paar,
4. Danijel Reponj,
5. Korado Korlević,
6. Marino Tumpić.

Antun Boroš