youth astronomical club


These are the words which newcomers hear every new year when they step into the Planetarium - Smolyan for first time. Young astronomers look enthusiastic and impatient to "discover a new star" but they still don't know that they have many things to learn. The Youth Astronomical Club is called "Sotis" - the ancient Egyptian name of the brightest star in the sky - Sirius. Highly skilled specialist-astronomers from the Planetarium directed the activity of the club. Many students of different ages and interested in astronomy can become a member of the club. During the first and the second year of the training the newly joined members have to acquire the basic knowledge of the astronomy which includes spherical astronomy, constellations, the Solar system (planets, comets, asteroids), stars and their evolution, double and multiple star systems, star clusters, galaxies and cosmology. During the next (third) year each member of the Astroclub works on a chosen theme by himself and write an essay on it. For those members who finish successfully a 3-year astronomical course and defend their essays are given a diploma for amateur-astronomers. Until now 40 members of the club were honored with that special kind of acknowledgment. By tradition every year study circles finish with a conference where each group presents the results of their work. The members of The Youth Astroclub go in for a competition and take part in The National conference of astronomy and physics.

Every year The Youth Astroclub "Sotis" organizes summer astronomical school camps for its members at The National Astronomical Observatory "Rozhen". They stay there for a week and sleep in the base of astronomers who work there. Daytime they have lectures in astronomical topics and spare time. There are four big telescopes and sometimes they use them. Actually their purpose is to observe meteor showers.