Sunday , April 11 2021

The universe is extremely beautiful, one realizes its small dimension

… and observation can start. Svetlorar Štefeček in front of the observatory.

Photo: Svetozár Štefeček Archive

Astronomy has a great tradition in Sobotista near Senica. In the 70s of the last century, Ladislav Košinár, director of the local elementary school, deserved its development. Thanks to her, the school is incredibly Slovakic – it has been a 46-year observatory. She does not work until now, Svetozár Štefeček, formerly Ladislav Košinár's pupil. Once he helped his teacher work with enthusiastic young astronomers, he took over the scepter later. The astronomical cycle has existed for over 28 years, children come from a wide range of children to it. For years, there is one deadline – starting on Friday for the fifth. His most successful student, Janka Švrčková, has recently won the famous international Olympic Games in China.

Astronomy, it sounds beautiful, but in fact there are calculations and tables, or not?

Yes, it's all about that.

How do you motivate your children to make these tables and calculations interesting?

Well, at first he must be observing. It's totally different when the children look up to the sky and see a flight meteor or observe a planet: Thursday, Saturn, or months … They see what is in the universe of scope, and then they naturally learn to get more, as much as possible, why, and so on. Well then the others are added to that.

Many parents today struggle with their children's comfort, they have a special interest in the achievements of technology and commerce, finding something easy to find home on the Internet, that is, but work is not deeper and more systematic for the Most … Are there other people in your neighborhood?

Children now have much better choices than we do. Just thanks to this technique. Until we learned, for example, about a comedy about 30 years ago it was flying and visible, just two weeks ago it had passed. Today, such children, if they wish, can look for them in advance, watch him, and then be prepared to watch comet directly. Here is the interest and the curiosity that they can move.

So, your children are interested?

Yes. Those who come to us try. Now Janka Švrčková has succeeded in the international Olympics, even more. It's a huge motivation for them. They see an icon in it. And even parents, thanks to Janke, you see, if their children try, they can do it far, see the world. So they try to guide them.

Most successful student of Svetozar Štefeček, winner of the Janka Švrčková International Olympics.

Photo: Svetozár Štefeček Archive

Chodieva Janka holds on the rings?

Now, as she starts studying in Prague, she is less time, but she was going to help me. Even now, when it can.

Is this your most successful pupil?

Yes. It was an exceptional, persistent deficit. She was very interested. There are differences between the children until some have surrendered after some initial failure, to the opposite, they have started and moved further. She wanted to learn more and more.

What do you intend to do next?

He studied general physics at the University of Charles in Prague. The first two years are common, then they can specialize. They will still see.

How did you get your astronomy in person and later what do you do?

Through my teacher Ladislav Košinár. Thanks to him, we have an observation and he was the one who came with the astronomy. He helped him in the astronomical cycle. Originally, I studied chemistry and physics, I wanted to do something else, but I enjoy working with children, so it came to an end here. In 1987 I started leading a astronomical cycle. Mr. Košinár has also been retiring for us and astronomy. Practically until the end. He died two years ago, and at the beginning of next year he would have been 90 years old. He has already introduced the cycle on Friday the fifth. And so we have today, on Friday the fifth.

How does astronomy attract you?

It's likely that one realizes its small dimension within the giant giant universe. Not only the spatial, but also the dimension of time, the length of our life is breathtaking. Well, the science has its aesthetic value – all cosmic structures, whether it's blanket, comets, stars or nebulae and galaxies are extremely beautiful and photogenic.

How many children go to the circle?

We have about 20 children, ranging from fresh students to secondary school students. They come to us from a wide range, by Senice, but also from Gbelov, Radošoviec, Podbranča …

The Sobotista school can boast of what there is no other observation, itself.

Photo: Svetozár Štefeček Archive

What are the possibilities then to develop this hobby further? The prospect for the development of astronomy in our country is not great – we are not a rich state with a space program, scientists pay sadly … Astronomy is enough on the edge …

Well, none of the pupils are professional in astronomy. The possibilities are really limited here – SAS Astronomical Institute, Hvězdáreň in Hurbanov, in the Tatras. One student has studied astronomy but does not like it. Applied in computing. But at the leisure level in astronomy most pupils continued, dedicating themselves to children, who are good.

Hope future servers.

Photo: Svetozár Štefeček Archive

What do you usually do on the rings? Do you explore something new or are you already checking things that are already known?

We would need a different budget for new projects. So yes, we check what someone has had to see from. But it does not hurt. In the opposite, it is helpful if children learn to work on such issues, procure procedures. And then, when they never reach the higher workplace, to a better technique, they can easily adapt.

How are you with the money? Do the observation operations do not appear without costs, even do binoculars need to be maintained?

Yes, binocular service is needed. They are reflected, so they need to restore the reflective surfaces over time by pressing the metal tier. Besides the circle, we have also established a civilian star of stars, so we get something from two percent of taxes, something from a member, some of the subsidies, something thanks to sponsors … We stand on it for.

How has astronomy changed and possibilities over the years since your beginnings?

There's a lot more. We know so much more. Although we know only a limited number of planets or pictures in our time, today there are exoplanets and other new bodies, gravity waves, and unknown cosmic structures to date. And we can track these discoveries almost in real time.

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