Astronomical Society Orion (AD ORION) is the legal successor of the University Astronomical Society Sarajevo, which was in operation from 1963 to 1992. Bosnia and Herzegovina in that period had extremely developed astronomy for the standards of the time, especially if one considers that before that there was almost no tradition or people who where professionally engaged in this science. Astronomical Observatory at Trebevic was the shining beacon of a new era in the former state, and the echo of those events is also present today in oral and written memory of many. For the generation of astronomy lovers in this region, many of which in the meantime have become professionals, Sarajevo represented a window in space available to all.
Astronomical Observatory complex at Trebevic consisted of two buildings with three domes. One was the Austro-Hungarian fortress with two domes and other newly erected building with a dome diameter of 8 meters. The main instrument was a reflector telescope with a mirror diameter of 62 cm and focus 12.40 meters. Other instruments were reflector diameter of 40 cm and a double astrograph with the astrocameras used to capture large areas of the sky. In addition to the main instruments there were photoelectric photometers, spectrographs and other auxiliary devices. Observatory possessed all the conditions for longer stays, library, photo laboratory and other necessary facilities.
The most significant results of the Astronomical Society and the Observatory up to 1992 were:
- The popularization of astronomy in the broadest sense in B&H and the region.
- Public observation of the sky through a telescope.
- Publishing activities (over 30 books, posters, maps).
- Informing the public about all important astronomical phenomena and events such as the eclipse of the sun and the moon, the appearance of comets, the beginnings of the seasons, rises and sets of Sun and Moon and so forth.
- Help students in the preparation of projects for the competition, graduation papers in the field of astronomy in high school and faculties.
- Recording of photographic atlas of the sky ( Atlas of Sarajevo sky) in the period from 1972 to 1978. About 1000 glass photographic plates sensitive to red and blue part of the spectrum where used to record the entire north sky.
- The three-year project of patrol observations of bright meteors – bolides using the “fish-eye” type camera.
- The photoelectric photometry (measuring the change in brightness) Be type stars in the framework of international cooperation.
- Observation and recording of eclipses, comets, asteroids, etc..
- Organization of summer and winter schools of astronomy, astronomical weekends, competitions and similar events.
During the siege of Sarajevo, the complex of Astronomical Observatory at Trebevic was devastated, all domes and telescopes were destroyed.
The work of the pre-war Astronomical Society was restored in 2008. In the previous period the most important activities and projects were:
- The “Activities to mark the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009).” The project was realized in the second half of 2008 with the help of the Federal Ministry of Justice;
- The project “1000 Galileoscopes for 1,000 schools in BiH – One sky for all”. (Financially supported by the Norwegian Embassy in Sarajevo and the Ministry of Civil Affairs. Logistical support was provided the NATO forces headquarters in Bosnia-Herzegovina);
- Courses in general astronomy;
- School of astronomy for children
- The establishment of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Meteor Network in cooperation with the Federal Hydrometeorological Institute. Currently in operation there are 7 stations supplied with video cameras. The results so far are impressive.
- Public observation of the sky
- Public lectures
Today’s astronomy represents one of the most modern and dynamic sciences. It uses some of the most advanced technology and most sophisticated techniques that are generally available to scientists. That is why we today can explore the objects that are on the edge of the visible universe or observe planets orbiting other stars. Through astronomy we begin to reach for answers to some fundamental questions that fascinate all of us. How was it born and what end awaits our universe? Whether we are the only intelligent life form in the universe or life still thrives in various forms? The universe is vast and is also a laboratories with conditions that are of impossible to create in terrestrial laboratories. The penetration of the mysteries of the subatomic world goes largely through astrophysical research. No accelerator on Earth can produce any energy particles that we have come in the field of active galactic nuclei or the area around massive black holes. Eventually, sooner or later, energy, mineral and food resources on our planet will be exhausted. The man would have to be referred to other stars, and astronomy is here to show us where and how. We in the real sense are star children because the material from which we built was created in a giant stars.
Astronomy is a science which is one of the main drivers of curiosity. Astronomy is primarily composed of inspiration and can play a unique role in enhancing human capacities, mental and psychological construction of the individual, especially through education at all levels, so to speak “from the cradle to the grave”. Perspective that allows learning about the universe can and will stimulate a sense of community, equality, cooperation and awareness. Technology, communication, daily life as we live in today is largely the result of science, especially astronomy.
This being said, because of the deep philosophical, sociological, poetic, artistic, and any other challenges that our view of the sky offers, we suggest you go outside cities, enjoy the billions of dots of packed energy that like sparks of realization adds to the knowledge that life has meaning, that our existence is not a random whim of nature. People who look at the night sky can touch to the depth of their heart and soul, will not be those who are in the dark ages of civilization and are left to the orgy of crime and death. The universe is a universal beauty and symmetry, medicine and tranquilizers for the soul, an ocean of knowledge. Get to know him, this is only true homeland we have.
We invite you to join us so that we can try together to restore Astronomical observatory in Sarajevo.