Monday, 21 June 2021

Lastovo - Island of Stars Project Begins Once Again

June the 21st, 2021 - The Lastovo - Island of Stars/Otok Zvijezda project is being revived once again, with the first activities beginning last week.

As Dorian Bozicevic/Morski writes, back at the beginning of this year, an initiative was launched to revive the "Lastovo - Island of Stars" project, and at the invitation of the Lastovo Tourist Board, cooperation with the Croatian Astronomical Union began.

Astronomical workshops for elementary school students

The Secretary General of the Croatian Astronomical Association held a full-day astronomy programme for elementary school students in Lastovo through two workshops and observations, one on the sun and the other workshop called Stars, Constellations and Light Pollution.

Public observations of the Moon and measurements of the quality of the Lastovo night sky

As part of last week's astronomical programme held on Lastovo, two public observations of the moon were held with telescopes where citizens and tourists alike could view and photograph the moon with their own smartphones, and night sky quality measurements were started with SQM-L and TES TASS devices will be needed so that the Municipality of Lastovo and the Lastovo Islands Nature Park can apply for the status of the International Dark Sky Park with the International Dark Sky Association (IDA).

A meeting on the Dark Sky Park was held within the Municipality of Lastovo

Last week, the Municipality of Lastovo held the first concrete meeting with representatives of local institutions that must be involved in order for the "Lastovo - Island of Stars" project to fully come to life and to continue work on declaring the International Dark Sky Park on Lastovo.

The meeting was chaired by the Secretary General of the Croatian Astronomical Association, Dorian Bozicevic, and the meeting was attended by the Mayor of Lastovo, Anita Jancic Lesic, the director of the Elementary School "Braca Glumac" Vedrana Ortika-Medini, a representative of the Lastovo Islands Nature Park, Gojko Antica, the director of the Tourist Board of Lastovo, Bruno Rina, and Diana Magdic, an employee of the same tourist board.

The meeting presented the conditions that need to be met in order for Lastovo to successfully apply for the status of an International Dark Sky Park and agreed on the first steps that need to be taken to start the same process (minor changes in outdoor lighting, night sky quality measurements, activities for children, adults and tourists, determining and arranging places for astronomical observations etc).

Among other things, the meeting discussed the installation of cameras in Croatia and the Global Meteor Network, as well as the possibility of the Visnjan Observatory on Lastovo to install a robotic telescope for tracking and detecting asteroids and launching extracurricular activities in astronomy at the aforementioned Lastovo school.

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Monday, 22 February 2021

Lastovo Island of Stars Project Being Revived with Astronomical Activities

February 22, 2021 – The Croatian Astronomical Union is reviving the project "Lastovo Island of Stars" by measuring the night sky quality and organizing astronomical activities for citizens and tourists.

After ten years, Dorian Božičević, Secretary-General of the Croatian Astronomical Union, visited Lastovo again. Together with Diana Magdić, Deputy Director of the Lastovo Tourist Board, at whose invitation he arrived, they visited potentially interesting Lastovo locations for astronomical observations and the installation of cameras to monitor Croatian, i.e., the Global Meteor Network's meteors.

Lastovo – Croatia's next dark sky park?

For Lastovo to apply for the International Dark Sky Park status, they agreed on further cooperation to start measuring the night sky quality. Besides, they decided to organize astronomy activities for citizens, tourists, and children.


Winter sky over Prgovo / Dorian Božičević, Lastovo Tourist Board

By official definition, the dark sky park label is awarded to protected nature areas with extremely dark skies full of stars. Two places in Croatia hold this label – Petrova Gora in Banovina and Vrani Kamen on Papuk. Also, Jelsa on Hvar is well on its way to becoming the third dark sky park in Croatia, and it seems like Lastovo could potentially be the fourth.

Božičević and Magdić hope for the cooperation of all institutions on the island so that the project "Lastovo Island of Stars" really comes to life. They also plan to hold a meeting with the Lastovo Islands Nature Park's representatives and the Municipality of Lastovo.


Dorian Božičević and Diana Magdić with a rotating map of the sky in Lastovo / Croatian Astronomical Union

Their goal is to bring astronomy to life in Lastovo's tourist offer and to ensure continuous extracurricular activities in astronomy for children and youth.

First Croatian municipality with ecological lighting

The Croatian Astronomical Union recalled that from 2008 to 2010, the International Conference on Dark Sky Parks had been held in Lastovo. However, due to a lack of financial resources and some other circumstances, the project stalled with development.

At that time, Lastovo began the reconstruction of public lighting. Little is known that Lastovo was the first local government in Croatia with completely ecological lighting, even before the adoption of regulations on protection against light pollution.


Lastovo / Romulić and Stojčić

In 2010, a workshop in astronomy for elementary school students was organized on Lastovo. Then, the initiative for the establishment of the astronomical society Lastovo was also launched, as well as the initiation of the International Dark Sky Park proclamation.

Stargazing as a symbol of Lastovo

Lastovo is the most distant inhabited Croatian island, and thanks to the distance from the mainland and pollution, stargazing here leaves you breathless.

The town of Lastovo, also the only settlement on the Lastovo island, is an old medieval settlement rich in history. Hills surround it with amazing views of the surrounding fields and the crystal clear sea. In addition to the dark Lastovo sky, the symbol of Lastovo are the richly decorated chimneys, the so-called "fumari," which adorn Lastovo's family houses from the 15th and 16th centuries.


Lastovo's chimney - "fumar" / Romulić and Stojčić


The town of Lastovo / Romulić and Stojčić

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