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Next event at Meridian Zero Astronomy Club: Autumn Equinox on 22nd of September------Vladeasa Astronomy Camp---
International Astronomy Camp at Vladeasa  

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Despite the not quite favorable weather conditions, the First International Astronomy Camp at Vlădeasa, organised by the Meridian Zero Astroclub, was a success.

On Monday, the thick layer of clouds and the strong wind made astronomical observations impossible. Tuesday night, the strips of clear sky between clouds made the observation of some deep-sky objects, variable stars, and Jupiter possible. On Wednesday, the sky was clear for some hours, thus some of the participants counted 65 meteors around the Perseid maximum. Thursday night, the limiting magnitude reached the value of 7. Through the 20 cm Dobsonian, M27 was a spectacular view, in M31 you could see the spiral arms, and the Veil Nebula showed complex structures, especially when using an OIII filter.

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About us...  


Our club was founded by two physics teachers, Nicoleta Pazmany and Marin Bica, after a few years of voluntary education in astronomy. The inauguration took place on 28 October 2006, at the festive hall of the Fortress of Oradea, which gives place to our events ever since. The Fortress was chosen as our residence because of the astronomical activities which took place in the renaissance period.

Club members meet every Friday evening, in order to make astronomical observations (if the meteorological conditions are favorable) and to deepen their knowledge about the universe. The two high-schools which have founded the club, have managed to aquire 3 telescopes: a 200 mm dobsonian, a 130 mm Newtonian, and a 200 mm Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. Our astronomy club's intentions for the future are to attract as many people as possible to the the fascinating world of astronomy. Through events, like Astronomy Day, we are trying to educate the public about the use of astronomical instruments, orientation on the night sky...With the purchase of a planetarium in a school project, our city will join the ranks of cities with a planetarium like Bucharest, Timisoara, Galati etc.. This will hopefully increase interest for astronomy in our city.


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The night sky...

The constellation Lyra, also known in Romanian folklore as the sheepherder, is a small constellation, with relatively few bright stars, except for Vega, which on of the stars of the summer triangle. The most interesting objects of Lyra is the Ring Nebula (M57), and a not too spectacular globular cluster, M56. Lyra is easily recognizable on the summer sky, thanks to it's parallelogram shape. Epsilon Lyrae is one of the best known multiple star systems.


Our Solar System is part of our galaxy. the Milky Way, and it describes a circle around the galactic axis, which combined with it's movement towards the star Vega in the constellation Lyra, adds up to a speed of 20 km / sec.



The orbital velocity of the planets and the distances they make are different, those closer to the Sun orbit at higher speeds and make a shorter distance. Those at the outskirts of the solar system travel at lower speeds, and have to make longer distances. Thus the Sun makes a full apparent circle through the 12 constellations and gets in the same position after 365 days and one quarter. The Moon does the same thing in 27 days, Mercury in 11 months, Venus in 7.5 months, Mars in 2 years, Jupiter in 12 years, Saturn in 28 years, Uranus in 84 years, Neptune in 168 years, and Pluto (which has been demotes from the rank of a planet into a dwarf planet, or plutoid on 24 August 2006) in 252 years.



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M 57 is one of the best known planetary nebulae of the northern sky. Its distance from Earth is about 6000-8000 light-years. Its surface brightness is of 8.8 magnitudes.

Lyra's brightest star is Vega, with a brightness of 0.03 magnitudes, it is the second brightest star of the northern sky, after Arcturus. It also ranks as the fifth brightest amongst all the stars(not including our own Sun). Vega's distance from Earth is of 25 light-years.