by Lukas Kral
How to obtain
our data /
The Johann Palisa Observatory and Planetarium of Technical University in Ostrava is situated at the west end of the city of Ostrava, which is the third largest city in Czech Republic. The main mission of this institution is to popularise astronomy (through programmes in the planetarium and public observations at the observatory), but also some scientific observations are done (mostly at the level of amateur astronomy). That means several years of sunspot drawing, deep-sky objects observation (in the Amateur Sky Survey project), visual observation of semiregular and irregular variables (as members of the MEDUZA project). Since 1996 also CCD observation is done, and these pages are mainly dedicated to presentation of the CCD observation results. Information about popularisation activities can be found at the Observatory and Planetarium main pages (mentioned above, only in Czech).
Soon after the CCD camera was bought, small collective of people interested in CCD observation arose. This collective consists of Tomas Havlik, Marek Kolasa and Lukas Kral (collaborators of the observatory). Later, Tomas Hynek and Martin Vilasek joined us. Our work is supported by RNDr. Tomas Graf, the director of the Obs. & Plan. of J. Palisa.
A Little History...
The CCD camera was bought in 1996 and in summer of that year we started to learn how to use it. So we mostly took images of deep-sky objects.
As the time went, we got interested in CCD photometry of variable stars. First such observations were done in summer 1997. Our first aim was to join the worldwide group of observers called CBA (Center for Backyard Astrophysics). This organization is monitoring dwarf novae during their outbursts. But after short time, it was obvious, that our telescopes are too small to observe such faint objects, even with CCD.
So we started to observe an other type of variables - brighter eclipsing binaries, which are in the observing program of B.R.N.O. (Brno Regional Network of Observers).
Occasionally we collaborate with the international network of observers called VSNET. Mainly thanks to this collaboration, we are co-authors of several scientific papers.
We also started to observe selected excentric eclipsing binaries from observing programme of dr. M. Wolf from the Charles University.