Dome Observatory of Asea
Astronomy and natural phenomenon tourism is not a new concept. People have been travelling for centuries to visit the ancient observatories at Stonehenge and Machu Picchu, and head into the Tuscan hills to see what Galileo saw through one of the world’s first telescopes. Indeed, the constellations and the zodiac were mapped out long before the invention of the telescope.Perhaps the lure of attempting to understand a phenomenon over which we have no control is part of the attraction of astronomy. Today, this intrigue has been transformed into a form of tourism that, although being a niche, it follows events so great that mankind can have no impact on their existence. While the effect of tourism on the earth’s fragile ecosystems continues to generate much debate, the products that make up astrotourism are almost untouchable, and remain one of the world’s great certainties. The precise time of an eclipse, the passing of a commit, solar flares and many more astronomical phenomena are known years in advance. As remote locations around the world become more accessible, and demand for unique experiences increases, more and more destinations offering access to natural spectacles will experience increased visitor numbers from around the world. Astrotourism is diverse in so far as some events (such as eclipses, comets) are outside of the control of destinations, while others (such as stargazing) can be developed if the conditions are right.
Εικόνα 1, Όψη αστεροσκοπείου με θόλο 3,6 μέτρων
Ideally located in the center of the Peloponnese on an altitude of 900m, with ideal Dark-Sky conditions, Asea, an Arcadian village is an ideal destination for astronomical observations and star gazing. In 2013, a group of Engineers and Scientists from Asea, got together and we formed a nonprofit organization named, the “Association of Astrophysics of Asea”. Since then, the association has organized many seminars, lectures and astronomy nights with large telescopes, providing the children living in the region as well as the local population, a chance to learn and experience the wonders of the night sky and educate them in Astronomy and Astrophysics.Our Association’s architectural and electrical engineering members have completed the architectural, electrical and electronic designed for the observatory and will fully supervise its construction. In addition, the city council of Tripolis (Arcadia) has unanimously granted our Association the right of use of the land site selected for the construction of the observatory at the top of the hill, next to the school of Asea. All these contributions have reduced the total cost of construction to 1/3 of the price it would have otherwise costed. In other words, the funding we are seeking for the construction of the observatory will cover only, the cost of the materials, the cost of the specialized workers needed in the construction process and the purchase of the telescope and necessary computer system.
Εικόνα 2, Κατόψεις, τομές θόλου και σκελετού αστεροσκοπείου.
Our observatory will be mounted with a 12' Schmidt Cassegrain telescope capable of connecting to a computer and a camera. The telescope will be strong enough to allow us to obtain great views of planets, nebulas, globular and open star clusters, galaxies and very deep sky objects, while at the same time it will display on the computer screen the images for the purpose of making it easier for students and astro-enthusiasts to "get right to it" and have fun so that they can become enthusiastic about Science and the diversity of the world around us. Astro-tourists, will be able to make a brief video of what they observed as well as take pictures of astronomical sites that are of particular interest to them.