Report from Tähtipäivät 2011

Tähtipäivät -amateur astronomy event was organized in Turku by Turun Ursa. The event site was at the University of Turku. In the event, there were lectures aimed to great audience given for example by Jari Mäkinen (science author), Hannu Karttunen (astronomer) and Marianna Ridderstad (archeoastronomer).

There was also a fair -type area, where different kinds of astronomy hobbyists and groups related to astronomy hobby were displaying and presenting their activities. Groups that were participating were: Salon Seudun UrSalo (amateur astronomy club in Salo, SW Finland), Deep Sky Section of Ursa, Alnilam (astronomy gift shop), Kirkkonummen komeetta (amateur astronomy club in Kirkkonummi, southern Finland), Jyväskylän Sirius (astronomy club in Jyväskylä, central Finland) and of course Turun Ursa and the national Ursa. There were also the transportable planetary of Ursa, where sky presentations were given.

The amount of public in the event was perhaps a slightly lower tha expected. The public lectures were quite popular, and some people were also interested in the fair displays, including the Deep Sky Section.

The Tähtipäivät evening celebration was orgnized in a place called Sinitaivssali (Blue sky hall), which is a place that has originally been a ceremony hall of Free masoners. The hall had a blue roof with stars in it! A really beautiful place! In the event, Stella Arcti -awards were given to three merited amateur astronomers. The award winning hobbyists this time were: Jani Lauanne and Aki Taavitsainen (category: notable observation) who had been able to photograph rare upper atmosphere lightning phenomenae for first time in Finland and Tapio Lahtinen (category: merits in long term observing work) for the merits of his amateur astronomical photography work.

The Stella Arcti -winning amateur astronomers: From left, Tapio Lahtinen, Aki Taavitsainen, Jani Lauanne


The Sinitaivassali and Sysiveljet on the stage

In the celebration, a band called Sysiveljet were also performing their music. Their music was quite loud rock music, and it was perhaps a slightly unusual choice when considering the audience of the event.

After all, this Tähtipäivät -event (which was actually my first time to participate to Tähtipäivät) was very succesful and memorable event! I had a chance to meet old and new amateur astronomy colleagues and to present the Deep Sky Observing to people!


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