On June 1st, the students of the Theoretical Lyceum in the village of Brânza, Cahul district, had a special celebration. It became the first high school in Republic of Moldova to open a Planetarium, an initiative that belongs to the academician Ion Bostan, director of the National Center for Space Technologies of the Technical University of Moldova, who is originally from Brânza.
After rebuilding a segment of the school and installing the dome, the Planetarium has become a very attractive sight in the yard of the rural high school. Step by step, the high performance equipment was installed in the building: a 14-inch aperture Celestron telescope, and a spherical screen, which was mounted inside the dome to create a cosmic feeling with a 360 degree 3D image representation. The screen was built by TUM specialists, guided by the design previously used for the Technical University Planetarium.
With the help of the telescope and the ultra-modern screen, the cosmic bodies can be watched directly in space, in real time, assuring fascinating journeys through planets and constellations, that will make physics and astronomy much more interesting for both high school students and all localities from Prutul de Jos.
The Planetarium launch event included a screening of a “cosmic show” by Dr. Vitalie Chistol, head of the laboratory at the National Center for Space Technologies. He presented a film about celestial bodies, star movement, constellations as imagined by ancient Greeks, as well as all the planets in the Solar System. The teacher ended his presentation with a sequence about black holes – a musical clip as a method of teaching through songs. Thus, children and parents have had the joy of observing the most interesting phenomenons that take place in the Universe.
The ultra-modern structures of the Brânza Planetarium have a broader goal, it being the base for the construction of a support system, integrated with a Terrestrial Ground Control and Monitoring Infrastructure of the micro-satellite “Republica Moldova”, developed within the National Center for Space Technologies (CNTS) of TUM. The equipment will thus have a triple destination: the determination of satellite coordinates in orbit at its entrance in the area of visibility on the territory of the Republic of Moldova through the southern corridor, the recording of deviations of the satellite’s trajectory under the action of cosmic disturbances, and observation of the celestial bodies by high school students from lunca Prutului.
Formerly, a wind turbine and a photo-voltaic station have been installed here. Likewise, high-performance computers have been brought to this high school, transforming it into a real Creation Center for the Youth, all focused on the idea of efficient production and use of renewable energies, initiated by the institution under the auspices of the acad. Ion Bostan.
Done in collaboration with TUM, the Cahul District Council and the local Council of Brânza village, this educational project aims to contribute to the development of creative thinking of high school students, to the improvement of their knowledge of modern technologies, but also to help them obtain deeper understanding of the topics within the physics course on electrophysics and aerodynamic processes. The Center will also contribute to the theoretical and practical learning and understanding of the processes of energy accumulation and distribution, converted through renewable energy conversion systems. At the same time, it is also planned to organize training courses for physics / astronomy teachers from the southern localities of the country, exempting them from the long road to the capital, for this purpose.