Science Festival 2022 and open days of the Hvar Observatory

Written by Jaša Čalogović Monday, 11 April 2022 12:53

thumb FZ 2022 zivotThe Hvar Observatory is the only observatory in Croatia that deals entirely with professional astrophysics and is not open to the general public due to its predominantly research purpose. The Hvar Observatory is organizing open days on Hvar from 4 to 7 May 2022 on the occasion of the Science Festival 2022 with the theme "Life" and the celebration of the 50th anniversary of its founding. In the period from 4 to 6 May 2022, smaller groups of preschool and school children will have the opportunity to visit the Observatory on Hvar, see the telescopes, observe the sun and take part in demonstrations prepared by the staff of the Hvar Observatory. On Saturday, May 7, 2022 the Observatory will also be open to the general public from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. In addition to the open day of the Hvar Observatory, the staff of the Hvar Observatory will also participate with various demonstrations at the Science Festival in Zagreb on 2 and 3 May 2022.

Read more: Science Festival 2022 and open days of the Hvar Observatory


Can smartphones detect geomagnetic storms?

Written by Mateja Dumbovic Friday, 01 April 2022 08:25

thumb phone geomagentic stormsA recent study by S. F. Odenwald from NASA/GSFC has shown that smartphone magnetometers can detect geomagnetic storms: “Smartphone magnetometers are being commercially explored for applications as diverse as locating customers in shopping malls for targeted advertising, to precision needle-guided surgery. Meanwhile, Earth’s geomagnetic field, whose measurement forms the basis for precision positing monitoring, varies on many timescales with significant amplitudes. This presents a challenge for high-precision position sensing that demands stability in the local geomagnetic field at the microTesla-level over timescales of minutes to hours. This study shows that many smartphone models have the sensitivity to detect geomagnetic storms caused by space weather, which means that under certain circumstances, geomagnetic storms could be a significant source of error in compass and other positioning applications. ” [Odenwald 2022]


Brajša et al. 2022 paper selected for the cover page of Astronomische Nachrichten

Written by Jaša Čalogović Monday, 28 March 2022 11:39

thumb Brajsa astro nachtrichten 2022Recently published Brajša et al. 2022 paper “A prediction for the 25th solar cycle maximum amplitude“ was chosen for the cover page of the March issue of the Astronomische Nachrichten journal. Figure at the cover page shows the smoothed monthly sunspot number in solar cycle maxima as a function of the same quantity three years before the preceding solar minimum, for solar cycles number 1–24. Least-square fits obtained with and without the peculiar solar cycle no. 19 are presented as blue and red solid lines, respectively. Dashed lines represent uncertainty of the fits. The location of solar cycle no. 19 is represented by the filled circle, while all other cycles are represented with open circles. Knowing that the last solar minimum was in December 2019, this correlation allows a prediction of the amplitude of solar cycle 25: Rmax = 121 ± 33. Brajša et al. analysis indicates that the next solar maximum will be of the similar amplitude as the previous one, or even something lower.

Asteroid named also after Bojan Vršnak

Written by Jaša Čalogović Thursday, 24 March 2022 14:26

thumb asteroid vrsnak 2022Yet another asteroid 179847 (2002 TS315) got name in honor of Dr. Bojan Vršnak discovered also by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey telescope on 4.10.2002. Dr. Bojan Vršnak, scientific advisor working at Hvar Observatory, is one of leading astrophysicist in Croatia and major contributor to astronomy education in Croatia. He has authored several textbooks on plasma physics and received numerous international outstanding prizes for his excellent work such as "Kristian Birkeland Medal" and he was listed as top 2% most cited scientist worldwide.

Eugene Parker (1927-2022), a solar physics legend

Written by Mateja Dumbovic Friday, 18 March 2022 13:26

thumb Parker rip 2022Prof. Eugene N. Parker, a solar physics legend who first proposed the concept of the solar wind and is thus a namesake of the Parker Solar Probe mission passed away on 15 March at the age of 94. His great contributions to the field of solar physics were summarized in the obituary published by the University of Chicago:

“Parker was internationally known for proposing the concept of the solar wind—an idea that was first met with skepticism to outright ridicule. The theory was later proven to be correct, reshaping our picture of space and the solar system. Parker went on to revolutionize the field of astrophysics, unraveling the complex physics behind magnetic fields in space and the dynamics of plasma. In August 2018, at the age of 91, he became the first person to witness the launch of their namesake spacecraft.

Read more: Eugene Parker (1927-2022), a solar physics legend


Why is space weather so important: the SpaceX example

Written by Mateja Dumbovic Thursday, 10 March 2022 15:42

thumb spacex space weather 2022In the editorial paper “SpaceX—Sailing Close to the Space Weather?” of the new issue of Space Weather Journal the Editors remarked on the recent SpaceX satellite loss due to geomagnetic storm and lessons to be learned from the event.

Read more: Why is space weather so important: the SpaceX example


Asteroid named after Hrvoje Božić

Written by Jaša Čalogović Monday, 28 February 2022 12:05

thumb asteroid hrvoje 2022According to the Bulletin for the Nomenclature of Small Solar System Bodies of the International Astronomical Union (IAU-WGSBN Bulletin, 7.2.2022), asteroid 179221, discovered on 14.10.2001 by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey telescope was named in honor of Dr. Hrvoje Božić, Hvar Observatory scientific advisor who recently retired. The explanation for this naming states the exceptional scientific contribution of Dr. Hrvoje Božić as the leading astrophysicist of the Hvar Observatory, and his leading role in astronomical education in Croatia. The discovery of this asteroid, as well as many other small bodies in the solar system, was made by Prof. Dr. Željko Ivezić team from the University of Washington. More about asteroids and their discovery you can read here in the article by Prof. Dr. Željko Andreić.

European Space Weather Week 2022 in Zagreb

Written by Mateja Dumbovic Tuesday, 15 February 2022 15:08

logo ESWW color

European Space Weather Week (ESWW) is the main annual event in the European Space Weather calendar. It is an international meeting organised annually within the European Region in collaboration with prominent members of the European space weather community. It began as a forum for the European Space Weather community and has since grown into an international event with global attendance. This year ESWW will be co-organised by the Belgian Solar-Terrestrial Centre of Excellence and Hvar Observatory October 24-28, 2022 in Zagreb, Croatia. ESWW2022 will again adopt the central aim of bringing together the diverse groups in Europe working on different aspects of Space Weather and Space Climate: such as scientists, engineers, satellite operators, power grid technicians, communication and navigation specialists, people working in aviation, space weather service providers, STEM practitioners. The ESWW is highly interdisciplinary by nature and actively promotes investigation of new technologies and approaches. In addition, ESWW is an excellent place to meet people, to exchange knowledge and ideas, to discuss the latest on solar activity, how space weather influences the earth environment and our technologies, and how to deal with space weather. The overarching theme for ESWW2022 is ‘The importance of comprehensive space weather monitoring’, with a number of session topics, as well as the special ESWW2022 design reflecting this theme (the call-for-sessions and call-for-design are both currently open).

XVIIth Hvar Astrophysical Colloquium

Written by Jaša Čalogović Thursday, 16 September 2021 01:01

XVIIth Hvar Astrophysical ColloquiumDue to still the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, XVIIth Hvar Astrophysical Colloquium – “The Sun and Heliosphere” will be organized ONLINE via Zoom platform. The program is planned for 3 hours every day from Monday to Friday, 20. – 24. September 2021 15:00 to 18:00 h CEST. There are altogether 4 sessions: 1. Solar Interior, dynamo, large scale flows and the Solar Cycle, 2. Dynamics and fundamental processes in the solar atmosphere, 3. Eruptive Processes in the Solar Atmosphere, 4. Dynamics of the Heliosphere, Solar-Terrestrial Relations, Solar Wind, Space Weather and Space Climate. Registration to XVIIth Hvar Astrophysical Colloquium is mandatory but free of charge.

 More info

Announcing two open positions on the ESA project

Written by Jaša Čalogović Wednesday, 08 September 2021 11:09

thumb ESA project employ 2021The Hvar Observatory is announcing an open call for employment on a European Space Agency (ESA) project through a student contract. We search two candidates with the possibility of applying for a diploma thesis topic. You can get more information here (in Croatian).

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Current projects:
ICOHOSS - Interaction of COronal HOles and Solar Storms
MSOC - Millimeter and submillimeter observations of the solar chromosphere with ALMA

Past projects:

DBEM bilateral project AT-HR

Webcam at Observatory

  • Solar Activity Level: LOW
    Solar Activitly level is LOW.

    2-day Flare Index (entire sun): 6.7
    X-Class Flares: 0
    M-Class Flares: 0
    C-Class Flares: 5
  • Most Active Region: NOAA 12529
    The Most Active Region is NOAA 12529.

    2-day Flare Index: 3.9
    X-Class Flares: 0
    M-Class Flares: 0
    C-Class Flares: 3

    Region Statistics for Today
    Mount Wilson Class: b
    Area: 0850
    Nummber of Spots: 19
    Flares: C1.8 (07:40)

    Region Statistics for Yesterday
    Mount Wilson Class: b
    Area: 0820
    Nummber of Spots: 16
    Flares: C1.1 (01:36) C1.0 (18:28)


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