On Copernicus' Footsteps from Warsaw, to Torun,
18-25 July 2018
This year winners of Cirta-Science 10 went to Poland, the land of Copernicus who revolutionized astronomy and Marie Sklodowska Curie who contributed much to modern physics. It was a sweeping tour which led them to various parts of Poland and enable them to visit educational, scientific as well as historical landmarks notably in Krakow. There, exploring the Wieliczka's Salt Mine was a must. A visit to the Warsaw Rising Museum as well as the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps completed the historical part. Not forgetting a visit to Jagiellonian University in Krakow, the oldest University in Poland, where Copernicus studied... and Marie Curie was refused admission for being a woman!
The Copernicus Science Center, a monumental hallmark in the heart of the capital . The Center kindly invited us there as their special guests and organised all the segments during the good part of the day we stayed there along with a dedicated guide.
The Center is located on the river bank of the Vistula river, this country long river that we will be following till the next step of our trip at Krakow at the other side of the country. The river ends its course in the Baltic sea near the northern city of Gdansk that we couldn't visit due to lack of time.
More fun here at the "Air – is not just nothing" exhibit. See this video clip here.
A Refusenik at heart: Marie Curie and her husband (At right) declined to go to Stockholm to receive the prize in person as they were too busy with their work.
Later, the French government offered her the French "Légion d' Honneur" award but she refused. She was often portrayed in the public opinion in France as was unworthy foreigner, but as a French heroine when receiving foreign honors such as her two Nobel Prizes.
The French Academy of Sciences failed to elect her as a member to the Academy but elected instead Édouard Branly, a mere inventor.
In front of the Museum's entrance
Marie Curie's desk
Expressing one's feelings on the Museum Golden Book ...
Marie Curie's diploma in physics signed by Raymond Poincaré, the French Minister of Higher Education. The very raison for her coming to Paris was her yearning to become a physicist. Her coming back to native Poland was stifled by the Jagiellonian University in Krakow refusal to register as she didn't accept women. See below our visit to that University.
The French presidential decree granting Marie Curie the Professorship.
In the Old Varsovie
The old Warsaw city
At the Algerian Embassy in Warsaw
A warm welcome by the Embassy staff waiting for us at the entrance
With his Excellency Mr.Salah Lebdioui, the Algerian Ambassador to Poland.
Giving a presentation on the aims of our trip and the Cirta Science contest
Ambassador's interview for the Al-Nasr newspaper by Yasmine Bouldjedri
Lecture by Dr. Boguslaw Zagorski from the Ibn Khaldun Institute on the history of Poland and of the Muslim presence there.
Day 4: To Copernicus home at Torun & the Astronomy Observatory at Piwnice
The classical portrait of Copernicus. Here is a more realistic one based on the post- mortem reconstitution of his recovered skeleton.
Copernicus: Putting the heliocentric system on firm ground
In front of Copernicus House and Museum.
A reconstituted vintage bedroom
At the Torun Center for Astronomy at Piwnice
Dr.Andrew Strobel (At the right above) was our dedicated guide in our visit of the Observatory at Piwnice some 8km from Torun. It has both good sized radiotelescope and an optical observatory. Situated in the midst of a beautiful botanical park, it is the largest such facility in Poland. We were the guests of the Aleksander Jabłoński Foundation who kindly organized the visit.
An aerial view of the Piwnice Observatory. The 32m dish at the upper right and various optical telescopes in the little forest.
Here Andrew explaining to us the functioning of the camera Schmidt mirror diameter of 90 cm. It is an astrograph Draper, a gift from Harvard Observatory in the US which made history when Edward C. Pickering developed its famous catalog of the brightness of stars and their spectral classification.
In front of the main building.
The 1- meter telescope from Zeiss Jena capable of two configurations, a Schmidt one and a Cassegrain one. It is fitted with a powerful spectrograph built at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory at Victoria, in British Columbia.
In front of the 32-meter radiotelescope dish. Here is the smaller 15m dish which is no more in use.
Inside the main building
In front of the control room of the radiotelescope in the main building.
The control room
For the other segments of the trip,
go to Day 5, 6, and 7 below