The Polaris Observatory (PO), maintained by the Hungarian Astronomical Association (HAA) is the main coordinator of the outreach activity on astronomy in Hungary.. Main activites in the observatory:
- telescopic observations and demonstrations for the visitors
- education and training of obseving methods
- astronomical lecture series
- popularizing lectures and telescopic observations for schools and student groups
- astronomy clubs for children, secondary school students and adults
- hosting meetings related to astronomy
- astronomical library
- nighttime star watching walking tours
Solar observating with the main telescope of the observatory
The observatory’s work including the planetary science and astrobiology related education too. As the centerfor the Hungarian section of the European Association of Astronomy Education it coordinates the activity of the amateur astronomers, astronomy clubs and many astronomy teachers in Hungary. The PO and HAA publishes the monthly astronomical magazine called meteor, the annual Astronomy Yearbook, several other books, astronomical and planetary maps and related materials. The organization of regular astronomy meetings, lecture series, astronomy clubs and outreach events for the public at eclipses, planet oppositions, meteor shower maximums etc. are also among the aims of the work. The PO maintains the Polaris TV where astronomy lectures are broadcasted online and archived in the Hungarian language astronomy channel of youtube. The PO has a 200/2470 refractor with objective by D&G Optics and Fornax 50 mount, Celestron 11 type 28 cm Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope equipped with ST-7C CCD detector for photometry, and a SkyWatcher 200/1000 plus a GSO 250/1250 Dobsonian telescopes.
A 2004-es Vénusz átvonulás megfigyelése a Polaris teraszáról
Beyond the outreach activity, PO and HAA participate in the research and education of planetary science and astronomy at university level, including joint courses with the Eotvos Lorand University of Sciences, University of Western Hungary and the Pecs University. Under cooperation with the universities three new courses were developed (Geology of Mars, Climatic planetomorphology, Space science and space technology). Ongoing research projects at the PO include the development of the remote controlled exoplanet discovering robotic telescope network called HATnet system (Hungarian-made Automated Telescope Network, with more than 30 discovered exoplanet) in co-operation with the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, the coordination of the video camera system and related hardware of the Hungarian Meteor Observing network, and participation with follow-up observations of recently discovered minor planets in cooperation with the Szeged Asteroid Project.