The workshop "Pioneers of Astronomy", France, May 2012

logo utuInternational Workshop: "Pioneers of Astronomy"

Arles, May 2 & 3, 2012 - Marseille May 4, 2012


This workshop is organized within the framework of the "UTU - Unlocking the Universe" project, funded by the European Union within the Lifelong Learning program.



The UTU Project


The UTU project (July 2011-July 2013) aims to disseminate knowledge on four astrophysicists from different nationalities and considered as pioneers who, through their contributions, have helped achieve critical steps in the history of astronomy and physics. These scientists are: Nicolas Copernicus (1473-1543) - Polish; Leon Foucault (1819-1868) - French; Mikulas Konkoly Thege (1842-1916), Slovak and Joseph Norman Lockyer(1836-1920) – English.

These four scientists used the technology of their time to advance our understanding of the universe: Copernicus deduced the correct position of the Sun in our solar system, Foucault determined the velocity of light and developed the largest telescope mirror in silver glass in the world, while Konkoly and Lockyer have both developed instrumentation to analyze the chemical composition of the Sun and the stars.


The project is composed of four partners from France, UK, Slovakia and Poland, as the mentioned pioneers

-          Space today UK Ltd (UK, Coordinateur)

-          Olsztyn Planetarium and Astronomical Observatory (Poland)

-          Slovak Central Observatory-SUH (Slovakia)

-          Centre de Conservation du Livre (France)



The project objective is to produce four illustrated cases studies on these astrophysicians and their works and ensure their diffusion to raise public awareness and promote the heritage of astronomy. Specific actions to raise awareness among seniors will also be assured by the project.


The workshop "Pioneers of Astronomy", France, May 2012


160 years ago, in early February, a French physicist successfully realized an amazing experience in the great hall of the meridian of the Paris Observatory: excellent communicator, Leon Foucault was asked a warned audience to "come to see rotate the Earth". Passionate about photography, Foucault developed his knowledge of optics, invented one of the first voltaic arc lamps, the first successful photographic image of the Sun (1845), demonstrated the rotation of the Earth by the famous pendulum experiment (1851) and determined the speed light, a discovery that celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2012.


On the occasion of the anniversary and as part of project activities UTU, the Centre for Book Conservation and the USO Pytheas organize a workshop on the study of Leon Foucault discoveries and the astrophysicians mentioned above.
This workshop will bring together various experts from different countries.




Arles, Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Centre de Conservation du Livre, Enclos St Césaire

Technical meeting between the project partners



Welcome of participants



Activities carried out in the framework of the project following the first workshop in Hereford (October 2011)

5 minutes each partner



Presentation of illustrated cases studies - 20 minutes each partner


-          Nicolas Copernicus : Jacek SZUBIAKOWSKI,  Director Olsztyn Planetarium and Astronomical Observatory, Poland


-          Norman Lockyer: Paul HALEY, Director  Space Today, UK


-          Mikulas Konkoly Thege : Marian VIDOVENEC, Slovak Central Observatory, Slovakia


-          Léon Foucault : Stéphane IPERT, Director of Centre de Conservation du Livre d’Arles



Lunch Break



Discussions among participants


-          Project Objectives

Paul Haley


-          The use of astronomical heritage: which method for transmission to the public.
The example of the digital library "astronomical heritage of Provence"

Stéphane Ipert, Patrick Figon

-          Discussion with the invited learners



Senior volunteers in project UTU

Jeacek Szubiakowski



End of meeting





Arles, Thursday, May 3, 2012

Centre de Conservation du Livre, Enclos St Césaire

Technical meeting between the project partners



Dissemination strategies & evaluation of results



Working with special needs learners



Interim & Final reports - evidence gathering



End of meeting – Lunch break



Common diner




Marseille, Friday, May 4, 2012

Conferences and visits




Welcome of participants at the Observatory Institute (Chateau Gombert)



Visit to the Astronomical Observatory of Marseille-Provence and Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille by Michel Marcelin

Pôle de l’Étoile Site de Château-Gombert, Marseille



Welcome to participants on the historic site of the Observatory



Visit of the historic site of the Astronomical Observatory of Marseille-Provence by the team of CIPRES (Heritage Institute Pytheas)

historic site of the plateau Longchamp, Marseille


Lunch Break



Technical meeting between the participants

Traveling exhibitions in the project and organization

The involvement of senior learners as exhibition  guide



Coffee Break



Conferences and invited talks

Ladislav HRIC “Spectroscopy – historical overview” (invited)

Marián VIDOVENEC "von Miklos Konkoly-Thege and the spectra studies"



Planetarium session, association Andromeda (site Longchamp)



Visit the exhibition "Water in the Universe, a treasure essential to life"

Andromeda association - Longchamp



Common Diner



Conference TOBIN William "Leon Foucault, the astronomical telescope and Marseille," (invited)

Association Andromeda site Longchamp







Centre de Conservation du Livre :

Stéphane Ipert, Directeur

Carol Giordano, Chargé de project


Space Today, Royaume Uni :

Mr Mark Robinson - senior learner

Mrs Janet Robinson - senior learner

Mr Michael Hughes - adult learner

Mrs Ann Haley - Space Today UK staff

Mr Paul Haley - Director, Space Today


Slovak Central Observatory, Slovaquie

Mr. Mgr. Marian Vidovenec – management – coordinator of project, lecturer

Mr. RNDr. Marian Lorenc – management – astronomer, lecturer

Mr. Zoltan Csontos – technical worker - lecturer

Mr. Mikulas Macansky  - learner

Mr. RNDr. Ladislav Hric, CSc - astronomer, invited lecturer (Astronomical Institute, Slovak Academy of Sciences)


Olsztyn Planetarium and Astronomical Observatory, Pologne

Mrs. Teresa Niedźwiedzka – senior learner,

Mrs. Kazimiera Czachowska – senior learner,

Mrs. Elżbieta Plucińska – staff,

Mr. Jacek Szubiakowski – Director, Olsztyn Planetarium and Astronomical Observatory.


OSU Pythéas

Patrick FIGON, Chargé de mission

Monique ROUS, Chargée de conservation du patrimoine

Sylviane GUYOT, coordinatrice des activités

Jean-Pierre SIVAN, Chercheur CNRS

Michel MARCELIN, responsable du patrimoine astronomique

James CAPLAN, astronome émérite