The Sky and My Dobsonian

By: Babak A. Tafreshi


Region: Middle East

Site: Saadat Shahr - Iran

Date: December 2010

In a late autumn night of Saadat Shahr, a small farming town in Fars province of Iran, this young amateur astronomer enjoys the beauty of night sky with her Dobsonian telescope. In the starry sky behind her constellation Leo, the Lion, rises over the east. Saadat Shahr, near to Pasargadae World Heritage, is known as Astronomy Town in Iran because of a great passion to astronomy and skygazing among locals. Astronomy is involved with everyday life and culture here, after years of broad activity by the town's astronomy association which also resulted in Astronomical Society of Pacific 2006 Amateur Outreach Award for Asghar Kabiri, the leading astronomy educator in the town. Many wedding ceremonies end with star party and telescopic observation in Saadat Shahr; they occasionally switch off the whole town for their public observations; some taxis, doctors, and bakeries are free during the astronomy week; they have weekly sky report after the Friday's prayers in the main mosque; and they have named some of their streets after historic astronomers. Babak Tafreshi/

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