Construction works have kicked off in the capital city in the area of the Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences. In a few months there will be a park called Astronomy and Aeronautics. Director of the institute, Shukhrat Egamberdiev, has told us about the transformations taking place.
- The park will preserve all the trees. New convenient tracks will be broken. The shores of the irrigation ditch Akkurgan shall be landscaped for walks. Historical objects will appear on the upper shore of Akkurgan. Along with the museum, all the old telescopes will be repaired, the buildings will be restored. This applies to the French telescope, installed in the ancient tower in 1895. The tower itself will be restored with preservation of appearance - we will replace only the rotten boards and we will update the roof with stainless steel sheets. The most interesting is that we bring the telescope to the original authentic state, we will remove all electric motors with reducers, it will move when the hand wheels rotate by hand, like a hundred years ago! In the solar telescope tower, we plan to place a museum for the study of the Sun.
Our Astronomical Institute is 145 this year. All these years, numerous studies, including applied ones, were carried out. For this purpose, special equipment was used. Moreover, it should be noted that astronomers always use the most modern devices at the moment. In our collection there are many very interesting samples of such equipment, some of them we exhibited in the museum in the building of the institute and now we want to create a separate Museum of Astronomy within the park.
For the museum planned to use the old ‘upper’ building, built in 1873. But it turned out that it was quite dilapidated and could not survive repair. We invited specialists. Preliminary for the examination holes were drilled to determine the condition of the walls, it turned out that the saman (straw) had decayed for 140 years, turned into a sand-rubble. Various options for saving the building were considered, for example, the erection of external walls, but all of them turned out to be unsuitable from an engineering point of view. It was not easy for us to make a decision, but the building (which, by the way, was rebuilt many times over many years) had to be demolished. According to the plan, exactly such a burned brick will be erected, and in it we will open the Museum of Astronomy, more precisely, the Museum of Astronomy Instruments. But the tower of the solar telescope, adjacent to this building, built their burnt bricks, it is well preserved.
The new layout will correspond to the thematic areas of the museum. For example, there will be a hall (room) with equipment, posters, tables for determining the geographical coordinates of settlements - this was an actual task in those far times. Devices for determining the latitude and longitude of the desired place were carried on camels and on the spot they made the necessary measurements.
The next room will be devoted to the definition of time. After Huygens’ invention of the pendulum clock in the 17th century, the question arose about their synchronization, for this purpose the rotation of the Earth was used and astronomical observations were needed. All tools for clarifying and synchronizing time will be presented in the museum.
A separate section of the museum will tell about the Maidanak Observatory, which is one of the five best observatories in the world under observation conditions. Few people know that such a place was searched for more than 10 years, it is unique in the number of clear nights, in terms of turbulence and other criteria. There is a whole direction of astronomy - an astroclimate with a large set of parameters under study.
And there is an idea to restore the office of Academician Shcheglov, who headed the institute for a long time. We have preserved the director's desk of the middle of the last century, an old telephone, an ink device, a typewriter and other attributes of recent history.
Now about the new objects. On the site between the French telescope and the Museum, we plan to build an existing model of the Ulugbek observatory at a scale of 1:5. If in this observatory the radius of the sextant was 40 meters, then it will be 8 meters. Everyone can get acquainted with the work of the observatory, see how Ulugbek and his colleagues determined the data of the heavenly bodies. It is possible that the model of the observatory will allow us to better understand the ideas of Ulugbek and the methodology that he used. In addition, busts of great astronomers of antiquity will be installed, a sundial and other interesting cognitive objects are built.
On the territory of the institute there was a seismic basement, now abandoned, half-fallen down. It will be reconstructed, it will install an operating seismograph of the old design (now all seismographs are replaced by digital seismographs), provided by the Institute of Seismology. There will be stands telling about the earthquakes and the work of the seismograph. Everyone will be able to go down and personally track the fluctuations of the soil from distant earthquakes, metro or a nearby truck.
On the lower bank of the canal, to the right of the institute building, it is planned to build a planetarium. And, it will be not just a modern building, it is planned to equip the most interesting, including interactive exhibits on the space theme. Around the planetarium will be a model of the solar system, in one scale will be shown the orbits of all planets with their mock-ups.
Also there will be a museum of aviation equipment. The Ministry of Defense will provide decommissioned refurbished equipment, aircraft and helicopters. All exhibits will be open, so that children can sit in the cockpit of the pilot, try on the parachute and learn technical information.
There will also be recreation areas, a café and a Ferris wheel to explore the park from above.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)