Summer Night in Astronomy Town
As seen on the Astronomy Picture of the Day in a late summer night under starry sky of Iran’s Fars province, the brightest part of the Milky Way and the Summer Triangle approach the western horizon, above native Mastic Trees (Wild Pistachio), near the town of Saadat Shahr. To recognize the constellations and the triangle in this starryscape move the slider on the image. Saadat Shahr, located close 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 the main popularizer.
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 astronomers of the history. © Babak Tafreshi