Russians got a chance to see the lunar seas and craters, the convergence of planets, eclipses and meteor showers, learn to navigate by the stars and get distracted from everyday worries in the only private observatory in Primorsky Krai created by astrophysicist Alexey Matkin, TASS reports.
More than 20 years ago, Matkin’s school friend told him that with ordinary binoculars he can see craters on the Moon. It was then that a 12-year-old boy first examined the satellite of the Earth in detail. After that, he began to spend hours in a library, reading books on astronomy. His passion for space also determined his choice of profession, but since it was impossible to study astronomy in the Primorsky Territory, the young man studied at the Far Eastern University (Physics and Technology Faculty).
Already in his first year, Alexey was asked to work at the Ussuriysk Astrophysical Observatory. There he adapted digital cameras to observe the Sun. During ten years of work at the observatory, he worked his way up from a mechanical engineer to a research assistant, visited different countries as part of expeditions that helped launch and set up telescopes for the ISON project.
For more than ten years, the scientist, while working at a scientific observatory, was hatching the idea of creating such an educational centre. The first excursions to the open area of the new observatory, located half an hour from Ussuriysk, have started in a test version in January 2021.
In 2014, Alexey together with his colleague for the first time in the history of the Ussuriysk Astrophysical Observatory discovered an unknown asteroid, and later the discovery was confirmed by the Harvard International Centre. In total, the scientist has four found asteroids. In addition, he managed to get a pedagogical education and began to conduct lectures on astronomy.
Now, his private observatory offers two types of excursions. During the “Walk on the Moon” guests are offered to explore the lunar landscapes and during the “The Milky Way is Our Galaxy” excursion they can see all sorts of objects of the solar system. In the future, it is planned to establish observation of the Sun there. Matkin plans to build a spacious lecture room for exploring space regardless of weather conditions.