The night sky in Croatia is really a remarkable sight. Stars above Petrova Gora, for example, shine in such way that you don’t need a professional gear to indulge in space exploration. All you need is basic knowledge of constellations. Well, not even that if you simply want to enjoy the view.
But what is Petrova Gora, or Peter’s Mount as English would translate its name? It is a mountain in central Croatia, on the very border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. With the highest peak of Veliki Petrovac, which is 512 meters high, the mountain is a great spot for hikers and has a lot of tracks which traverse its landscape. It is also important for Croatian history, as a notable battle between Croats and Hungarians occurred on its slopes in 11th century. The Croatian king Petar Svacic perished in the fight, giving the name to the mountain.
Petrova Gora was also a very important strategic point in World War II, as proven by a large monument dedicated to partisan soldiers. The statue is a work of sculptor Vojin Bakic, and is considered a masterpiece of its kind in Croatia.
Back to stars above Petrova Gora! The photo above was brought to you by passionate amateur astronomer Boris Stromar, a frequent reader of Like Croatia who described the mountain as one of the most prominent places for star gazing in Karlovac County. Because the site is far away from larger settlements, the night sky is not polluted with urban illumination. This makes it very dark, causing the stars to be more visible in return.
Stromar also explained that greenish layer above the tree trunks is called ‘airglow’. It is a natural phenomenon which occurs due to glistering of Earth’s atmosphere, and executes only in the clearest night skies. Literally saying, it is the shine of our planet itself.
Stars above Petrova Gora will hopefully prompt international astronomical community to proclaim this region a park of the dark sky. It is a title given only to best star-gazing localities in the world, the one which this mountain definitely deserves. If you are an aspiring astronomer, and would like to enjoy your hobby during vacation in Croatia, Petrova Gora won’t be a bad spot to visit once sun goes beyond the hills.
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