The creation of a new educational tourist route
On June 17, 2021 in the framework of the project "Carpathian Starry Sky", implemented and co-financed under the Cross-Border Cooperation Program Poland-Belarus-Ukraine 2014-2020, on the basis of the grant contract (project №PLBU.01.02-00-UA-0809/19 -00) between the Ministry of Funds and Regional Policy of the Republic of Poland and the NGO "Institute of Development of the Carpathian Region" a trip was made to Uzhanskyi National Nature Park, where in 2016 the Institute of Development of the Carpathian Region (Lead Beneficiary of this project) initiated the creation of Transcarpathian Dark Sky Park.
One of the project's activities is the creation of a new educational tourist route "Carpathian Star Way" in the Transcarpathian Dark Sky Park, which will help diversify tourist products in the region, as well as promote astrotourism and recreation. On June 17, the team of the Carpathian Starry Sky project together with the staff of the Lviv Astronomical Observatory, the Space Research Laboratory of Uzhhorod National University and with the support of the "Carpathian Trails" Tourist Association went to Uzhansky National Nature Park to determine the location for the educational and tourist route "Carpathian Star Way".
After going through and analyzing several existing routes leading from the foot to the top of Mount Yavirnyk, an external expert concluded that these routes are not suitable for organizing a new educational tourist route, as they pass through wooded areas with minimal observation decks, where the starry sky would not be visible. Therefore, it was decided to choose a section of the ridge of Mount Yavirnyk for the tourist route, which begins near the shelter "Yavirnyk" and ends with the sign of the highest point of the ridge Yavirnyk (1017 m).
The expert on the creation of educational and tourist route justified the choice of this site by a number of its advantages:
1. There are several good observation decks, from which you can see almost the entire starry sky.
2. This tourist route is located near the shelter "Yavirnyk", where there are all necessary conditions for tourists to stop.
3. The route passes along the ridge, from which you can see a beautiful landscape. From there you can see the astronomical observatory on the Kolonitsky saddle near the village of Kolonitsa (Slovakia), as well as the top of the Carpathian Mountains.
On the night of June 17-18, on this route, a light pollution expert together with the project team measured the brightness of the night sky with the help of an SQM device purchased within the project. Also, for comparison, on the same night measurements of the brightness of the night sky in Uzhgorod were made at the observation station of the Laboratory of Space Research of Uzhhorod National University. The maximum value shown by the device on Mount Yavirnyk is 21.61 magnitude per square second of the arc and 19.72 magnitude per square second of the arc in Uzhhorod.
Thus, we can conclude that the illumination of the night sky in Uzhgorod is significantly influenced by external factors: lighting of streets, houses and other components of urban infrastructure.
This indicator of the night sky brightness on Mount Yavirnyk at this time of year fully satisfies the conditions of entry of the Transcarpathian Dark Sky Park into the International Association of Dark Sky Parks (IDA), which is also a planned activity of the project. The official recognition of parks by this authoritative organization allows to promote dark sky parks in the world and attract more international tourists.