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Zselic Starry Sky Park

A cache by PeterPan Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 08/15/2012
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Size: Size: small (small)

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Geocache Description:

A láda a oldalon GCsill rövid név alatt szerepel.
Extremely hard if attempted during the day. At night, just follow the stars, they will lead you to the cache.

The Hide

Several caches in the vicinity show you the Zselic hills. This cache will introduce you the area from a different aspect. The beauty of this cache is that it truly shows itself at night. Having it in mind that you are expected to come at night, there is no bushwacking or any senseless obstacle. Based on the terrain, it can be easily done day or night. But, if you decide to come during the day, expect it to be very hard, and less fun – as the there are no published coordinates for the cache.
You don’t need any special equipment. If you feel uncomfortable moving around in the dark, you may take a flashlight. But it is advised not to use a light source during the search as it would spoil the philosophy of the dark sky preserve. The light emitted by your GPS or cell phone will be adequate.

How to Get there and Where to Park?

From Bárdudvarnok follow the sign to Bánya. For parking and spending the night in the area I recommend the Bánya Tourist Center  (Bányai Turisztikai Központ). From here you can continue on a hard surface road until the marked waypoint, there turn left, on a dirt road toward the Görgényi shelter. As you left your car at the parking coordinates you also left the civilization and light pollution and the “stars” appear that lead you to the cache. You will find the first “star” at the posted coordinates. From here you will walk about 1,500 meters.

What Can I See on the Sky?

Under favourable conditions you can see about 70 stars with the naked eye in Budapest, while at least 7000 (!) in the Zselic.
On the summer sky it is easy to locate the wide, light band of the Milky Way. It seems to be crossing the Summer Triangle, a typical formation of the season. The Summer Triangle is not a separate constellation, but is created by the brightest stars (Vega, Deneb and Altair) of three constellations (Lyra, Swan, Eagle). Vega is the brightest of the three, actually the fifth brightest star in the sky. It is approximately 27 light years distant and has a luminosity 58 times that of our sun.
It takes time for your eyes to get used to the darkness. If you didn’t spoil your vision with a strong light source (the GPS’s too strong backlight can be one of those) and you would like to identify the stars and planets of the sky spectacle at your location at a given time you can check them out on this webpage:
You may find a description of the most well-known constellations here.

More light:

There are fire flies living in the Zselic. If you have seen them swarming (as I did!) you will never forget that play of light.
Though the area is famous for porcini, the luminous jack-o'-lantern mushroom  (Omphalotus olearius) can also be found here.
For those who don’t have much experience in night hikes, it is always a great surprise to see their shadow in the moonlight. Even the Venus can cast a shadow! Seeing the “the tracklog” of a shooting star on the sky for minutes after the star’s disappearance or the rare lucky occasion of seeing the explosion of a meteor an unbelievable spectacle.

The Importance of Dark Skies

Most spectaculars of the star-studded sky have disappeared from the sky above and near our settlements due to light pollution. Artificial sky glow is created by the over-illumination of the sky from large city centers, shopping centers or stadiums. These cause the sky to be 5-10 times brighter in urban areas than a natural dark sky that is unaffected by artificial light. Studies have proved that interrupted darkness by light pollution of the night skies drastically effects most organisms by changing their food gathering and feeding habits, their mating and reproduction behavior, migration (birds and insects), and their social behavior. 30% of vertebrates and 60% of invertebrates are nocturnal, meaning that they depend on darkness. Human health is also adversely affected by the effects of light pollution. Light during night time hours have been linked to human cancers and psychological disorders.
There are less and less areas on our Earth where the dark sky can be observed in its natural condition – one of these is the Zselic, as declared by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). As of February 6, 2012, there was a total of 35 formally recognized dark-sky preserves recorded in the world with Canada in the lead containing 15 different parks. The Zselic Starry Sky Park together with the Galloway National Park in Scotland were the first such parks recognized in Europe in 2009. Other countries that have established dark-sky preserves since then are the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Spain and the United States. IDA's principal approach is to raise awareness about the value of dark, star-filled night skies and encourage their protection and restoration through education about the problems and solutions, including outdoor lighting practices that create less light pollution.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Ybbx ba tebhaq yriry, ohg qba’g rkcrpg vg HCF.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



20 Logged Visits

Found it 19     Publish Listing 1     

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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum

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