-text Andrei Dorian Gheorghe
photos Andrei Dorian Gheorghe, Valentin Grigore and others
design Florin Alexandru Stancu

On the morning of 1 October 2016
I received images from the first day of the National Astronomy Gala,
an event organized by Valentin Grigore and SARM in Targoviste
with the participation of the elite of the
Romanian (amateur and professional) astronomers
(from observatories, universities, high schools, associations and clubs)
and a special foreign guest, Connie Walker
(whose name was given to an asteroid by the International Astronomical Union),
a famous astronomer from the USA’s National Optical Astronomy Observatory,
former chair of the International Year of Astronomy Dark Skies Awareness project
and director of the Globe at Night project,
the pictures being made by
Valentin Grigore, George Tanase, Cosmin Sorin Miclos and Florin Prodan.

So that immediately, eager to test the atmosphere,
I left Bucharest under sunrise
and I went to Targoviste (80 km distance).

At the entrance to the former Capital City of the Romanian Land,
I watched back and I saw the Sun over the old Bucharest Gate.

Then I went to the statue of Vlad Tepes Dracula and to the History Museum,
where the Sun invited me to be part of a magnificent astronomical show,
announced by a logo made by Alexandru Sebastian Grigore.

Inside the building, a fascinating combination:
historic exhibits, Valentin Grigore’s astrophotography
(his famous exhibition Light from Universe,
for which the introductory picture includes verses by
Calin Niculae, Andrei Dorian Gheorghe and himself),
and vivacious, warm and charming people
demonstrating through captivating lectures that
astronomy is a part of history and history is a part of astronomy.

During the break time
I was to see the Sun over Dracula’s (Chindia) Tower,
then I returned to the Astro-Gala
(where crowns and mantles of old Romanian “voievods” and “domnitors”
made me imagine that the lecturers are
current “voievods” and “domnitors” on various astronomical themes),
and finally I enjoyed the Sun (again) in the central square,
over the statue of Mircea the Elder (the founder of the city in the 14th century).

On that afternoon
some of the participants returned to their home places,
while others (including me) went to the town of Pucioasa
for the lunch in a dream place, the New Jerusalem Monastery,
made after 1990 by a group of believers, artists and patriots
(friends of astronomy)
who follow since the 1950s their creed, God’s Word,
and awaited us dressed in costumes of antique Geto-Dacians.

The church of the monastery is a masterpiece conceived by architect Marian Zidaru,
with 33 cupolas signifying 33 years lived by Jesus Christ on Earth
and the 33 corresponding revolution movements of Earth around the Sun,
and a fascinating wooden gate.

Lucky me, I caught the sunset right near this church!

Then we moved to another charming place, the Runcu Stone
(which has become a new astronomical basis for SARM in the last years).
where the brightest planet, Venus,
welcomed the continuation of the Astro-Gala,
as well as other pictures by Valentin Grigore
which decorated the inside of the main building.

On the next morning the brightest star, Sirius,
also saluted the Romanian Astro-Gala,
after which I caught the sunrise over the Meridional Carpathians
like from an astronomical fortress.

Finally, the president of SARM and I
tried to crown this web project with the following cosmopoem:

-photos Valentin Grigore
verses Andrei Dorian Gheorghe-

In any conditions
For stars you must fight
Translating for people
Their true light.


© 2017 SARM
(Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy)