-introductory photo Valentin Grigore
text and photos Andrei Dorian Gheorghe
design Florin Alexandru Stancu-

I decided to begin this project with an astro-haiga
on a photo which the president of SARM,
Valentin Grigore,
made in 2018 April 13
and represents the constellation Scorpius and the planet Jupiter
in the sky of Romania
just because the last work of astronomy which
Spiru Haret published during his life (in 1912)
was dedicated to Jupiter’s Red Spot.

But… who was Spiru Haret?

Certainly, much more than the statue from marble of Carrara from below,
which was erected in 1935 in Bucharest’s University Square
by the famous Romanian sculptor Ion Jalea
(who had lost his left hand during World War I
and continued to sculpt with only one hand during the rest of his life).

Spiru Haret (1851-1912) was one of the greatest ever Romanians
(although he had an Armenian origin,
an ethnical community who was pushed west by Asian invaders
or felt prosecuted by Muslims
and came to the Romanian territories in successive waves since the 10th century,
making here their first church in the 12th century,
giving positive influences in time to the trade and handicrafts,
and having important contributions to art, science, literature and economy later …)

He was an astronomer, mathematician, professor, academician, sociologist,
politician and the minister who created
the modern education system in Romania,
reducing the analphabetism with 25% during only one decade.

His love for humanity also made him write a valuable and innovating book,
Social Mechanics (1910),
in which he used mathematics to comment the people’s social conduct.

The main secret for his humanist activities was that
he was a sky lover.

Thus, he studied at Paris’ Sorbonne University,
his thesis for the Ph. Degree,
“On the Invariability of the Major Axis of Planetary Orbits”
(published by the Paris Royal Observatory in 1878),
improving the research of the planets.

Later he co-founded (with Nicolae Coculescu)
the Bucharest Astronomical Observatory (1908)
and subscribed all the Romanian high schools to the astronomical magazine Orion
(edited by Victor Anestin and the Flammarion Romanian Astronomical Society).

I tried to commemorate Spiru Haret
not only through the photos from above (from 2016 March 30),
but also through a photo-fiction,
reproducing, from his return from France in 1878,
the road from the North Railway Station to his house in Bucharest.

(It was a deliberate inadvertence, however,
because the North Station was made in 1878-1882
and Spiru Haret’s house was built in 1885).

So I began combining two images with the Sun (2018 February 6)
with eight images with the sunset (2017 May 17)
over the zone of the North Station.

Then I added my photos from 2016 March 30,
when. From the North Station, I went west,
admiring the beautiful old buildings on the Occident Street.

At the intersection with the Victory Way
I watched back and I saw the Sun pushing me
on the last segment of the street.

Finally I found out only the façade of Spiru Haret’s house,
combined with a modern building.

I also remembered that, a few time ago,
the International Astronomical Union named after Spiru Haret
a crater on the invisible side of the Moon,
and I wanted to catch the Full Moon climbing in the sky
near his statue (2016 January 22).

In 2018 July 2 I saw the Moon becoming crowned near Mars
and I wanted more:
to catch a planet right near Spiru Haret’s statue.

So in 2018 July 12
I started to the University Square
to catch the planet Venus.

Getting closer to the statue…

…I wrote something:

Right near your statue
I felt just a cosmic vibration:
Spiru Haret, you were the Evening Star
Of Romanian education!


© 2019 SARM
(Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy)