Text and photos Andrei Dorian Gheorghe
Design Florin Alexandru Stancu

This project begins with the Night Moon and the Morning Moon
over Bucharest in 2019-06-23,
ends with the Night Moon and the Morning Moon
over Baia Mare in 2019-06-26
and is dedicated to the memory of Mircea Lite (1963-2018),
an eminent specialist at Planetarium Baia Mare
(the current Capital City of the Maramures County in North-Northwest Romania,
which has a large multicultural history,
being under Magyar domination in the 13th-17th centuries
and then belonging to the Habsburg Empire until 1918,
when it was recovered by Romanians).

This planetarium was opened in 1969,
becoming the first optical planetarium for the public at large in the country.

Mircea Lite (who I met a few years ago in Targoviste,
when he visited the SARM headquarters)
contributed to many cultural-astronomical projects over there,
being the manager of “Romanian Traditional Constellations”,
a project based on Ion Otescu’s book
“Romanian Peasants’ Beliefs in Stars and Sky”
(which I translated in English in the 2000s
together with Alastair McBeath,
the vice-president of the International Meteor Organization at that time),
trying to spread these old traditions all over his country
(through booklets and maps of the sky)
and even beyond its borders.

With an excellent leadership all the time
(the last directors: Gavrila Tomoioaga, Ioan Bob and Ovidiu Ignat),
Planetarium Baia Mare was modernized in 2015
with a Zeiss Skymaster ZKP4 projector.

In fact, this planetarium is part of an astronomical complex,
which includes also an observatory in an astronomical tower
and a solar room.

I visited this place for the first time in 2019-06-24,
one day before the celebration of its jubilee (50 years).

I liked so much its interior decorations
(including the “Solar System” permanent exhibition
and other pieces of astrophotography,
astroart by children, telescopes, astroart by Victoria Labuhn,
DSO astrophotography by the very talented high school student
Eduard Andrei Mociran etc.)
that I made two tours through it.

Under its cupola,
the former director Ioan Bob (now close to retirement),
a veritable “senior” in this field,
told about his career and gave a planetarium show.

(Two days later, the current director, Ovidiu Ignat,
gave also a planetarium show during the Jubilee).

I personally will never forget that day just because,
for the first time in my life,
I recited astropoems under the cupola of a planetarium
(it was something unofficial, but I had four witnesses:
Remus Cirstea (former manager of Planetarium Pitesti
and the national expert in digital planetariums),
Mihai Enescu (former manager of Planetarium Constanta),
Constanta Diamandi (current manager of Planetarium Constanta)
and Ioan Bob).

Here are those verses
(although they are old):

“Come with us to admire
The splendors of the starry sky.
Look at the bright stars and discover
He Who Created The Light.”
(Valentin Grigore)

“Only through the constellations you can see
In the nights adorned by stars,
A Swan and an Eagle as two brothers
Peacefully evolving together.”
(Zigmund Tauberg)

“In the House of the Universe
Say: “It’s mine!”
But, talking to the stars,
You must shine.”
(Andrei Dorian Gheorghe)

I hope that Mircea Lite listened to me
from the heights.

Mircea Lite,
I think that after so many merits
In simulating the heavens,
You have wanted to fly
To test the real sky.


© 2019 SARM
(Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy)