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

This sensational photo with a Geminid fireball of -7 magnitude
was made by Ruxandra Toma in the end of 2014
somewhere in the Bucegi Mountains, Carpathian Chain, Romania.

(About the author:
-she was initially a member of the Sirius Astronomical Association,
led by the kindhearted teacher Ioan Adam;
-then she became a fan of the SARM activities,
obtained the 2nd place at a national astronomy Olympiad,
and, after a few years,
graduated the Physics Faculty in Magurele-Bucharest;
today she is a professional astronomer
at the most important… Irish observatory, in Armagh,
but every time when it is possible,
she returns to Romania for short vacations,
just like in this case.)

Practically, the picture was taken in 14/15 December 2014 at Cote 1400,
between the town of Sinaia (around 800 m altitude)
and the Longing Top (Varful cu Dor, around 2000 m altitude),
during an observational expedition of SARM,
organized by the president Valentin Grigore.

Regarding Sinaia,
this is a town which was nicknamed “the pearl of the Carpathians”
even 100 years ago.

In 1905 its City Hall was moved
to a palace bought from a Romanian aristocratic family (Ghica).

In October 2016
Valentin Grigore brought again astronomy in Sinaia,
arranging a personal exhibition of astrophotography
right in the famous building of the local casino (founded in 1913),
during the national symposium for nocturnal illumination.

In fact, Sinaia should be nicknamed rather
the Royal Town of Romania because,
after it was a small village around a monastery
founded in the end of the 17th century,
it vertiginously developed around the Peles Castle,
built after 1875 by King Carol I.

In May 2016
Valentin Grigore witnessed right near the castle
a symphonic concerto which celebrated 150 years since
Carol I became the leader Romania.

In June 2015
Valentin Grigore witnessed another ceremony of the Royal Family,
this time inside the most beautiful Romanian Castle.

Before ending,
here is a lunar intermezzo over Sinaia,
which Valentin Grigore caught in April 2016.

For astronomical symmetry,
finally let’s return to the SARM expedition in December 2014
to admire Valentin Grigore’s meteor photo-captures!

Winter Geminid meteors
Ardently flew without wings
Right over the Royal Town of Sinaia
As… celestial transient kings!


In 13-14 December 2015
Valentin Grigore, although in a different (but close) location,
caught another Geminid meteor saluting Sinaia.


© 2016 SARM
(Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy)