Huge Sunspot

Solar activity has recently significantly increased! Many solar flares, coronal mass ejections, etc. have been seen during the last few weeks. This is a consequence of the fact that the number of active region has increased.

larger than Earth Sunspot was observed on the Sun on January 19, 2023. It is so large that it can be visible with a pair of eclipse glasses!

The white light image was taken at the Bucharest Solar Observatory of the Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy.

Larger than Earth Sunspot
Various records of Sun activity.

Happy New Year 2023

The Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy wishes you a happy and prosperous New Year 2023.

The greetings card was devoted to the Sun, our star. Its activity is monitored in various wavelengths, using instruments and devices owned by our institute. The correspondent database contains images obtained over several decades and used in scientific articles.

Nuclear reactions inside the Sun, mainly composed by atoms of hydrogen, are producing energy and release particles such are nuclei of helium and hydrogen. The particles are released into space by huge events called coronal mass ejections, sometimes associated to localized solar eruptions/solar flares.

Solar particles released in space, are electrically charged, and travel to space as a wind, the solar wind.

The solar wind interact with Earth's magnetosphere and could have an important influence for space activities of artificial satellites. Human activities on Earth might be also influenced, thus it is important to monitor and predict effects of solar activity on Earth. All the effects of solar activity on Earth and neighborhood are called space weather predictions.

Fête de Science 2022. Culture, education and a tribute to French-Romanian cooperation in astronomy

On the 22nd of November 2022, the Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy (AIRA) was invited to a new edition of the cultural event Fête de Science, organized by the French Institute in Romania. The organizers of this event allocated us the beautiful Atrium hall of their headquarters in Bucharest, in order to display all the patrimonial objects and scientific hardware that were brought there by our Institute’s team.

At the beginning of the event, H.E. Ms. Laurence Auer, the Ambassador of France in Romania and Dr. Mirel Bîrlan, Director of the Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy, gave speeches to the audience regarding the French-Romanian scientific cooperation in the field of astronomy.

The classical lines of the Atrium Hall where the event took place, were complemented by some of the most interesting patrimonial values of Romania that we displayed there, which formed a small astronomical exhibition. Among these marvels, was the old refractory telescope Bardou, produced in France and used in Bucharest by the Romanian astronomers since 1893. From the early pioneers of the modern Romanian astronomy like Constantin Căpităneanu, to those well known of the present days, this telescope has seen many great personalities of the Romanian astronomy, among all the stars it has seen in the Universe. And, indeed, at Fête de Science 2022, it was Dr. Mirel Bîrlan the one who offered explanations to the audience about this emblematic telescope of Romania and its historical scientific context. Nearby in the exhibition hall, Dr. Alin Nedelcu installed a MOROI/FRIPON all-sky camera in a closed-circuit on a large TV screen, and offered scientific details on the capabilities and integration of these sleepless scientific electronic eyes and AI software modules that watch 24/24 hours the sky of Romania.

Dr. Diana Ionescu introduced the visitors to the astronomical research area of the physics of the Sun, by using theoretical and practical demonstrations. Other scientists of AIRA - Mădălina Trelia and Octavian Blagoi engaged the public in discussions about the research and study of the various types of objects in the Universe, from asteroids to distant stars and intergalactic nebulae. The scaled down replica of the Hubble telescope built by Octavian, was highly appreciated by everyone.

In the background, the mechanical, electro-mecanical and electronic calculating machines we included in the exhibition, were used by the AIRA’s historian Sorin Marin to tell the story of the mathematical requirements of knowledge, speed and precision met by generations of Romanian astronomers as well as by many others in the whole world.

A special guest at the event was Dr. Magda Stavinschi, Honorary Researcher and a former Director of AIRA. Our team also included the technical engineer Nicolae Dociu, who assisted every logistical aspect done during this event.

AIRA's educational team participated to Fête de Science/The Festival of Science, 2022
Academia Română, Sediul Central. Observarea eclipsei parțiale de Soare, 25 octombrie 2022. Foto credit: Amalia Alexandru

Eclipsa parțială de Soare observată de la Sediul Central al Academiei Române

Marți, 25 octombrie 2022, Institutul Astronomic a participat la organizarea unei sesiuni ghidate de observații astronomice ale eclipsei parțiale de Soare, vizibilă și din România. Evenimentul a avut loc la Sediul Central al Academiei Române din Calea Victoriei nr. 125, în intervalul orar 12-15, Timp Legal Român. Organizarea a fost asigurată de Academia Română, prin Institutul Astronomic al Academiei Române, în parteneriat cu Astroclubul București.

Observațiile au fost făcute cu instrumente astronomice dotate cu filtre solare – un telescop Newton-Dobson de 200 mm diametru și o lunetă de 80 mm, precum și cu ochelari speciali pentru eclipsă. Orientarea vizitatorilor s-a realizat de către personalul științific al Institutului Astronomic al Academiei Române, în colaborare cu entuziaștii astronomi amatori ai Astroclubului București.

Explicații și îndrumări au fost oferite de Magda Stavinschi - cercetător onorific al Institutului Astronomic al Academiei Române, Mirel Bîrlan - Directorul Institutului Astronomic al Academiei Romane, Dan Alin Nedelcu, Diana Ionescu, Mădălina Trelia și Sorin Marin - personal de specialitate din cadrul aceluiași institut, dar și de Marian Naiman, Cristian Suciu, Victor Vasile și Melania Boicescu de la Astroclubul București.

La eveniment au participat personalul din structura centrală a Academiei Române precum și numeroși pasionați de astronomie și știință din rândurile publicului general.

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