Every year on the 1st of April, the Astronomical Institute of Romanian Academy organizes the Open Gates Day. This gives the possibility to the public to have free access to the designated visiting areas of the institute.
On this occasion, the Astronomical Institute offers guided tours in its park of scientific buildings and inside some of these exciting astronomical research facilities. Visitors have the chance to step in the Main Building of Bucharest Observatory and see the permanent astronomy exhibition in the Meridian Hall. Here are displayed several scientific instruments used in our scientific past for astronomical research, some being unique in our country. The guided tours include the entrance in the Equatorial Dome where is located the impressing Prin-Merz astrograph, the largest refractory telescope in Romania, which is today classed as „Treasury” in our national cultural patrimony. When the weather allows, the visiting public have the possibility to enter the Sun Dome and see the monitoring process of the Sun which is regularly done here by the astronomers of the institute. The information is acquired live from Bucharest, by using several Zeiss telescopes, high-precision CCD cameras, filters and computers. The itinerary of the public in the park of the institute includes other historical objectives which are the Sun Building, Telescope Building, Small Meridian Hall and Bosianu House.
During the Open Gates Day, our professional astronomers joined sometimes by special guests give astronomy presentations with multimedia support in the Planetarium Hall. In the lobby area of the Planetarium Hall, the Institute presents a photography exhibition about the first Romanian astronomical expedition, done by Nicolae Coculescu in Senegal in 1893 for the total solar eclipse.
1stof April was chosen for the Open Gates Day at the Astronomical Institute of Romanian Academy as on the 1st of April 1908, the Minister of Public Instruction and Religious Affairs, Spiru Haret, signed the Decree for the founding of the Meteorological and Astronomical Observatory in Bucharest.
Group of young friends of astronomy during a presentation in the Planetarium Hall
Visiting the scientific park of Bucharest Observatory. In the background - the Sun Dome and the Telescope Building