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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.

Published on: Nov 26, 2022

AIRA's educational team participated to Fête de Science/The Festival of Science, 2022

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