Tuesday, January 15, 2019


Azi ma bucur si ma  simt ''asezat deosebit intru nadejde'' la sarbatorirea nasterii  lui Mihai Eminescu la 15 Ianuarie 1850.
In ciuda adolescentei mele petrecute prin cenacluri , dascalit cu blandete de Corneliu Bala si uimit apoi de imprevizibilul Darie Magheru , simt ca amutesc atunci cand vine vorba despre Mihai Eminescu.

Voi repeta  cu intentie votiva aceste cateva cuvinte atat de cuprinzatoare pe care le-a spus despre sine geniul nostru , cuvinte  reamintite de ''Trinitas TV'' la fiecare emisiune a lui Alex Stefanescu :

''Dumnezeul geniului m-a sorbit din popor 
cum Soarele soarbe un nour de aur 
din marea de amar''.


De ce oare amuteste gura si ingheata pixelul  cand vine vorba despre Mihai Eminescu ?
Pentru ca atunci cand citim poezia lui Eminescu , intram in biserica sufletului romanesc.
Iar in biserica nu se cade sa vorbesti ,acolo se rostesc rugaciuni si se inalta imnuri de slava.

Adevarul este ca nu ma pot abtine sa nu simt un val de mandrie  (ba chiar oleaca de trufie) cand ma gandesc la atatea alte popoare care au avut nevoie de secole,ba chiar de milenii , de nenumarati invatati ,scriitori,filozofi si cugetatori ca sa ajunga la zilele din urma.
Eu vad in Eminescu un semn al grijii proniatoare a lui Dumnezeu : iata , ni l-a trimis pe Eminescu cel daruit cu focul nepieritor al geniului si acesta ,intr-o viata foarte scurta , a ridicat acest popor de iobagi , smulgandu-l din evurile intunecate in care ratacea si l-a infipt direct in veacul XX.
Trebuie sa recunoastem, a fost o calatorie atat de vijelioasa incat nici acum , trecuti binisor de pragul mileniului III ,inca nu ne-am trezit de-a binelea.
Dar ne vom trezi si vom face toate lucrurile pentru care Domnul ne-a adus pana aici !

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Astronomically speaking...

Happy New Year to all !

I had a very good start of the year ... astronomically speaking !
It was past 2:00 a.m. of the first morning of the first day of 2019 and I was preparing to go to bed when I noticed that ,in spite of  gloomy weather forecasts  , the sky was clear.
I was too tired  to take out a telescope so I grabbed my 7x50mm Fujinon Mariner binoculars and I spent about an hour under the stars.
I was impressed of how  well the Deep Sky Objects were visible through the binoculars.

Last year I learned that my Romanian peasant ancestors did saw Orion not as a constellation but as a conglomerate of more different star asterisms.
The three stars in the Belt of Orion they called ''The Three Kings'' or ''The Three Magi'' searching for the child Jesus Christ.

(Latter note : I'm sorry ,I see now this is confusing but I cannot modify the drawing ,please read the red line and the text '' String of Pearl'' on picture above just as an indication that the asterism is highlighted with red lines.)

The name of ''Three Kings'' seem to be widely used across Europe.
I found it used by professional French astronomer La Lande in his monumental book '' l'Astronomie '' published in 1764.
I enjoyed through binoculars a great view of ''The Kings'' inside which it was obvious an ''S'' shaped chain of stars between Mintaka and Alnilam.

I believe this is the ''String of Pearls'' asterism which made Arabian astronomers to call ''the middle king'' as ''string of pearls''.
Here we see the chart of the open cluster Collinder 70 as plotted by WEBDA.
I highlighted on the plot the stars Mintaka ,Alnilam and those of ''The String of Pearls''.
Interogating WEBDA we find the interesting result that the NELM of ancient astronomers blessed with clear sky was consistently around 7 mv.
The city astro-dweller of today I don't think it will see  ''The String of Pearls'' without binocular.

The star asterism  made of  ( 42-45 Ori +Theta +Iota/Hatysa +Thabit+e Ori ) was seen by my ancestors as a ''Sickle''.

After finishing this short trip into the memory lanes I get back to more usual business and had a very enjoyable tour of Deep Sky Objects.
I started at Mel 111 which , I don't know why , I was missing most ...
Further I saw M44 with many stars resolved but smaller than Mel 111 , next was M67.
I'm not sure what I have seen close to Puppis ,maybe it was M93.
M47 and even M46 ,higher up, where easy prey , like M41.
M35 in Gemini was not very bright  but large ,beautiful.
In Auriga I payed the protocolar visite to M37 ,M36 and M38.
As they were located during my observation ,one can see them in a nearly rectilinear horizontal  move in the sequence : M35-M37-M36-M38.
In Orion I saw of course the Theta 1-2 stars ,M42 and open cluster NGC 1981 where I counted seven stars.
Above Lambda Ori , the main star of the poor cluster Collinder 69 I saw the very large cluster  Collinder 65 with bordering  Ruby Star.
Now I was quite  tired but I better throw in the towel as amateur astronomer if I leave without having a look of eternal  beauty of Hyades and Pleiades.

Well , I would be very happy if , astronomically speaking , this year will go on like this for myself and for  my observing buddies !

Credits :
- pictures are screen prints from Stellarium ,modified with Paint

-detailed informations are from the site of WEBDA dedicated to open clusters :
’'This article has made use of the WEBDA database ,operated at the Departament of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics of the Masaryk University’’