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The Astronomer Nicolae Donitch, a Pioneer of the International Astronomical Union

  • Magda Stavinschi (a1)


Nicolae Donitch gave a special role to Romania’s membership of the IAU, even though it had basically adhered to it in 1922, but only on the 12th of July 1928 was Romania’s membership in the IAU recognized. He was a passionate observer of eclipses, of the zodiacal light, and a good instrument builder. His tortuous destiny was somehow similar to the destiny of many Romanians from Eastern Moldova: he was born in Chişinău, the capital of Bessarabia at that time; he studied in Odessa; after the first revolution in February 1917 he left Russia and remained in Odessa until the arrival of the Bolsheviks in 1920, who would completely destroy his laboratory. He then moved to his private Astrophysics Observatory in Dubăsarii Vechi, which he had set up in 1908, and stayed until 1940, when Bessarabia was once again torn away from Romania. He relocated to Bucharest, but soon after, when communists came to power, he had to leave the country on a permanent basis. As he severed all the ties with people from the country that had fallen into the red zone of communism, we completely lost track of him. It was only recently that, after thorough research, we could discover his traces, and learn of his last years of life.


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Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union
  • ISSN: 1743-9213
  • EISSN: 1743-9221
  • URL: /core/journals/proceedings-of-the-international-astronomical-union
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