For Global Astronomy Month 2020 (106): Under the Same Solar Halo - End of a Pandemic Astro-Journal

May 16
By Andrei Dorian Gheorghe, Florin Alexandru Stancu and Valentin Grigore

This is the last episode of our cosmopoetry project (in the AWB Astropoetry Blog mega-project) dedicated to the most difficult edition of Global Astronomy Month, the largest world celebration of astronomy. 

We symbolically chose for it three photos from April 17, when Valentin Grigore (in Targoviste) and I (in Bucharest) caught the most spectacular solar halo during GAM 2020. 

This project started on the Spring Equinox Day (although its first episodes were published on March 27) and covered the time of maximal pandemic restrictions in Romania.

To be saved from this sanitary cataclysm, we had to accept a regime of quasi-isolation for almost two months, decided with efficient responsibility by authorities.

But only our bodies were “prisoners”, our minds and souls remained connected to the freedom of the sky, and astronomy became our main instrument of fight through creation for our winning human condition.

Heavenly bodies and phenomena became our best friends and helped us to defeat fears of bad news, irresponsible people, any sign of disease, worst predictions (announced especially by enthusiastic “pandemicians”), huge penalties applied by police patrols (although they made a very important job to limit the tragedies), or fears for our loved ones and those from the first line (medical personnel).

Our project included 106 episodes, 340 images and a similar number of haiku poems, a few short astropoems, astro-quotes and tributes, and a few tens of introductory short essays, in which we tried to show the evolution of the sky during that time in limited conditions (on the balcony or close to home), to reflect (in our own way) the complexity of astronomy for humankind, to honor the programs of GAM, to complete our concept with examples of memory astronomy and home astronomy, to keep awake the astronomical optimism.

And we have to thank the Astronomers Without Borders staff (who found out excellent solutions to keep alive the spirit of GAM), our guests for their special contributions, the sky lovers from all over the world for they didn’t give up, and especially editor Andee Sherwood and web publisher Frances Azaren, who were permanently of duty, encouraging us, sustaining us and stimulating us (even through their own contributions) in achieving this unique cosmopoetry project.

In spite of the pandemic, Andee and Frances transformed the AWB Astropoetry Blog into the World House of Astro-Humanistic Creation (where we truly felt at home).  

Now we know: astronomy will survive and, step by step, the people will recover their normality, the Earth and the Sky.

And perhaps they will be better.

With our best wishes,

Valentin Grigore (age over 52, president of the Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy-SARM, producer of “Noi si Cerul” / Us and the Sky TV Show, national coordinator for Astronomers Without Borders in Romania), 

Florin Alexandru Stancu (age almost 30, expert in computers, assistant professor and doctoral candidate at the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, web master of SARM),

and Andrei Dorian Gheorghe (age 60, retired financial analyst, director of SARM’s Cosmopoetry Festival).

AndreiDGheorgheGAM106A 600

AndreiDGheorgheGAM106B 399

AndreiDGheorgheGAM106C 600

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