In May 1999, I travelled to Romania to inspect the prospective eclipse sites.

Here is a view of a main square, in front of the Bucharest Hilton Hotel.

Bucharest Hilton Hotel Bucharest Hilton Hotel


I visited the Bucharest Observatory. Here is the dome of its twin 40-cm astrograph refractors.

Astrograph Refractor

The refractors are mounted in the same tube.

It takes huge images because of the 6-m focal length, with the solar or lunar disk 5.3 cm across.

The director of the Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy of Sciences is Dr. Magda Stavinschi.

Ms. Stavinschi.

They have some solar telescopes, including H-alpha filters, sunspot projection, and a high-resolution spectrograph.


They also have a Danjon astrolabe.


We will observe from the centerpoint of the eclipse at Ramnicu Valcea. Here is the town hall, where I am posing with a city councillor who is very interested in making the eclipse work for them.

Town Hall

It is a city of several hundred thousand, with useful facilities such as hardware stores.




My own expedition from Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, with about 12 students and 6 staff, will be set up at the Alutus Hotel.


We expect to be able to eat some of our meals at the nearby McDonald's.


The view from the roof of the hotel we will be at, looking north, shows some of the city.

View from the roof

Everyone was most hospitable.

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