Solar eclipse light in Bucharest

Bucharest experienced this Tuesday a beautiful partial solar eclipse on a snowy landscape background. For me it was a busy time of the day, but I managed to snap a few telling photographs in the Izvor area of the city, presented here.

Bucharest solar eclipse: 4 Jan '11, 8:23h GMT, Izvor area. (©Valentin Mandache)

Above is the solar disc glimpsing quite powerfully through the winter Nimbus clouds, partially eclipsed by the Moon’s shadow, seen from my location at 44°25′ 59.69″ N – 26°05′ 24.17″ E (source: Google Earth) at 8:23h GMT. I am very proud of my unassuming camera, which has thus been able to capture this surrealist-like image in direct sunlight without any sort of fancy filter.

Bucharest solar eclipse: 4 Jan '11, 8:23h GMT, Izvor area. (©Valentin Mandache)

What impressed me the most was the strange light generated by the eclipse, something which does not either resemble the dawn or the dusk light, but is more akin with that depicted in medieval paintings such as those by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, from the times of Europe’s Little Ice Age, a previous era of climate change. The photograph above shows that type of light enveloping the Liga Culturala and Societatea Studentilor Medicinisti edifices (both built in the inter-war period in the Neo-Romanian style with Art Nouveau overtones). I wrote in a previous article about that bruegelesque atmosphere/ partial eclipe-like light, which is often encountered in the ancestral villages from the Carpathian mountains in the depth of the winter.

Bucharest solar eclipse: 4 Jan '11, 8:23h GMT, Izvor area. (©Valentin Mandache)

The same type of spooky light is seen through the tree branches dressed with dead foliage of the nearby Izvor park.

Looking Back at an Eclipsed Earth, photograph from the Soviet/ Russian MIR space station on 11 Aug '99. (source: Astronomy Picture of the Day)

My last encounter with a solar eclipse has been on 11 August 1999, when Bucharest experienced its spectacular total phase. I have witnessed only the partial eclipse, being on that day in London and watched the phenomenon from atop the Old Building of the London School of Economics in the Aldwych area of the UK capital. Above is a very interesting photograph of that eclipse shot from aboard the MIR space station, showing the the shadow of the moon sweeping over the planet Earth at a speed of about 2000 km/h.

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I endeavor through this daily series of daily articles to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural history and heritage.

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If you plan acquiring a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in sourcing the property, specialist research, planning permissions, restoration project management, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this weblog.

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