Nicolae Donici (1874…

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Nicolae Donici (1874 -1956)

Romanian astronomer originally from Bessarabia. Descended from the famous Donici family of noblemen, great-grandson of the fabulist Alecu Donici and great-great-grandson of the legislator Andronache Donici. Author of nearly 80 scientific publications (most of them in French), and several articles written in Romanian, Russian and German, many published in the Memoirs of the Scientific Section of the Romanian Academy. In 1908 he built his own astronomical observatory at Dubăsarii Vechi in Bessarabia.
His astronomical researches concern the astronomy of the sun, chromosphere, planets, zodiacal light. He observed 8 solar eclipses in different parts of the world and 8 lunar eclipses. He determined that the planet Mercury has no atmosphere, based on the study of the planet’s passage over the sun’s disc in 1907 and 1924, observed and photographed Halley’s comet in the year of its passage to perihelion (1910), investigated the planet Saturn, observed and measured the zodiacal light in Egypt (1908) and Algeria (1947-1952). In 1903 he made astronomical observations on Mont Blanc at an altitude of 4810 m. From 1944 he lived in France, where he died at an old age. A theoretical high school in Chisinau bears his name.