Museum trails

Polytechnic Roads

1

EQUaTORIal SECTOR FROM JEREMIaH SISSOn

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1774

This telescope is one of the oldest used at the osservatorio Astronomico di Brera. it has a long axis positioned toward the Celestial North Pole, and the objective is composed of a pair of lenses 10 cm in diameter (no longer present). Using this tool, on 26 April 1861 Giovanni Schiaparelli performed the first scientific discovery of the newly united italy: he found a new asteroid which he christened Esperia, after the Greek name of the italian peninsula. With Sisson, Schiaparelli studied the comet 1862 ii, by means of which he succeeded in giving a correct scientific explanation for the phenomenon of shooting stars. These two discoveries earned him a reputation that he made use of in asking the new italian government for financing for the purchase of a more modern instrument. With the new telescope, Schiaparelli began his campaign of studying the planet Mars, which would lead to his discovery of the celebrated canals and would bring him worldwide fame and recognition.


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2

EQUaTORIal REFRaCTOR TElESCOPE la FIlOTECnICa SalMOIRagHI

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1930s

This instrument came into use at the osservatorio Astronomico di Brera during the 1930s. Commissioned by then director Emilio Bianchi, it replaced the one utilized by Schiaparelli for his first studies on Mars, but for various reasons, it did not have the same scientific success. Already underpowered with respect to the standards of the times, it was primarily used for astrometric studies.


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3

TRanSIT InSTRUMEnT SalMOIRagHI, RIZZI E C.

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Early 20th century

Presented at the 1894 Esposizioni Riunite di Milano, this type of instrument can be used for measuring the positions of the stars in the sky with great precision and represents the evolution of the oldest mural quadrants and meridian circles. Throughout its history, the Salmoiraghi company produced a wide range of tools and accessories for astronomical observations, compiling a catalog of products representing one of the most important examples of ingenuity and adaptability of the times.


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