The Specola Margherita Hack is open to public and school visits.
On the ground floor of the Dome dedicated to Margherita Hack the new outfitting of the historical exhibition is located. It comprises several texts, instruments and news on the scientific work of astronomers of the area of Trieste and the Venezia Giulia from 1750 to 1970. The time itinerary is described step by step in Italian, English and German. A large screen linked to the network and to the computer is used for presentations on specific themes, short conferences and seminars.
On the first floor, inside the dome, a new 60 cm reflecting telescope has been installed. The telescope, as well as its mechanism and optical system, were optimized to offer the best quality and most simple direct vision of celestial bodies, without the filter of electronic instruments. Direct observation is a unique experience, very different from the usual way of watching images on the screen or on paper. The telescope’s motion and pointing to the celestial objects is controlled by computers. On its sides are located two smaller refracting telescopes for wide field vision or for observations of the Sun with dimming filters. The manufacturer firm is Marcon of San Donà di Piave, which supplied several similar instruments to the National Institute for Astrophysics.
Inside the dome was installed a high definition projector with a specially designed diverging lens, so that the internal surface of the dome itself is used as a large spherical screen. This projecting system is equipped with a high quality computer and audio system. With this system it is possible to play motion pictures, digital sky maps, didactic videos and images of any celestial bodies, as well as live streaming broadcast of scientific events.
Using these instruments both the public and students can observe the celestial bodies according to the local skies and seasons, guided by astronomers who illustrate the nature of what is being observed.
The maximum number of visitor for each observing session is 25. Visits to the Specola Margherita Hack are also carried out in cloudy sky conditions. In this case projections on half of the internal dome surface are performed using the large-field audio-visual system which allows the astronomer to illustrate the morphology of stars, planets and galaxies and to explain the major celestial phenomena as well as to talk about up-to-date astronomy.
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