Specola M. Hack - public and schools

The Specola Margherita Hack, renewed on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of Prof. Margherita Hack (1922-2022), is open to public and school visits.



On the ground floor there is the new historical-informative multimedia exhibition, which traces the history and scientific activity of the astronomical observatory of Trieste from the foundation of the nautical academy in 1753 to the present day, with contents available in Italian, English, Slovenian and German languages.

The new technologies allow a more immediate and emotional engagement of the public with historical and scientific contents. A virtual 3d model is projected on the base in the center of the room which faithfully reproduces the historical Reinfelder telescope, from the end of the 19th century, one of the most important historical scientific instruments in the region. In the exhibition volumes of high historical and scientific value are shown. These have been digitized and made available for consultation through two touchscreens.





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.

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.