Our observatory has three domes, named “East dome”, “West dome” and “Third dome”.
From the very beginning of our minor planets and comets scientific activity, in 2000-2001, all the observations were made inside the “East dome”, which houses our biggest telescope.
Since the first months of 2008, also the other two domes began their activity.
Inside the 6-m diameter “East dome”, built in 1963-64, there is a 0.60-m Newton-Cassegrain reflector, purchased in 1984. The Cassegrain focus is used only for spectroscopic observations.
The telescope has an equatorial fork mount, and pointing/tracking movements are PC-controlled.
All along the telescope there is a platform and a small elevator, which is used to reach the telescope aperture and the CCD camera, as well as for visual observations.
All CCD observations of MPs and comets are performed in the Newtonian focus f/4.64, yielding a focal lenght of 2783mm.
In June 2005 we’ve purchased a new CCD camera (SBIG ST10-XME) as a replacement of our older Hi-Sis 33.
Above the main telescope there is a beautiful refractor, made by Merz in 1902: that was the main telescope in our observatory from 1963 to 1984. It has a free aperture of 185 mm with a focal lenght of 2775mm (f/15), and the optical scheme consists of an achromatic objective formed of two air-spaced lens, following the original Fraunhofer design.
The 4-m “West dome” was built in 1996 and it originally housed a Celestron C14 Schmidt Camera, used for many years to image the sky with photografic films up to a field-of view of 5.7 x 7.1 degrees. Above that telescope there was a 20cm reflector for the hand-guided exposures.
In the end of 2007 that scope was replaced with a Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope with the same diameter, used with a CCD camera (SBIG ST8-XME) for scientific uses.
At last, in 2005 it was built the “Third dome”: with a diameter of 7.5 m it’s our biggest dome. The main fork mount actually houses a 38cm f/6.8 newtonian reflector, but the main project will consist of a 1.0-m f/3 reflector, which will be the biggest telescope in Italy used by amateurs.
Also this temporary telescope has a SBIG ST8-XME CCD camera for scientific activities.