Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo Giuseppe S. Vaiana
The research programme in History of Astronomy originated from the need to collate and preserve the rich astronomical heritage of the Observatory, which includes historical instruments, books and archives, accumulated over the past two centuries of scientific activity carried out in this institution. Its recent development has turned it into a self-standing research branch, whose preferential topics, described below, are:
This topic has been specially developed because of the consistence and importance of the historical materials kept at the Observatory. Starting from the publication of the catalogue (see: Fodera'-Chinnici, 1997) a number of publications on the most important items of the collection has been produced, especially on Ramsden instruments (see: Chinnici, 2001; Chinnici 2009; Chinnici-Randazzo 2011).
History of 19th century Astronomy
From the discovery of Ceres (see: Chinnici-Fodera' 2001) to the international project of the Carte du Ciel (see: Chinnici 1999 and Chinnici 2008), all the 19th century is covered by researches mainly aimed at remarking the contribution of Italy in the development of astronomy and its role in the international context.
History of Astrophysics
A special attention has been paid to the contribution of Italy in the establishment of astrophysics as a scientific discipline, thanks to the activity of the Societa' degli Spettroscopisti Italiani, founded in 1871 (see: Chinnici 2008); the biographical profiles of its most renowned members, such as Pietro Tacchini (see: Chinnici 2005) and Angelo Secchi (see: Chinnici 2005), have been retraced and recently extended ( see: Chinnici 2012) and their important archival funds have been explored (see: Chinnici 1994 and Chinnici-Gramatowski 2001).
In the past few years, additional topics have been added such as history of meteorology and archaeoastronomy: these researches are no more in progress.
Ileana Chinnici - chinnici at astropa.inaf.it
Donata Randazzo – donata at astropa.inaf.it