The Carte du Ciel enterprise

The Vatican Observatory

The Vatican Observatory was assigned the zone +64 to +55.   

In 1930,  it had published only 107 charts (Schutzenberger) out of the 540 due, although the plates already exposed were 277. Publication was resumed in 1935 and completed by Observatory staff on photographic paper. The majority of the remaining plates was exposed at the new Castelgandolfo site, where the Observatory had moved in 1942, and work was finally accomplished in 1955.

Charts are numbered as a single sequence, which starts with +55 (1-120) and finishes with +63 (871-960). However, only even zones were made (+55, +57, +59, +61, +63) and just a few for +56.

 The first 277 plates were made by Father J. Lais, whereas the remaining were taken by Father J. Stein and a team comprising Fr. M. Timmers, fr. A. Puhl and Father P.A. Zirwes.

Charts held at the INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo Library:


References: S. Maffeo, S.J., La Specola Vaticana: nove Papi, una missione, Tipografia Vaticana, 2001.p. 79; 134-138


Donatella Randazzo, 6 November 2012