INAF - Astronomical Observatory of Padova

INAF - Astronomical Observatory of Padova is one of the main structures of the National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF). The main activity of the Observatory is to perform scientific research in various  fields of Astrophysics. The Observatory also contributes to  advanced education, assists in the dissemination of knowledge and implements project of education and outreach of Astronomy.

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In evidenza

The 182 cm telescope

 

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The telescope and its instruments are operated by the Astronomical Observatory of Padua that is part of the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF). The 182 cm telescope is located at Cima Ekar (Asiago) and is the largest astronomical telescope in Italy. It is dedicated to Nicolas Copernicus and has been in operation since 1973.  It is used for optical imaging and low to medium resolution spectroscopy using two main instruments: AFOSC and an Echelle spectrograph.
The telescope and its instruments are operated by the Astronomical Observatory of Padua that is part of the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF).

TELESCOPE COORDINATES:

Longitude: 11° 34' 08.42" E  -  Latitude: 45° 50' 54.52" N  -  Altitude: 1.366 m

TELESCOPE TECHNICAL DATA

Optics

Optical design of the telescope is a Classic Cassegrain with equivalent focal number f/9.
The primary mirror M1 (made of Schott Duran 50) has a diameter of 182cm.
The main characteristics of the mirrors:
 
M1 M2
  Total mass 1500 Kg   Total mass 67.4 Kg
  Diameter 1820 mm
  Diameter 580.0 mm
  Thickness (external ring) 300 mm   Thickness (external ring) 110.3 mm
  Diameter of central hole  Ø 383 mm
  Radius of curvature 10786 mm   Radius of curvature  4594.8 mm
  Focal length 5393 mm   Theorical distance M1 - M2  3855 mm
  F/number   f/3
  Sagitta 38 mm
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
An active system for the movements of the secondary mirror is implemented. This unit, in addition to the standard focusing, allows one to control both X and Y positions of M2 and tilt angle ALFA, BETA. The whole system is controlled by a dedicated PC. The mirror is periodically re-coated with aluminium using the vacuum chamber at Cima Ekar

Mechanics

The limit of pointing for the declination axis is dependent on the altitude of the target. The minimum altitude is fixed at 20 degrees by both software and hardware limit switch. It is strongly advised that this position never be reached.The pointing accuracy is better than 1 arcmin all sky. The coordinates are read by two absolute encoders with a resolution of approximately 4 arcsec.

The Cassegrain Focus

The Cassegrain Focus (f/9, scale 12.6 arcsec/mm at about 20 cm from the rear main flange) is the main focus of the telescope. Focusing is performed by moving the secondary mirror along the Z axis; this movement is controlled  by a dedicated PC.

The Nasmyth Focus

A 45 degree tertiary mirror can be inserted to deviate the beam to the Nasmyth focus in the East side of the fork.

Dome

The dome of the telescope is on the third floor of the telescope building and has a diameter of 15 m.
The building is equipped with an external elevator to enable maintenance of the dome. Aperture and rotation of the dome are controlled by the TPS (Telescope Pointing System) software.
In addition to the observing floor the building contains offices, mechanical and electronic laboratories and a small kitchen.

Operations

Pointing of the telescope and auto-guiding is performed using TPS software.
During observations the dome is automatically rotated such that the dome window is always aligned with the telescope pointing. See the Telescope Manual for datails  (pdf file)

INSTRUMENTATION

At the 182cm telescope two instruments are available: a low resolution spectrograph and imager (AFOSC) and an high resolution spectrograph (Echelle).
The two instruments are complementary for spectral resolution and are therefore mounted in turn at the telescope following the moon cycle (AFOSC being usually available during grey and dark time).

DETECTORS

Since 1983 several CCD detectors have been installed at instruments' focal planes.
Currently only two detectors are used with the scheduled instruments.
Their characteristics and performances are reported at following link:

Further information on the 182 Telescope are available on:

STATISTICS

Statistics of observing time at the 182cm telescope

OBSERVING AT 182 TELESCOPE 

(Time allocation, information for local accommodation, policy of the observations, observing constraints, acknowledgments)

News – MEDIA INAF

Il notiziario online dell'Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica
  • Osservazioni ai raggi X della stella RW Aur A, nella costellazione del Toro, potrebbero spiegare il misterioso oscuramento periodico della stella come il risultato di successivi pasti a base di resti di giovani pianeti che si sono scontrati nelle sue vicinanze. Lo studio su The Astronomical Journal

  • Una nuova tecnica, sviluppata dai ricercatori dell’università di Ginevra, potrebbe consentire di trovare, nel giro di pochi mesi, pianeti con periodi di rivoluzione fino a diversi anni. Il metodo è descritto nella rivista Astronomy & Astrophysics

  • Si tratta di una radiogalassia ad alto redshift, cioè davvero molto distamte. Essendo oggetti rari e difficili da localizzare, gli esperti hanno quindi bisogno di effettuare osservazioni radio che coprano grandi aree di cielo. Lo studio è in uscita su Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

  • Prima luce per la nuova modalità di ottica adattiva, chiamata “tomografia laser”, del Very Large Telescope dell'Eso. Il nuovo sistema ha consentito di ottenere da terra immagini di prova straordinariamente nitide – più di quelle che riesce ad acquisire Hubble dallo spazio – del pianeta Nettuno, di alcuni ammassi di stelle e di altri oggetti.

  • Misurata per la prima volta la massa di Proxima Centauri, la stella più vicina al Sole, con il metodo del microlensing gravitazionale, ottenendo così una misura precisa che ci permette di scoprire di più su questa stella e il pianeta che la accompagna. Media Inaf ha intervistato la prima autrice dello studio, l’astrofisica Alice Zurlo

  • Spettacolari conferme e un nuovo enigma. I risultati definitivi della missione Esa ratificano, con una precisione senza precedenti, la validità del modello standard della cosmologia. Con un’importante eccezione: l’esatto valore della costante di Hubble. È attorno a quel numero che osservazioni e modelli dovranno ora cimentarsi, ed è lì che potrebbe annidarsi la necessità di una nuova fisica

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