5 – Museo della Specola

The Museo della Specola is located on the top of a tower of the Royal Palace, in the premises of the Palermo Astronomical Observatory, a research institution that today is part of the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF). The museum is hosted in the original rooms of the observatory which was established at the end of the 18th century; it preserves collections of astronomical instruments (most of them still in situ) dating back from the observatory foundation to the beginning of the 20th century, as well as rare astronomical clocks, surveying instruments, etc. The most important telescope is the Ramsden Circle, which is related to the discovery of the first asteroid (now dwarf planet) Ceres, made by Giuseppe Piazzi in 1801. Other remarkable instruments are a large Merz refractor and a meridian circle by Pistor & Martins, both acquired around the half of the 19th century; three telescopes belonging to the Prince of Lampedusa (the Leopard) are also on display in this museum.

SIC 2023 participants will be welcome at the Museo della Specola during the Visits to the Collections.

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